I’ve been spending time with my new favorite book: The Canadian Press Stylebook.

If you’re trying to improve your employee communication writing, you’ll find this book useful—even if you’re not Canadian. (However, when it comes to editorial style, the book is uniquely Canadian. I’m still trying to figure out why, in Maple Leaf Land, “colour” is spelled with a “u” and “superior” is not.)

The book is about so much more than editorial style—it’s a guide for anyone who needs to organize, research and write content. For example, here is a random sampling of tips that apply to so much of what we write about in employee communication. I hope you find these as useful as I do:

  • “Quotations are the lifeblood of any story. They put rosiness into the check of the palest stories. They add credibility, immediacy and punch.”
  • “Business news is about companies, industry, trade, commerce, finance and the economy. But ultimately it concerns people—their jobs, mortgages, bank accounts, investments and long-term prosperity.”
  • If you’re editing a story and don’t understand it, “the reader certainly won’t. When something is unclear, either get it explained or chop it.”
  • “Generalities blur the picture; demand specifics for your readers. Make sure the story is animated by human beings.”
  • “Shorten the story—but not at the expense of human interest, significant detail, daubs or colour or meaty quotations.”
  • “Keep paragraphs short, usually no more than two or three sentences. Don’t assault the reader’s eyes with massive blocks of words.”
  • “Replace cumbersome words with short, everyday words that convey the same meaning. Not: ‘The correctional facility workers voted in favour of a prolonged work stoppage.’ Instead: ‘The jail guards voted to strike.’ ” 
Join for free to access more information
Register today to learn more