Brand guidelines

Talking as the brand

When writing for the British Council it’s not you as an individual doing the talking. It’s the brand doing the talking, in the brand’s tone of voice.

You are talking to real people, not arbitrary market groups or statistics, and you need to make sure you understand them. You need to know about their needs, wishes, worries and aspirations. Try to get to know them by reading the things they read. Visit the websites they visit. Be aware of the other types of communication they are exposed to.

It is a conversation between two humans. We are not talking to ‘students’, ‘parents’, ‘tutors’, ‘teachers’, ‘civil servants’, ‘politicians’, ‘colleagues’, ‘stakeholders’ or anyone plural.

Build a mental picture of who you are talking to and write as though you are having a conversation with them. Think of someone you know who is in your target audience for example or create a persona for someone you can imagine. Market insight might help you with this.

When we have this person in mind, it’s a lot easier to talk to them, know what it is they want to know and what elements of the brand and messaging will appeal to them

When we are referring to the British Council in text we will usually refer to ourselves in the first person, as ‘we’: ‘we’ are talking to ‘you’, as a singular individual. One person. Refer to the British Council in the first person wherever possible.

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