How the Correct Tone of Voice Can Help Brand Communication During PR Crises


Clear messaging not only helps audiences understand what you mean, it signals who you are. Along with what you say, how you say it, or tone of voice, helps establish a public perception. Tone can be critical during a PR crisis.

Schwa, a U.K.-based language and behavioral science agency, has The Tone Test, a tool that analyzes tone of voice via four categories:

  • The basics: whether a company has a tone of voice, rather than a ‘woolly’ idea of one.
  • Getting others involved from the start: the more people with input into a tone of voice, the better it’ll stick.
  • Creating an internal program: run trainings, hold events, share examples of what a good tone looks like. Consistent reminders will help tone of voice stick.
  • Measuring it: whether that’s fewer complaints or more happy customers, you need to prove it works.

After users answer questions related to the above, The Tone Test provides a diagnosis: 50+ percent is good, 70 percent or more is considered excellent. Companies below 50 percent receive advice and resources for improvement.


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