Whether toiling over a white paper, an internal report, or a client-facing publication, most communications professionals reap radical rewards from using a style sheet.
A style sheet is a quick-reference document that ensures consistent and error-free work. Although generally created by editors to record a publisher and an author’s preferences on spelling, punctuation, number usage, terminology usage, and other elements of style, style sheets offer an invaluable tool for efficiently correlating corporate communications.
This is partly due to the team-written nature of corporate documents. When work is brainstormed, planned, drafted, edited, revised, and posted or published by different writers, errors and simple inconsistencies occur. Rectifying such errors is time-consuming but necessary: most readers equate consistency with polish, professionalism, and ultimately, effective branding.
However, a style sheet is not just a reflection of a single document; instead, it's an easy-to-follow template for all future writing. The style sheet can be transferred across departments so that a writer adding concluding remarks to a drafted client report need only consult the style sheet to determine whether “basis points” should be spelled out or abbreviated as plural.
With assiduous updating, a comprehensive style sheet constitutes an in-house style guide for departments.
English PhD, former arts administrator, obsessive cook, native East Coaster, mom to two rabblerousers.
English PhD, former high school teacher, obsessive organizer, native Midwesterner, mom to three troublemakers.