How guidelines support great storytelling

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  • www.brilliantnoise.com | @la_pope

    Content Delicatessen

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    28th September 2015

  • Telemax, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Tell them what youre going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/telemax/5264885366/in/photolist-92eUZC-92bMBa-5QZgNn-ehh3kN-9bQY96-j1JjeJ-cyG92o-edvq3c-a5aEvR-aFnhiF-ecrpti-a5dvHu-eejHdw-dbXUiy-a5aEkp-edB7rG-ecx2DU-edvrxF-edB7yJ-eedZWv-eddJii-7Sa9QB-65AX6y-xn7DRZ-7GHQ57-8NrToC-7GHLDu-7Sa7B4-b38GWr-4iuThS-65B8sj-7GDS2a-65AYaW-65AVUu-7SabqZ-7GHSko-7GDVAi-4r33xJ-ehRwmi-4qXXqB-4qXXcR-65wJpe-do9quQ-7GHKK5-7GHJGh-7GDMLT-6ttENW-p51UWB-c4Rwd9-c4R8yh

  • How guidelines support great storytelling

    What Im going to tell you

    1. Why you need guidelines.

    2. What guidelines you need (and how to create them).

    3. How to make sure your guidelines are used.

  • 1 Why you need guidelines

  • 1. Guidelines limitation.

    2. The larger the scale of your content programme, the more true point 1 becomes.

    JePoirrier, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Guidlines complement creativity

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/349613923/

  • It should:

    - be relevant to the audience

    - be true and unique to the brand

    - be usable

    - be "ndable

    - be repeatable.

    OpenSourceWay, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Content should be creative, and more

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4639590640/in/photolist-84Z7E5-y4mpd-a8gXQX-6NMWtx-dCHgz1-9nwney-nSZret-oWeyw5-cg4kFQ-a1Sh6D-4mEpra-7T6WLp-3efpDN-4CLPHE-k735WL-9UnSG2-pLMvLm-ae517p-wDzZbu-9iEDmT-8NUpR2-o73Y25-eKC5Jx-hBoUbq-jvt7Q4-89psRS-6SpydN-75r98p-heYBjy-dmbHPM-5innVG-3beBuY-9FcTWJ-bvoLtu-oLco4W-edvxZZ-7T5jv5-9EB8KG-9SUjEQ-e6TZe6-88jyKh-as7RWU-srdGVh-7DcxZE-77V7T4-8PWvj6-88waov-77aF1D-b44pUk-6GKrmk

  • How guidelines support great storytelling

    What guidelines will do for you

    1. Strengthen and di#erentiate your brand.

    2. Promote uniformity across teams, channels and formats.

    3. Make collaboration easier and more predictable.

    4. Make sure content resonates with your audience.

    5. Give you a benchmark to judge content against.

    6. Create better content faster (and cheaper).

  • Pennuja, CC BY 2.0

    Guidelines help you get storytelling more right, more of the time.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennuja/13467178765/

  • 2 The guidelines you need

  • Core content guidelines

    1. Message architecture

    2. Voice, tone and style guide

    3. Templates

    4. Process

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • 1. Message architecture

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    - A hierarchy of communication goals that re$ects a common vocabulary - Margot Bloomstein.

    - Creates consensus about whats important.

    - Ensures consistency in messaging.

    CrazyGabe, CC BY-SA 2.0

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazygabe/5386975286/in/photolist-9d2E5f-6iMjLy-6iMjKE-6iMjMA-6iH9yM-6iMjJE-okaySD-6pZGVK-7XqtDS

  • One way to create a message architecture

    1. Create/source a set of cards with qualities e.g. traditional, customer-"rst, good value.

    2. Get stakeholders to sort them into categories: who we are, who we arent, who we want to be.

    3. Merge Who we are and Who we want to be - be aspirational. Look for con$icting ideas e.g. traditional and edgy. Group similar cards.

    4. Prioritise your groups.

    5. Create messages that tell the story of each group in relation to your organisation.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • 2. Voice, tone and style

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    - A comprehensive guide to writing for a brand/organisation.

    - Good writing goes unnoticed, bad writing breaks the $ow.

    - Voice, tone and style are discrete elements.TheRedProject, CC BY-SA 2.0

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/theredproject/3970603144/in/photolist-73SnYU-p1W2cV-bxPDzp-orTZK2-8W7acD-2XUPVb-o8HpiP-nJcrh5-6WedZk-7APY5S-iMeym-oG4uRg-byVThT-cDphCL-mHu88P-3eBBHP-2AgiZs-7xZTNa-cT1wyf-noX2vR-eWwB8a-6w3f9K-mHt88T-pNMach-oNKtaw-gRxuEz-y1QYP4-8UyNGT-bjUM3o-8X4JCY-7h4mCA-p4cEtf-7dyAyh-fCptav-dx1dqt-bjULTo-8ubPZs-7Cnrjy-8tuRfw-9a5V8a-nGaryW-8UYBVu-hNcisA-bBWVfu-cjuP6w-91s4Px-9H2Ya7-7cy9nu-91s3xr-cXpB13

  • Voice

    Voice is a description of the unique, distinctive voice of your brand. This should cover:

    - its personality

    - its rhythm and pace

    - its vocabulary.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • Playful, cheeky, fun.

