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.
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?
Start with the point. Tell someone what they need to know in the first sentence.
Use short to moderate length sentences and remove all excess words.
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'.
Make the effort to translate technical language.
Stick to common words that everyone can understand.
And avoid modifiers (like 'really' or 'regrettably').
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.
Use personal words and contractions.
Write as a person, not a corporation.
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.
Focus on the positive.
And be generous when you can.
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.
The passive voice can mislead, stick to the active voice.
Make it clear who or what you're talking about.