We write compelling content by being aware of our voice and our tone. This section explains the difference between voice and tone and lays out the elements of each as they apply to 365.
What’s the difference between voice and tone? Think of it this way: You have the same voice all the time, but your tone changes. You might use one tone when you're out to dinner with your closest friends, and a different tone when you're in a meeting with your boss.
Your tone also changes depending on the emotional state of the person you’re addressing. You wouldn’t want to use the same tone of voice with someone who’s scared or upset as you would with someone who’s laughing.
The same is true for 365. Our voice doesn’t change much from day to day, but our tone changes all the time.
We know that self-service technologies are the future of retail and will grow exponentially based on consumer’s and society’s changing needs. That’s why we speak as an experienced and compassionate business partner who understands their growing pains and innovation.
- We educate people and share how 365 can help without being dry, confusing, overcomplicated, and too detailed for them.
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- 365 is approachable, genuine, and inclusive.
- We prefer direct, black/white statements over sentences full of fluff and dramatics.
Whether people are new to unattended retail or have been our partner for years, every word we write informs and encourages. We impact our expertise with clarity, empathy, and a little bit of wit.
365’s tone varies based on the situation. We let empathy inform our tone.
We’re always clear more than entertaining. When you’re writing, consider the reader’s state of mind. Are they relieved to be a 365 partner? Are they confused and seeking help on food products instead of technology? Once you have an idea of their needs, you can adjust your tone accordingly.
365 has a sense of humor, so feel free to be funny when it’s appropriate and when it comes naturally. But don’t go out of your way to make a joke— forced humor can be worse than none at all. If you’re unsure, keep a straight face.
Our tone is friendly and positive. The way we speak encourages people to tell us more, and it invites people to get to know us. Because of this, we take a conversational tone with our writing: no big, dictionary words, just everyday talk that is easy to understand.
Here are a few key elements of writing in 365’s voice.
Active voice — Use active voice. Avoid passive voice.
In active voice, the subject of the sentence does the action. In passive voice, the subject of the sentence has the action done to it.
- Yes: Bob logged into the account.
- No: The account was logged into by Bob.
Words like “was” and “by” may indicate that you’re writing in passive voice. Scan for these words and rework sentences where they appear.
One exception is when you want to specifically emphasize the action over the subject. In some cases, this is fine.
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Write positively — Use positive language rather than negative language.
One way to detect negative language is to look for words like “can’t,” “don’t,” etc. and reframe it with “can”, “do”, etc.