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Editorial Charter: The Ultimate Guide

An editorial charter serves as a vital tool and reference document for companies engaged in web content production.

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charte editoriale

What is an editorial charter for a company?

The editorial charter, an essential reference document.

An editorial charter serves as both a practical tool and a reference document for companies involved in web content production.

This document ensures consistency in the content production process by ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to the same editorial guidelines, graphic design principles, thematic coherence, and more.

In essence, an editorial charter is a crucial element of any content marketing strategy, whether in web or print format, for both internal (company journal, corporate magazine, etc.) and external communication (blog articles, white papers, infographics, social media posts, email campaigns, etc.).

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The usefulness of an editorial charter

Primarily used in inbound marketing, an editorial charter is a reference document that addresses all individuals involved, directly or indirectly, in content production on behalf of the company.

By establishing writing rules, graphic design guidelines, and communication objectives, an editorial charter provides precise instructions for web copywriters and graphic designers. Its purpose is to ensure the consistent creation of content that reflects the company’s identity, values, and meets its needs.

A charter provides a clear direction for the editorial style across all content types, while capturing the unique aspects of the brand identity, including brand personality, writing tone, production environment, and more.

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Good to know

It’s important to distinguish between an “editorial charter” and an “editorial line.” The editorial line refers to the thematic “common thread” that should characterise content production and bring coherence to the brand’s editorial strategy. It guides the selection of topics to address and also influences the writing approach – including the angle, tone, vocabulary, and style. The editorial line should therefore be integrated into your web editorial charter.

  • 33%

    the increase in revenue

    brought by a consistent brand identity.
  • 60%

    of brands

    consider it important to maintain a consistent image in order to generate leads and communicate with customers effectively.
  • 50%

    of organisations

    increase their content output every year.

What does an editorial charter bring to your company?

Why create an editorial charter?

An editorial charter is not just another document destined to gather (digital) dust; it is an essential cog in the content production process and, more broadly, in the company’s communication.

All types of content you publish, whether on your website or on third-party platforms that you don’t control (such as social media or partner sites), from simple blog articles to YouTube videos, serve your brand identity and should convey a consistent image.

This is particularly true on the Internet, given the diversity of platforms and channels used by internet users. Without a web editorial charter, you run the risk of diluting your message and spreading an inconsistent image that could undermine your objectives.

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What are the benefits of an editorial charter?

  • Achieving communication objectives

    An editorial charter helps you achieve your communication objectives in terms of content quality, targeting prospects and customers, or internal communication.

  • Enhancing brand awareness

    To gain recognition, a brand must be consistent, maintaining the same identity across all content and platforms. An editorial charter forms the foundation upon which your brand’s reputation is built.

  • Reinforcing SEO strategy

    A content marketing strategy also serves SEO objectives. Therefore, a web editorial charter should encompass all aspects of your company’s SEO strategy.

  • Ensuring content quality

    A consistent brand image promotes customer loyalty and engagement. If customers can identify with the brand, they are more likely to become brand advocates.

  • Converting leads into customers

    Brand awareness helps acquire leads. However, it is the strength of the brand identity that builds trust and turns leads into loyal customers.

  • Retaining and engaging customers

    Consistency in brand image promotes customer loyalty and engagement. When customers identify with the brand, they are likely to become brand ambassadors.

  • Establishing your brand as an expert

    A consistent brand identity also demonstrates the company’s expertise in its field, particularly when conveyed through various types of content.

  • Maintaining control of your digital reputation

    A strong brand is better equipped to maintain control of its online reputation by consistently producing content that serves its interests and addresses any negative feedback.

  • Building a brand community

    A consistent brand forms the foundation of a digital community, where the brand’s values align with the expectations of internet users. The coherence provided by an editorial charter is therefore crucial.

Good to know

The graphic design style guide is distinct from the editorial charter, although it remains an essential component. This guide establishes the rules for using the brand’s visual identity in all aspects (logo, colours, typography, etc.) and formatting different types of content. It is primarily intended for graphic designers.


How to establish an editorial charter

The importance of creating your own editorial charter

There isn’t just one “editorial charter,” but rather multiple charters, each tailored to the specific needs of the company that creates it. Therefore, there are no hard and fast rules: this reference document can be as concise as a single page or as comprehensive as several centimetres thick.

The key point when creating your web editorial charter is to ensure it encompasses all the essential elements for producing coherent content that aligns with your brand identity, including writing guidelines, graphic design principles, and editorial guidelines. The next step is to explore how to effectively implement it.

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“The consistency of a brand is the key to building trust with consumers.”
Vari Longmuir

Steps of a brand content strategy

What should be included in your web editorial charter?

Take a look at the following steps to create one.

  • STEP 1

    Briefly introduce your brand

    An editorial charter serves as both an internal document and an external communication tool. Therefore, it is crucial to provide an overview of your brand, its history, values, and highlight the editorial team including project managers, graphic designers, web writers, content managers, and more.

  • STEP 2

    Outline your editorial strategy

    Define the purpose of your content marketing strategy, including your communication objectives and the overall framework of your content production process. This includes identifying your business objectives, target audience, preferred platforms, desired traffic sources, marketing positioning, editorial calendar, and more.

  • STEP 3

    Define your editorial guidelines

    Develop the editorial guidelines that all web writers should follow when creating content. This involves determining the themes and topics to cover, the appropriate tone to use when addressing your target audience, writing rules regarding structure, format, typography, number of links, vocabulary, writing style, and language elements. You should also incorporate your SEO strategy by identifying relevant keywords to include.

  • STEP 4

    Create your visual identity

    Your graphic design principles are an essential part of the editorial charter. They ensure that your content aligns visually with your brand’s identity. This includes defining graphic elements such as your logo, colours, and typography, as well as determining the visual components such as images, illustrations, formats, dimensions, and file sizes to be used. All these visual elements should effectively reflect and convey your brand’s values.

  • STEP 5

    List your editorial formats

    Compile a list of the editorial formats you want your teams to create, distinguishing between internal communication objectives (annual reports, internal mailings, podcasts, etc.) and external communication objectives (blog articles, case studies, videos, social media posts, landing pages, catalogues, etc.). Then, establish clear writing and design guidelines for each of these formats.

  • STEP 6

    Specify your SEO strategy

    This step is essential if your production process is part of an SEO strategy. Define the keywords you want to be integrated into the content (after conducting a semantic audit), adapt the writing guidelines to meet search engine ranking criteria, and establish an internal linking strategy from the outset. This is key to developing an SEO-friendly web editorial charter.

“To be faithful to a brand, consumers need to share its values.”
Howard Schultz

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Any questions?

An editorial charter is a vital reference document in a content marketing strategy (and, more broadly, inbound marketing). It enables the company to outline its communication objectives and content production requirements. The charter serves as a reflection of the company’s editorial strategy.

An editorial charter provides clear instructions to the content production teams (web writers, graphic designers, project managers, etc.) to ensure the consistency of the brand identity and values conveyed through the created content. It encompasses editorial guidelines, graphic design principles, and writing rules, among others.

Creating a web editorial charter involves several steps: introducing the brand and editorial strategy, defining communication objectives, highlighting the editorial guidelines and graphic design standards, listing the desired editorial formats, and incorporating relevant components of the company’s SEO strategy if applicable.

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