Style guides for the 21st century (part 1): What is a style guide anyway?

A selection of style guides and related reference books.

Tools of the trade

A style guide or style sheet is a tool of the trade for professional writers and editors, and something that some of us get quite excited about. I’ve spent many happy hours compiling them (yes, I am a geek). A good example is the Oxford University style guide (for internal use but publicly available): well structured, easy to use and succinct. Read more ›

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Posted in Editing, Writing

Communicating climate change: bank holidays, spring flowers and church conversations

Lily-of-the-valley flowers in a garden.

On Friday evening, as we settled in for the bank holiday, I watched the weather forecast on BBC South Today. We could have record-breaking bank holiday temperatures, said the weather presenter – followed by the words ‘fingers crossed’. This made me angry, because I don’t think that climate change is a cause for celebration. (And neither is record-breaking heat: remember 2003?) Read more ›

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Posted in Communications

Content design again

Introductory slide from the meetup: "Content, Seriously".It’s like buses… you wait for an opportunity to find out about content design, and two come along at once.

I recently blogged about Sarah Richards’ new Content Design book. And this week I attended a meetup on the same subject. Organised by Rahel Baillie, the event featured speakers from both the public and private sectors. Read more ›

Posted in Content design

Content design: what is it and how do you do it?

contentdesignerSometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the jargon in the world of digital media. Content may still be king but there are lots of different ways of looking at it. We’ve had content strategy, we’ve had content marketing and now there’s a new kid on the block: content design. Read more ›

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Posted in Content design, Websites

How to disrupt Black Friday, and other comms tips: things I learned in November

Still from Traidcraft video: "This year, a third of all people want Black Friday to be stopped."

A still from Traidcraft’s Just Friday campaign video.

November was a big month in media, from the American election, fake news and “post-truth” politics to the annual Black Friday frenzy. There is always something you can learn from observing how different organisations approach topical issues, so here are a few things I’ve learned in the past month.

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Posted in Communications