We have recently been working with our new client Wavecare to produce Tone of Voice (ToV) guidelines for them. Wavecare are a not-for-profit counselling service based in Glen Waverly in Victoria. They’re all about making sure that counselling is provided in a safe and comfortable environment by qualified practitioners and making sure that everyone has access to counselling and mental health support when they need it.
The Tone of Voice guidelines are a starting point that we often begin with for new clients if they don’t already have them. The guidelines look to attach personality pillars to a brand and then look at the kind of language that we would use and the way that we would describe things in line with that personality. ToV guidelines are important for content marketing activities to ensure that we are communicating the marketing messages in a tone and style that connects with and appeals to the target audiences.
We always begin the Tone of Voice process with a collaborative workshop with the client – it is important that the client has input in the direction of the Tone of Voice, and we encourage our clients to bring at least 2-3 people to the workshop session so that we can incorporate a range of thoughts, views and opinions.
For Wavecare, we held a workshop via Zoom with three of the key team members. During the workshop we played a game with them called ‘Brand Deck’. Brand Deck is designed to really help the team talk about some of the different personality traits and have conversations around language.
The deck features cards that have two personality traits that are often opposing – for example ‘traditional’ vs ‘modern’ – and we then have a conversation around which personality trait suits the brand (Wavecare) best, and how we would use language or the different types of words that we would use to help convey those personality traits.
Brand Deck is a full deck of cards, so it has 52 cards in the deck, or 104 different personality traits. Once we have worked our way through the whole deck, we start to see themes emerge which we then start grouping together. Ideally, we will end up with three core ‘themes’ or personality pillars.
“That was a good exercise; I haven’t done that sort of thing before, and it’s a good way of looking at it actually.”Denis Carruthers, Chairman of the Board, Wavecare Counselling
After the workshop the PN Digital team then continues to work on those three themes, dwindling them down to find one core personality trait that encompasses the entire theme. The end goal is to have three distinct personality pillars that define Wavecare as a brand.
From that we would then create a word bank that has at least 30 different words that we feel personify those different personality traits that can be used and really woven through their content marketing – their social media posts, their blog articles, their website and their email marketing. The concept of the word bank is that when the words are woven through copy and communications pieces, you will start to see those personality pillars emerge within the copy. It is a great tool for everyone who is working on marketing materials for the brand to use to ensure that the tone and language of copy remains consistent despite multiple authors.
Once we have our word bank, the final piece of the puzzle is to select 3-4 examples from the client’s existing content marketing – their social media posts, website and email marketing channels – and apply the Tone of Voice to those pieces of copy. This enables the client to see really clear before-and-after examples of the application of the Tone of Voice, and the difference that it can make.
If you’re interested in learning more about PN Digital’s content marketing services including Tone of Voice workshops, get in touch today.