Working according to a style guide can save both you and your client time and money. When I worked as a writer in the corporate world, each company had their own style guide.
The style guide listed the writing rules that a particular company wanted followed. More than that, it saved time and money by reducing rework.
In this post, I list five times when a style guide is important.
As most editors will tell you, many companies have preferences for their published material that go behind the simple rules of spelling and grammar. A company style guide lists those preferences.
If you’re a freelance writer or editor, working from a company style guide can be important when:
- Consistent usage is important. Anyone who knows the English language knows that there is more than one way of saying the same thing. If consistency is important, a style guide is in order.
- A lot of time is being spent in rewrites. If the client is constantly rewording materials, then the client and freelancer can get on the same page by adopting a style guide.
- There is a large team of writers with varying styles. If there is a large team of writers working on a project with varying styles, a style guide can help reduce questions.
- There are legal issues that need to be addressed. If a company has particular legal concerns (for example, about how the company name is used), a style guide can address this as well.
- The material needs to look like it came from one source. A style guide is particularly helpful if a long document, such as a book, is being written by multiple authors.
Of course, some types of writing (such as blogging, editorials, or social media participation) where a style guide may not make a lot of sense.
Do you generally work with a style guide? Share your thoughts.