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Bringing a tone of voice to life for Civica

Civica builds software that helps improve public services around the world. Like any tech business, they struggle to keep content jargon-free and to the point. Part of a global brand refresh involved defining a tone of voice that would improve messaging and give consistency to their comms. Using a fresh set of values, we were asked to run a series of online workshops that brought the new writing guidelines to life and gave the Marketing team practical tools and tips for writing.

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The risk of producing shiny new tone of voice guidelines is that they can languish on the shelf, or on the intranet, without folk paying them much attention. Running a workshop with practical tips is the best way to turn the theory into practice. But with a pandemic on the loose, and teams in different continents, how could they scale the sessions and keep the learning interesting?

What we did

Created a bespoke session

From the initial tone of voice guidelines, we were able to add more ideas and techniques to bring the new values to life. Using examples from within the business, we were able to illustrate what that might look like in practice.

Delivered across the globe

We ran 5 workshops to over 70 people in 3 continents. For the team in Australia, the session had to be engaging for those tuning in late at night. While the UK had to make an early start to take part.

Made sure online wasn’t a barrier

Online delivery has come on in leaps and bounds. Platforms like Teams or Zoom, make it possible to deliver engaging sessions without being face-to-face. To manage attention spans we made full use of the chat function and set short sharp exercises to keep everyone engaged.

Adapted for different teams

For the HR (People and Organisational Development) team we made sure the workshop was pitched at a level that helped them see how a tone of voice would improve their writing. For a more knowledgeable marketing team, we added more insight to help them use the new values to the full.

Added a copywriting special

To help the marketing team take their copywriting to the next level, we ran an additional, cross-continent session on persuasive techniques. Using our Sharper Copywriting tips as a foundation, we showed how the Civica Brand Personality dimensions of ‘open dynamic and bright’ could be used to add a more persuasive angle to headlines, subject lines, calls to action and more.

“Expertly delivered training from Richard, excellent pace, engaging and informative. 3 hours flew by!"


Social Media & Content Specialist


“I particularly enjoyed using real examples to identify strengths and weaknesses (in writing), this was very helpful."


Communications Executive


The results

70 people in 3 continents now understand and use the new tone of voice. We’ve been asked to suggest how this could be delivered to other teams such as sales. And we’re helping Civica put the tone of voice to use online by working with them on their web content.

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