How to Write a Corporate Study Guide

Topics: Style guide, The Chicago Manual of Style, Technical communication Pages: 9 (3098 words) Published: December 25, 2008
How to Write a Corporate Style Guide

A corporate style guide, in the form of a booklet, is primarily used as a standard reference tool in corporate communications. Its importance is significant because it sets the quality and the tone needed by a corporation. In addition, it produces consistency in documents and documents generation; it creates good corporate image; and provides employees with trainings on the various standards. In developing a corporate style guide it is imperative that management support is present, the target audiences should be properly identified, the steps in creating the style guide is followed, proper “housing” of the manuscript is done, and there is a continuous process of updating and revising. A basic format of the style guide is given as illustrative example and other references are stated. Aside from online sources, there are books and journals where specific applications are cited such as references for general writing, legal documents, scientific and technical reports. There are also references based on the International Standard Organizations for the presentation of documents, presentation of technical reports and other related documents, abstracts of periodicals and documents, and others. These can serve as a reference tool in the development of a customized style guide that fits the need of the corporation. As a turn-out, creating an effective corporate style guide will eventually aid in attaining profits which is the very objective of any businesses. Writing styles differ from one person to another. One may write on a very direct approach without prejudice, some may have several “sweet words” before emphasizing an argument or a point; while others do write following a definite pattern based on a standard writing style. Whatever the writing style may be, it reflects the writer’s prerogative, motive, agenda, and emotions. It serves as a mirror for the writer, a reflection of his/her thoughts and a reference to the reader. Writing in the corporate world differs from that of other forms of writing (essay writing, scriptwriting, and others). It follows a definite standard common to the nature of the organization, a business, or a product. In corporate communications, employees must be able to communicate with each other and towards their customer in a manner that will reflect the “image” of the company, thus it will be recognizable and most likely will enhance product awareness. The manner in which employees have a common standard of writing communication literature is called a writing guide or a style guide. A style guide manifests in the form of a manual that consists of sentences, phrases,and methods in constructing a particular type of communications (manuals, booklets and brochures). It sets the definite standard of communication literature in corporate writing. It also provides discrete vocabulary and intonation necessary to the nature of a specific corporation. For instance, the writing style of a fashion company differs from that of a financial institution. Setting a definite corporate style guide will give the company the overall quality and the tone to communicate effectively and successfully to the target audiences. The importance of developing a corporate style guide gives the following advantages: a. Consistency in documents and document generations

b. A good professional image
c. Opportunities for the employees to be trained.
A corporate style guide provides consistency in documents most especially in collaborative writings, and multi-authored writings wherein several people work on a specific document. Oftentimes, making a document consists of an author, the secretary of the author, an editor, and lastly, if possible, an artist. If two or more people work together on a single document without a corporate style guide, the probability of inconsistencies are eminent. For several authors that have a limited access to each other or writing in different...

References: Border, Jo (1975). "A company style guide without tears." In Proceedings of the 22nd International Technical Communication Conference. Society for Technical Communication Washington DC: pp. 405-406.
Blair, Eugenie S. (1970). "Development of the Bell Laboratories editorial style guide." In Proceedings of the 17th International Technical Communication Conference. Society for Technical Communication, Washington DC: pp. 1-5.
Caernarven-Smith, Patricia (1991). "Aren 't you glad you have a style guide? Don 't you wish everybody did?" Technical Communication vol. 38: pp. 140-42.
Domitrovic, Rudy (1977). "How to prepare a style guide." In Professional Development Series. Society for Technical Communication, Washington DC: pp. 9.
Lalla, Sharon Trujillo (1988). "The state-of-the-art style guide development." In Proceedings of the 35th International Technical Communication Conference. Society for Technical Communication, Washington DC: pp. W176.
Lee, Joseph D (1970). "Writing the company style guide." In Proceedings of the 17th International Technical Communication Conference. Society for Technical Communication, Washington, DC: pp. 1.
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