Creating Consistent & Professional Content
Lynn Pausic

Q: I work for a multinational company with a global corporate website. People from different divisions in different countries currently provide content for sections of the site. Some people are great writers, and some are not. Do you have any suggestions for improving the quality of the writing on the site?

This is why Content Style Guidelines exist. A Content Style Guide provides rules and examples for how content should be crafted and presented to users, and will ensure that your messaging is consistent and effective. A Content Style Guide might include Web writing guidelines, terminology to be used (or avoided), rules for tone and style, suggested length and formatting of text, and other items. To help those who are writing the content adhere to the guidelines, you should provide training (with good examples) and templates that make it easier to for content providers.

You should enforce the guidelines throughout your organization, through appropriate rewards for compliance (praise, bonuses, promotions, etc.) and punishments (lack of praise, bonuses, promotions, etc.). For large organizations, consider hiring a content guru to edit content for consistency and ensure compliance with guidelines.