Writing for the Web and Your Brand

A hand writing on a piece of paper, a laptop, a smartphone, notes, a cup of coffee on a blue background. Top view of the workplace.

No matter what form your web writing guidelines take, they should provide clear examples for both writing for the web and supporting key brand messages. Not all content editors have experience with both of these writing styles and need clear and practice guidance to be successful.

Web writing guides should:

  • provide clear examples for the various needs and goals of your users
  • showcase formatting best practices for online reading and mobile device use
  • identify and outline the voice, tone, and writing style of your organization
  • overview SEO basics with examples related to your website content
  • outline the process for selecting and preparing photos and other media
  • present a detailed QA checklist users should follow before publishing content

You might be thinking, “My organization already has a brand style guide.” Brand style guides often outline key messages without including examples of how they can actually be used on your website or within other communications materials.

To differentiate yourself from other organizations, it’s important to do more than just repeat words or phrases from the key messages. Tying them to concrete examples, proof points, actions, and stories of people and products or services bring your messages to life. Providing specific examples for messages on the web or other digital media ensures your audiences experience your brand consistently and appropriate to your channels.

This excerpt from Emory University School of Medicine’s Brand Messaging Guide shows how one of their key brand messages can be translated into practical content that supports the big idea.

Discovery / Creativity

For us, innovation means new thinking to solve the unknown. We encourage novel ideas and concepts. We welcome the unfamiliar because it challenges us to think differently. We believe we have the power to be agents of change, improving healthcare at both the macro and micro levels. We welcome alternative viewpoints. We value creative thinking in all its forms. Breakthrough treatments that will better humanity demand us to think and act differently and explore the unexplored. 

When you write, talk about examples of…

  • Ways you’re re-imagining the patient experience
  • New technology initiatives like Visual Medical Education, VR simulations
  • Equipment and software that integrates new technology into practical training

using things like…

  • List of patents and new businesses generated from discoveries made at Emory
  • Profile stories on faculty as the leading thinkers in their respective specialties/fields

We followed a similar pattern for Emory SOM’s other key brand messages:

  • Challenging Conventions
  • Deep experience / Preparedness
  • Supportiveness / Sharing knowledge
  • Intimacy / Individuality

If you’d like a copy of NewCity’s Web Writing Guide and Emory School of Medicine’s Brand Messaging Guide, email us at

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