Tone of Voice

Welcome to the Royal Mail brand training centre. This course will give you an overview of our new Tone of Voice, part of the new Royal Mail brand guidelines.

An important expression of who we are and what we stand for, our tone of voice defines how we write and speak to make sure our values shine through.

Understanding our Tone of Voice

Because our voice represents who we are and what we stand for, it’s shaped by our brand values, so we’re ‘positive’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘part of it’.

It’s important to remember that in an organisation as large as ours, sometimes we’ll need to talk in a more informative way, and sometimes we can be quite inspiring. So our new tone of voice allows for that flex.

Let’s look a little deeper into what those words mean to us. 

Be positive

It’s about making our audience feel assured. So use optimistic, forward-looking language, focus on benefits and keep to the active voice. 

Be brilliant

We write like the professionals we are. Make your writing interesting, don’t just settle for the obvious thought. Use appealing facts and where appropriate, have a point of view – the middle ground rarely inspires. 

Be part of it

Make your writing personal to your readers and show that you see things their way. Use words your audience is comfortable with – we’re professional without getting too official or casual. 

 

Flexing our voice

As a large, diverse organisation, our voice needs the flexibility to suit different situations.

The Straight to Great spectrum enables us to flex our voice to suit the task in hand.

Straight is about telling

 

Great is about inspiring

  • Explain, inform or notify your readers.
  • Straight isn't dull or flat-footed, but keep a tight rein on adjectives, punning and the like.
  • Tell it like it is but always keep the warmth.
 
  • Attract, capture or convince your readers.
  • Use figures of speech where fitting.
  • Dial up the aspiration and really speak to people's emotions.
     

 

Untitled drag and drop text question

Sort these words in to 'on brand' and 'off brand'

  • Warm
  • Inclusive
  • Supportive
  • Responsive
  • Human
  • Overfamiliar
  • Pushy
  • Superior
  • Bureaucratic
  • Slangy

What does 'brilliant' sound like? Compare these two headlines and select the one which you believe is 'on brand'.

  • ‘We register 30,000 changes of address each month, so we know it’s a challenge to keep in touch with customers.’
  • ‘With thousands of people moving home every month, keeping track of your customers can be a real nightmare!’

Have a go at completing the following message from the 'Great' end of the spectrum

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which bit is right?

Untitled scenario question