Copywriting

Let’s get poetic

Copywriting

Our style

As an expression of our brand, our copy should express our brand attributes. We aspire to be:

Dependable

Our communications should create value, provide expertise, and offer support.

Passionate

We are our customers' biggest fans and most dedicated coaches. That does not mean you need to end every sentence with an exclamation point. In fact, please don’t.

Productive

We want to help builders do their thing, fast. And so, let’s get to the point quickly. Less is more. Writing should be clear and helpful.

Honest

We don’t need fancy language to tell a good story. Our tone is factual and deliberate.


Grammar and mechanics

We generally follow AP Style, with the noted exception that we do use the Oxford comma.

Capitalization

Use sentence case everywhere. Yes, even in headlines.

Exceptions:

Titles (e.g., product manager vs. Product Manager)

Titles are only capitalized when they immediately precede the person’s name. Title structure should be written as follows:

Jess Vavra, senior director of design at Pendo, says, “...

Senior Director of Design, Jess Vavra, says, “...

Acronyms

Some acronyms are so commonplace that your audience will immediately understand them (e.g., CRM). Others may be either esoteric, specialized, or unfamiliar to the particular audience you’re writing for at the moment. In these instances, spell out the term in the first use, and set the acronym apart in parenthesis. Then use the acronym in subsequent uses. For example, “Growth marketers have taken the commonplace MQL concept and applied it to the product itself, creating a Product Qualified Lead (PQL). The premise of the PQL …”

Pendo product names

Capitalize the names of Pendo’s product families and products (Engage, Adopt, In-app guides, Analytics, Feedback, Roadmapping, Mobile), but use lowercase when referring to the value delivered, “Pendo's product suite provides product managers with comprehensive analytics to inform data-driven decisions.”

Capitalize product names, but keep features lowercase.

Contractions

It’s ok to use them. They introduce a friendly, less formal tone to our writing.

Times, dates, and numbers:

Numbers

  • One through ten, write out the word.
  • 11+ use the numerals.
  • We use K to designate thousands and M to indicate millions.

Times

HH:MM

Morning, evening

a.m. and p.m.

Date in headers

  • MM/DD/YY (e.g., 01/11/20) in US
  • DD/MM/YY (e.g., 11/01/20) in Europe

Dates in body

Month ## (e.g., November 14)

Time zones

ET / CT / MT / PT

Punctuation:

Ellipsis (...)

An ellipsis is considered a word, thus it requires a space on either side.

Hyphen

Use a hyphen to link all words in a compound adjective, for example, “The product-led movement has accelerated since Pendo began writing about it.”

Semicolon (;)

If you’re reading this for writing guidance, please don’t use the semicolon; if you’re reading this as an editor, you probably can (but sparingly).

Colon (:)

Use it to introduce a list. But sparingly.

Oxford comma

Use it when introducing a list of things.

Exclamation point (!)

Avoid using it.

& and related symbols

In design, these symbols may be used. In editorial, use the word itself.

Quotes

End marks (periods, question marks) go inside the quotation marks.

Spacing

One space after a period. One space after a colon. One space after an exclamation point, but remember that we don’t use exclamation points.

Pendo as a possessive

We may use Pendo as a possessive (“Pendo’s new product …”), but do so sparingly.

Passive voice

Writing in the passive voice is opaque and conveys a lack of confidence. In other words, use active voice.


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