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Building Better Cultures

Hosted by Scott McInnes, founder of Inspiring Change, we talk to guests about how really good internal comms, engagement and leadership all contribute to 'Building Better Cultures'. We tend to shy away from theory and focus more on really practical advice, great stories and best-practice.

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Oct 14, 2019

​“If you’re going to use words, you might as well use the best ones you can” ​

John Simmons, has had many roles over his career but they all had one thing in common - a deep-seated passion for the 'joy of language’, as he puts it.  Starting his career in the UK's National Economic Development office, John soon moved into the agency world. During that period he worked on many ‘visual identity projects but he always wondered if there was space too for ‘verbal identity? And so the idea of Tone of Voice was born and became a key part of the brand programmes he worked on. ​

He left the agency in 2004 to work with a range of organisations, helping them to define their tone of voice and has written a number of books on the subject.  He’s also written a number of fictional novels and is a member of the Dark Angels collective.


John's Book, Dark Angels –

Show Notes:

2.00 - A delve into John’s background – 7.40 – What is Tone of Voice? – 10.05 - TOV and internal comms – 11.00 – Tone of Voice, culture and customer experience – 12.40 – Connecting internal and external voice in WHSmith – 15.00 – Closing the gap between the spoken and written word – 18.53 – ToV is about getting the message across effectively – 19.33 – How does a company define its TOV? - 23.10 – Defining tone isn’t about stifling creativity – 24.50 – Using TOV to change the culture in AIB - 30.00 – Bringing together internal and external TOV – 35.00 – Simple steps to a better tone of voice – clarity, personal pronouns and active verbs – 39.30 – Where to go for more on TOV -