Write like a human, not a robot

Quick Insights

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There’s a (dwindling) time and place for formal writing and your marketing or fundraising communications certainly aren’t it. Many schools are behind the curve when it comes to writing with a modern tone of voice (maybe because we think we have to write textbook-perfect English). It’s time for schools to express their personality through words and start writing like humans.

Why it matters

The style of your writing influences what people think and how they act. Be uptight and austere and potential new families won’t be expecting a warm welcome (and may not turn up to find out). Write with a human touch and they’ll get friendly vibes before they’ve stepped foot through the front door.

Telltale signs your school needs a human touch:

  • you don’t use contractions, always preferring ‘you will’ to ‘you’ll’
  • you sound distant, saying ‘the School’ instead of ‘we’, or ‘parents’ instead of ‘you’
  • when you read a sentence out loud it doesn’t sound like someone speaking
  • you never start sentences with ‘And…’ or ‘But…’ (oh yes you can)
  • you use long, convoluted sentences
  • you use high-brow, old-fashioned or obscure words

Your tone of voice should, of course, adapt to context (a rejection letter shouldn’t sound like you’ve tweeted it) but, in general, adopting a more human tone is a great way to better connect with your audience.