Many thought 2012 would be the year they found their “voice” in the marketplace, as it should appear in traditional print and web forms and also in their social media channels. This “voice of the company” would differ in tone and topical interest from all the voices of the individuals within it. But the voice thing kept getting put off and never resolved itself. After awhile, people who said, “we’re still finding our voice” were really just exercising their prerogative to do nothing. “Voice” is a political asset – especially to marketers – whether they have found it or not. More importantly, though, this project had no execution strategy.

You’re not going to find your company’s voice by creating a style guide. You’re going to do it by writing for actual readers that you want to influence to become customers! It’s that simple. But how do you go about it? And where do you find the time? If only “simple” weren’t so exhausting!

Finding your company voice comes from communicating – a lot. If you look back through the stuff you’ve written (whether you’ve published it or abandoned it), you’ll see what your voice is and who you’re consistently writing to reach, and whether you’re trying to inform, to educate, to entertain, to condemn, or to identify with them.

Start off 2013 by having an honest conversation (either within your team or with us) about what you can do with a company voice. What steps have you taken to cultivate yours? What were your results? Were there opportunities that you missed along the way? How will it benefit your message? Please share your comments!