Producing a good editorial style guide aims to ensure that your discursive identity is under control. What are the main principles?
The editorial style guide covers all the elements that promote the coherence of the editorial heritage and preserve your discursive identity.
Editorial charter, editorial line, reading contract, positioning matrix, lexical repository … There is no shortage of “tools” to keep control over brand content and ensure the ROI of our content marketing actions. But it’s not just the tools that matter: the project stakeholders count for a lot in its success. explanations
Without a guide, an editorial style guide is useless
Our experience shows that without a designated pilot, without communication about the project, the editorial style guide, the design of which requires a sometimes significant investment, often risks not being used for its fair value, not to say ignored.
In other words, setting up an editorial style guide supposes that there is a project manager, competent to detect and interpret the strengths and weaknesses of the editorial chain present, propose improvements and formalize rules of conduct in order to streamline the said chain and maximize its efficiency.
The mission is daunting for this project manager, since he will have to put in place a useful, attractive, lasting editorial style guide. He must indeed ensure that the tool is accessible, practical and efficient with end users: communicators, product managers, marketing managers, etc.
Editorial style guide to be worn by management
If the end users of the editorial style guide are the “communications and marketing operatives”, they are not the only ones affected by the reading contract. Indeed, an editorial style guide touches on the brand’s identity, its speech, its notoriety. It must therefore have the support of management.
This support must be provided at several levels:
- the bodies: management must form a working group and specify the responsibilities, rights and duties of its members.
- the means: in addition to the cost of producing such a guide, the necessary gratification should not be underestimated towards the project actors, end users included since they will contribute to the governance of the brand’s discursive identity, and are therefore assigned an additional responsibility, which they guarantee through additional competence. Therefore, media coverage of the tool and training in its use and maintenance must also be taken into account.
- the content: project participants must be documented and guided at each phase: analysis, planning, design, measurement. They must have access to an on-going support and training service in the use of the tool, which itself is destined to evolve permanently.
Editorial style guide assumes discursive strategy
The discursive strategy ensures that the style guide retains flexibility in managing discursive identity. That it provides some leeway in the application of the formalized reading contract.
The discursive strategy aims above all to keep control over the reading contracts that this charter materializes set up through the editorial style guide. In fact, isn’t the stake, ultimately, to preserve the legitimacy of the brand in the content it produces, to protect its “right to speak” by ensuring, at all times that what she says is trustworthy and inspiring.
And you what do you think? What is your experience in setting up an editorial style guide?