Your Company Copy Style Guide has been created to save you time and hassle establishing rules about your business writing, ensuring a professional, high standard across all your company's written communications.
Written by Kelly Owen
, this 40-page guide brings together the common rules of English grammar and punctuation that any business can use to ensure their writing is clear and accurate.
Why do we need a copy style guide?
Your brand identity is one of the most important aspects of your business. Each business should have a brand, made up of a logo and rules about how marketing materials, such as brochures, are presented. A consistent image reassures your customers and helps them recognise your company amongst your competitors.
Many companies feel it is unnecessary to establish their own guide to using copy, or have the time to devote to compiling one. However, even a simple copy guide can help transform your brand to another level of professionalism.
Why buy this guide and not a book off the shelf?
The idea for the Ultimate Proof guide came about because many of our clients simply did not have their own. We love words and want to help make your life easier and your business communications better!
We often receive documents (in a hurry) and when we need clarification on style... such as 'Your headings are inconsistently capitalised, which is your preferred style?'
or, 'You use different number ranges, how would you like them written, as numerals or words, and is that with an em dash or an en dash?'... our clients don't know.*
(*Don't get us wrong, lots of our clients provide copy style guides and know their en's from their em's – this is for those companies that don't have the time or resource to do this.)
When a client is up against it, they often ask us to 'use whatever you think is right'. While this is not a problem – we know our stuff after all – it can create further inconsistencies. For example, one client used double quote marks throughout their document, standard UK use is single quote marks*. When the proofreader changed this, the client later realised it was inconsistent with how it had 'always been done', which created extra work to correct. (*New Hart's Rules, OUP)
This is just one example of why having your copy style preferences nailed is so important. With our guide, you can rest assured knowing that it applies to YOUR business, not a general book that you have to wade through to pick out what you need, or by paying high training fees for a few members of staff.
What aspects of copy style does this guide include?
Our guide includes aspects of grammar that relate to your business. It provides standards for how your company:
- punctuates bullet points
- uses capitals in titles and job titles
- highlights text
- positions captions and credits
- writes dates, numbers and ranges
- punctuates abbreviations and quotations
- uses ampersands
- and many more...
It includes 'refreshers' about common grammar rules such as using apostrophes, brackets, dashes and hyphens and commas, to name a few! It also provides a handy Further Reading reference list for anything that comes outside of the guide.
Does this guide replace the need for an editor or proofreader?
No guide will do that; however, it will ensure that whoever is writing or checking the copy – either in-house or externally – will produce it to a high standard that is consistent with all your other communications. A professional proofreader will also use it to check the rules have been applied correctly, but, ultimately, it will make their job (and yours) much easier, quicker and cheaper!
What do we get?
In consultation with you, we will personalise the guide by making it relevant to your area of business, including all the key terms you use. We can also merge it with your existing copy style notes and advise you on how to develop your own style*, so that everything is in one place and presented consistently. (*Additional consultation charges apply at £30 per hour.)
We will create a linkable PDF and also send you the original Word file to update as you need at a later date. Then, simply share the document with staff or suppliers who need to ensure your branding is consistent.
Your Company Copy Style Guide
will save you hours of work and help ensure your business language is always presented to a high standard.