Tone of Voice guide content suggestions

What ToV guidelines can achieve

Tone of voice guidelines can be used to unify and improve the writing for a brand. They can define an appropriate tone and reflect the brand’s values. If it’s right for a brand, the ToV guidelines can even convey a distinctive personality.

Guidelines can offer general advice on business writing and advice on how to write for different audiences, different media and for different objectives. Sales letters are written differently to intranet sites. You can use ToV guidelines to encourage writers to emphasise key messages and help them structure message content in the most powerful way.

With so much potential, the danger is that you provide too much detail and cease to inspire writers. But there is also a danger that guidelines can be too topline and do not provide enough guidance.

What do ToV guidelines contain?

Most tone of voice guidelines cover the topics listed below though guides vary considerably in the detail they go into:

Introduction / ToV rationale / Inspiration

Brand values

Elevator pitch / boilerplate

Message matrix


Writing for specific media

Briefing/approving copy

Audience profiles


Other sources of help

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