Being answer first is what makes Bulb sound like Bulb

We have five writing principles. These are the foundations of Bulb's voice, or what makes Bulb sound like... well, Bulb. We aim to live up to all these principles when we write. But like a person, Bulb's tone can change depending on the context. So while we're always answer first, simple and open, we write with empathy and modify our tone depending on the situation.

Simple

Simplicity is the key to Bulb. And the key to our language. Nice simple words. Short, simple sentences. Everything clear as day. This is harder than it sounds. But it's what we're here for, so we need to make sure we live by it. Take the time to edit your writing. What can you cut? (It's amazing how much you can.) Which words could be simpler, or more straightforward?

Answer first

Start with the point. Tell someone what they need to know in the first sentence.

Concise writing

Use short to moderate length sentences and remove all excess words.

Straightforward

It's not about dumbing down, it's about communicating clearly. We explain complex things in simple terms. This emphasises our expertise. We're like David Attenborough, not like Forrest Gump. Even little things make a big difference – like saying 'to' instead of 'in order to', or 'also' instead of 'in addition to'.

Avoid jargon

Make the effort to translate technical language.

Use everyday language

Stick to common words that everyone can understand.

Use strong verbs

And avoid modifiers (like 'really' or 'regrettably').

Conversational

We speak in a normal, non- corporate voice – the voice of a friend. So we say 'you' (not 'customers') and 'we' (not 'the company'). We use contractions like 'you're' and 'we'll'. We start sentences with 'And' (gasp). And we're fun. We throw in the odd quip, or aside. (Like 'Your account balance is looking healthy. Hooray!') People should enjoy hearing from us and talking to us.

Be informal

Use personal words and contractions.

Be human

Write as a person, not a corporation.

Positive

We don't grumble about what's wrong. We just do what's right. So we wouldn't say, 'The Big Six are notoriously inefficient, which means you pay over the odds.' We'd just say: 'We keep things simple and efficient, to keep bills low for you.' People are canny enough to make their own comparisons.

Eternal optimism

Focus on the positive.

Don't punch down

And be generous when you can.

Open

We tell people the truth. And we don't try to hide things. So our language should be open and clear: no weasel words, no confusing jargon or management speak. Try to avoid having to add asterisks and footnotes. Always look to translate technical stuff into everyday language. And if we have to use a technical term, make the effort to explain it.

Use the active voice

The passive voice can mislead, stick to the active voice.

Explicit references

Make it clear who or what you're talking about.