BMJ UK BMJ Americas BMJ Brazil BMJ China BMJ India

A tone of voice is the personality of a brand. 

It complements the company’s visual identity and helps to define and bring its brand values to life. A tone of voice needs to be consistent to be recognisable. 





Tone of voice 

Confident is about using positive and upbeat language that reflects our can-do attitude.

We believe in ourselves as pioneering experts within our profession. Evidence matters to us so we back up our claims with data and use plain English to communicate. 

Empowering is about drawing your reader into the conversation to invite action.  We’re here to motivate, support and enable, so the words we choose to use are clear and accessible for everyone.

Succinct is about speaking briefly, directly and clearly. We know our users and customers are busy so we tell them what they need to know within the first two sentences.

Trustworthy is about writing honest, authentic and credible information. We know who we are writing for and meet our audience’ specific needs with thoughtful, relevant information that is correct in every detail.






Write powerfully 


Please follow the company tone of voice principles in this video and on the next page to make all company content, on any platform,  more accessible, succinct and direct for our audiences.


Please contact BMJ Communications Manager,  Ingrid Bray for more information or guidance.





Our brand personality defined 

Be direct: use ‘you’: using collaborative language – ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘you’ – invites your readers to join in the conversation. 

Remove the doubt: avoid words like ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘would’, ‘might’, ’committed to’
and ‘aim to’. Instead, use ‘can’ and ‘will.’

Be specific and use facts: rather than just making claims, use facts, figures,
quotes or mini-stories. 

Highlight the benefits, not the features of a product. Talk about what we can give users and customers.

Ask questions: this works well for introductory sentences

Use actionable verbs: focus on what a reader can do or learn and use verbs to illustrate this. 

Include a call to action: we often write in the hope that they’ll prompt
the reader to do something. 

Be direct: get straight to the point – aim to tell them what they need to know
within the first two sentences. 

Cut it back and keep your flow of ideas clear.
Present no more than one or two ideas in each paragraph. Use lists and bullet points.

Read your finished piece out loud. Gasping for air is a sure sign your sentences are too long.

Write as you speak using plain English: it will come across as more
welcoming and accessible.

Avoid clichés: We all have conventions for using ‘high quality’, ‘solutions’,
‘comprehensive’, ‘unique’, etc. More accessible words are ‘highest ranked’,
‘most cited’, ‘useful’, ‘detailed’, ‘influential’. 

Emphasise impressive facts – make statistics stand out with our primary colour
blue or in bold

Ingrid Bray
Corporate Communications and Brand Manager