Why do corporate communications executives sometimes ignore their companies’ editorial style guides?
Why would they NOT use a company road map for consistent branding? It’s beyond me, but it happens. And it saddens me as a corporate content editor and proofreader that higher ups will let style mistakes live in their business copy.
Style guides exist to keep a company’s brand consistent. Without consistency, there’s no consumer trust. Without trust, consumers don’t consume, and businesses don’t last.
Make time for correct style
Style guides help execs and their companies look good. Don’t these execs want their companies to look good?
My guess is that the execs who ignore company style guides do not have style-guide-following backgrounds, like journalism, and they either don’t know how important following style guides are or that they kind of know but don’t want to admit how important style guides are because they are busy and trying to meet a deadline.
Make it a companywide mission
Executives, you need to focus on accuracy and consistency first. Make sure your corporate writers and editors are following your company style guides and let them do their jobs. When the copy is pushed up to your office for approval, check it against company style guides or make sure that your editors have done that.
Most of all, stop going against your company style guide. Follow the rules. Be consistent. You, even as an executive, are not too cool for your company style guide. Business communications pieces need to be consistent. And that’s why style guides were created.
Consistency is calming. It’s reassuring and builds confidence. It means you can count on someone or something – even a company. In this case, following your company style guide means your company, customers and employees can count on you.