“Dress to impress” is my mother’s mantra, and she is right. First impressions count. Except now, with the increasing role of social and digital media, our first contact with people is often virtual and frequently via the written word. How many email ‘conversations’ did you have today versus face-to-face discussions? So what we write and how we write it can make a big difference to the impression we make.

What do you want your writing style and tone say about you, your company and your brand? These are questions we are constantly asking our clients but, recently, they were questions we needed to ask ourselves when we were planning the redesign and relaunch of our website (axon-com.com).

Style is based on your choice of words, the pattern and flow of the words/sentences, dialogue, the level of detail included, and techniques such as imagery or symbolism. Tone is the attitude you use toward the subject matter and the readers. The tone can be anything you choose: from humorous or passionate to formal.

So, what style and tone did we aim for with our new website and why? We wanted the style and tone to reflect how we aspire to work with our clients and colleagues. The dialogue is therefore centred on them and what they want to achieve. The words we use are there to inform not to impress. Information is organised so that people can quickly get to what is most relevant to them. Our tone reflects the attitudes we bring to a partnership; honest, respectful collaboration, professionalism with an element of fun, scientific rigor coupled with creativity, strategic thinking plus an eye for detailed execution, and commitment, energy and passion to what we do.

Did we get it right? Well, we’ll let you be the judge of that. When you’ve decided, please get in touch and tell us what you think – you can use the feedback form on the website or go to the contact us page.

Dr Emma Kenny