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International Partnerships

Tone of voice

We are working to change the world for the better. That means our tone of voice is decisive, communicates positive progress and inspires action for what we need to do next.

Our knowledge and expertise go into creating better lives for everyone. We focus on simple, clear and understandable communication. We emphasise positive expressions of the European Union’s mission, values and work. By being outcome-focused, we demonstrate the EU’s role in achieving life- and world-changing results.

Our commitment to universal values is one of our defining characteristics. Showcase our principles through values-led statements when drafting copy. The explanation and call to action should follow.

Communication should be professional but human
© European Union

Our principles

  • Professional yet human: Being an expert does not mean using difficult language. If your audience understands you better, they will feel more involved and a relationship can be built.
  • Complete yet concise: Identify one clear main message and keep that at the centre of your communication. By doing so, your audience will remember it better and act accordingly.
  • Sincere yet positive: You are often talking about human struggles and global challenges, but keep a positive mindset because that is what keeps people going in difficult situations. Try to be hopeful about progress and the way forward, but equally be realistic and don’t ‘sugarcoat’ the situation. Above all, be truthful and transparent about the EU’s progress and intentions.

Characteristics: Human, inclusive, inspirational, ambitious, bold, expert, trustworthy.

Writing for social media

Social media consumers are overloaded with content vying for their attention. Getting your point across and inspiring action means creating content that cuts through the noise.

Use language that includes the reader directly; speak to them one-on-one so they feel included in the actions we’re taking. Social media is all about two-way communication, so use it as such to engage the selected audience. Craft content and copy to inspire action and engagement.

Top tips

Know your audience: If you try to talk to everyone, you will end up reaching no one. Knowing which audience you are targeting, with which message, and on which platform, is vital to ensure you achieve what you set out to.

Know your channel: Each channel is different. Tailor your content to the specific channel you are posting it on to ensure it capitalises on the distinct features and styles of each.

Be professional yet human: Use language that includes the reader directly, speak to them one-on-one so they feel included in the actions the EU is taking.

Complete yet concise: Give the audience just enough information to make them want to read the rest of the post, watch the video or see the info behind the link. Consider the image as part of your message - don’t try to say everything with words.

Sincere yet positive: Be sincere about the situations we’re dealing with but try to be hopeful about the progress and way forward.