Brand guidelines

Flexing for your audience

As an organisation we have a wide and varied audience including government ministers, young learners, prospective partners, parents and teachers.

Whoever you are speaking to, and for whatever purpose, your tone of voice will not change, although you may adapt it to suit your audience.

It is all a question of emphasis

When talking about governance or addressing a government, institution or business audience, you may want to stress the worldly and authoritative aspects of our tone of voice.

Whereas with an arts event or an audience of undergraduates you might prefer to emphasise the vivid and inspiring aspects.

Always be aware of cultural sensibilities and adapt the tone accordingly. Think about how you might treat straightforward factual material and how this would differ from the one you might use to convey more personal, emotional or aspirationally driven messages.

Although the emphasis may change, your tone of voice should remain the same. Whoever we are talking to we are always reflecting the British Council brand through our tone.

Flex your tone

Depending on the audience you are speaking to, your tone will flex. Don’t go all ‘youth speak’ when talking to students, or all ‘wordy and dry’ when speaking to government.

Adjust your tone. Don’t change it

Always keep a particular individual in mind when writing, then it becomes quite easy to change the emphasis and vocabulary a little, depending on who you are talking to.

Similarly, if we have to address different audiences with one communication – as with say, a guide or handbook then keeping those individuals front of mind will help us judge where in the middle to pitch it.

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