    Zoonabar, CC BY-SA 2.0 Macmillan

    Personality: Innocent

    Personal, inspiring, straightforward.

    Personality: Macmillan

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoonabar/4338417636/in/photolist-7Bnwq5-3VMfCB-tQC5d-2LvuvC-7U12Js-y6bx66-48VKEY-5a4qd8-5a8H7h-5a8BsS-5a8FZs-5a4tf8-5a8BTh-5a4rca-5a4tXK-3n5j81-herkdQ-5a8EhC-5a4sUv-5a8Cx5-5a8DWU-5a4oJv-5a4s6r-48VKgE-71VrK-5a4pvc-dcQkSi-78q3x-2yfHjh-4K1S6r-5acM3N-4K66FG-5acSkW-2ybnnk-5WSLn2-2yb3WP-5acR7Y-2yaGoR-5acV8m-5acNdG-8pU5y8-ybydha-2yeYzJ-2yf1v3-2yaTs8-2yeUdG-2yfdPu-2yfr6m-2yf3vw-2yfhA5http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/WhatWeDo/What_we_do.aspx

  • Punchy, punctuated, staccato.

    SaraRichards, CC BY-SA 2.0 Penhaligon's

    Rhythm and pace: OxfamLyrical and $owing.Rhythm and pace: Penhaligons

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/sararichards/4687754680/http://Penhaligons

  • Plain and simple.

    OVO Porsche

    Vocabulary: OVOTechnical and specialist.Vocabulary: Porsche

    http://www.ovoenergy.com/about-ovo/why-were-different/http://www.porsche.com/uk/models/boxster/boxster/drive/performance/

  • One way to create voice guidelines

    1. Create/source a set of cards with adjectives on them e.g. friendly, fun, playful, serious, dependable, musical.

    2. Get stakeholders to sort them into categories: what we sound like, what we dont sound like, what we want to sound like.

    3. Merge What we sound like and What we want to sound like - be aspirational. Look for con$icting ideas e.g. traditional and edgy.

    4. Group similar cards and prioritise those groups.

    5. Work the groups into concrete statements that describe your voice, with explanations and examples.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • Tone

    Tone is how to use your voice in di#erent situations.

    Your brand voice is singular, but you can use it with many di#erent tones.

    Separating voice and tone means you can be empathetic to your users.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • Congratulatory, funny, casual.

    Mailchimp, Voice and Tone Mailchimp, Voice and Tone

    Tone: success

    Helpful, calm, serious.

    Tone: failure

    http://voiceandtone.com/success-message/http://voiceandtone.com/success-message/

  • Creating tone guidelines

    1. Create an outline of the di#erent kinds of customers/users and the kind of journey they will be on when they come to your site.

    2. Think about (or event better - ask about) the emotions that people are feeling, and the tone that will be most empathetic in that situation.

    3. Write some guidelines, with examples, to help people choose the right tone and understand what it sounds like.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • Style

    Style is a house style for what your writing looks like, for example where to use capitals, how to spell certain words, reminders on grammar, vocabulary.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • Creating style guidelines

    - Copy, copy, copy! Pick a house style you like, and create your own version of their guidelines.

    - Take a look at:

    - The Economist Style Guide

    - Oxford University Style Guide

    - BBC News Style Guide

    - MailChimp Content Style Guide

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    http://www.economist.com/styleguide/introductionhttp://www.ox.ac.uk/public-affairs/style-guidehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/news-style-guidehttp://styleguide.mailchimp.com/

  • 3. Templates

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    - Helps you to get information from experts/stakeholders.

    - Ensures quality and consistency.

    - Makes things faster and simpler.MrBill CC BY 2.0

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/theredproject/3970603144/in/photolist-73SnYU-p1W2cV-bxPDzp-orTZK2-8W7acD-2XUPVb-o8HpiP-nJcrh5-6WedZk-7APY5S-iMeym-oG4uRg-byVThT-cDphCL-mHu88P-3eBBHP-2AgiZs-7xZTNa-cT1wyf-noX2vR-eWwB8a-6w3f9K-mHt88T-pNMach-oNKtaw-gRxuEz-y1QYP4-8UyNGT-bjUM3o-8X4JCY-7h4mCA-p4cEtf-7dyAyh-fCptav-dx1dqt-bjULTo-8ubPZs-7Cnrjy-8tuRfw-9a5V8a-nGaryW-8UYBVu-hNcisA-bBWVfu-cjuP6w-91s4Px-9H2Ya7-7cy9nu-91s3xr-cXpB13

  • One way to create templates1. Print out one example of each type of content you

    produce.

    2. Break it down and annotate the components that make-up the page; e.g. title tag, meta description, H1, introduction, sub-headings, images, captions.

    3. Think of and annotate the rules that are associated with each component part; e.g. headline format, subject matter, maximum character count.

    4. Make a template where each component part is a "eld, and each "eld is annotated with the corresponding guidelines.

    How guidelines support great storytelling

  • 4. Process

    How guidelines support great storytelling

    - Who

    - What

    - When

    - HowJoePage CC BY-ND 2.0

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/39043363@N03/3591165477/

  • One way to create content work!ow

    - Write down every single step it takes to create a piece of content, how long it took, who was involved.