Creating a new tone of voice for Kaltura

Kaltura logo 024c43d63c309b2bc425dfe2427c8c31 - Creating a new tone of voice for Kaltura


When a company grows fast, it’s hard for the brand to keep up. What was fresh last year sounds tired today. Kaltura, a software company specialising in video, approached me to solve this very problem. The marketing team wanted my help to define a new brand tone of voice, codify it in a set of tone of voice guidelines, then train their writers to use it properly.


This project was designed to help Kaltura 1) save time, by empowering everyone who writes on behalf of the company, and 2) make money, by communicating more consistently and effectively with customers. Creating a new tone of voice for a company with four divisions and nearly 1,000 employees could be a nightmare. Thankfully the Kaltura marketing team are great to work with. The first step was to run a tone of voice workshop for eight decision-makers, helping them define their new written personality using the 11 Primary Voices of Commercial Writing.


The mutual trust and respect made for fantastic collaboration and excellent results. These include:
  1. One tone of voice workshop
  2. Four writer training sessions
  3. The new tone of voice adopted throughout the company
  4. One comprehensive set of tone of voice guidelines covering 10 different marketing channels
Not to mention the lavish praise from the c-suite. Now our relationship continues – I’m on retainer writing regular thought leadership pieces for publication online and in trade press.

What the client said

“Olly came in to help us develop our new tone of voice, then write the guidelines to get all 900+ people using it. Throughout the six months or so of working together, Olly was efficient and easy to work with. Anyone who met him along the way commented on how useful, illuminating, and fun his sessions were. Of course, that meant they gave 100% to the process and became champions of the new tone of voice, just like we hoped. Olly’s can-do approach, flexibly, smarts and writing talent made him the perfect partner for levelling up our brand story and comms”

Nohar Zmora, VP Brand Marketing – Kaltura

Kaltura sample content

From the tone of voice guidelines

Principle #2 Clarity: we write how we speak

When we speak, our priority is to be heard and understood. So, we tend to use simple words and short sentences. When writing for business, our priorities change. We want to sound professional, so we start using longer sentences and more fancy words. But you don’t have to use long words to be taken seriously. Authority comes from clarity and explaining things clearly, using everyday language, makes you seem smarter. Even The Economist and The Wall Street Journal use mainly short words and sentences. And just like them, we keep our writing as simple and concise as possible.


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The Great House — Web Copywriting & Tone of Voice Development

The Great House logo - The Great House — Web Copywriting & Tone of Voice Development

The Great House logo d07b044839315c6255455306b0c284b3 - The Great House — Web Copywriting & Tone of Voice Development


Without, a London-based design agency, were working on a full rebrand for a luxurious hotel that had recently changed hands and had a complete makeover. Without often call me when they need a copywriter and so they did when their client, The Great House in Sonning, was in need of whizzy words. The initial tone of voice development was done, but needed it to be expanded and applied consistently across the website and several brochures.


This project had many moving parts and needed experienced hands to keep things on track. Without have that experience. What’s so nice about working with them is that they get copy — its potential and its challenges. They act as the conduit between me and client, giving clear, constructive feedback and generally making the whole process work smoothly.


The new copy conveys a sense of welcoming luxury. It gives you the feeling that you will be looked after, but also that you can relax in an unstuffy environment. The website is beautifully designed with an intuitive and user-friendly layout. The brochures pack in lots of information without being dense or dull. Overall, a great result.

The Great House sample content

Inspire Decisions

The Great House is in the village of Sonning-on-Thames, just over half an hour’s journey from London. The village was described by Jerome K. Jerome in his book Three Men in a Boat as “the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river”.

The hotel sits on the banks of the river, close to where the 18th Century Sonning Bridge joins the counties of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. You’ll find the atmosphere relaxed and the service friendly.

The hotel has recently been refurbished to a high standard. There are 49 elegant bedrooms and a customisable events space, The Great House Lodge, which is fully equipped and ideal for meetings, private dinners and celebrations

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Fabrik Brands SEO Copywriting

Fabrik logo - Fabrik Brands SEO Copywriting

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Fabrik Brands is a London-based design agency. They’ve been using their marketing expertise to help businesses succeed for more than ten years. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a major part of their own marketing strategy. They turned to me for help writing long-form SEO website copy: landing pages designed to rank organically in search engine results and drive traffic to their website. Great content, essentially, with strategically chosen keywords woven naturally throughout.


SEO copywriting isn’t magic, but I still like to wear a cloak when I’m writing copy that pushes Google’s buttons. Working with Fabrik’s co-founder, I set up an efficient briefing process that allowed numerous pages to be produced quickly. First I mined Fabrik for their unique insight. This is not as painful as it sounds. I fleshed out their insight with my own research. Then I wrote it all up in an engaging style, in keeping with Fabrik’s jaunty tone of voice.


Wow. The Fabrik Brands’ website is now ranking organically for hundreds of important long-tail keywords. Several of the landing pages have made it onto the first page of Google search results. Others are steadily climbing towards the promised land. The company is experiencing an increase in enquiries, and approaching 1,000 website hits per day. Would you like to read examples of the content I’ve written for Fabrik? Here’s a page about marketing companies in London, one about integrated marketing, and another on internal communications

Fabrik Brands sample content

Employees that work

harder, faster, better, longer.

The amazing power of

employee engagement.

Once upon a time, there was an employee. Let’s call her Julie. Julie worked at a uber-cool tech startup. The startup’s office was designed like a playground for adults. Julie came into work one day, paddled past the swim-up bar, rode her Segway over the skybridge and…handed in her notice.


Julie wasn’t engaged with her work. She enjoyed the perks, sure. But she didn’t feel an emotional commitment to the organisation and its goals.

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FitXR Tone of Voice Development and Copywriting

FXlogo - FitXR Tone of Voice Development and Copywriting

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Virtual reality (VR) hasn’t taken over the world yet. But it’s about to. FitXR is a tech startup that makes really cool fitness apps for VR headsets. You’ve heard of FinTech, right? Well this is FitTech, the new frontier. FitXR needed a copywriter to help develop their tone of voice and write copy for their new website.


Immersed in the day-to-day it’s not always easy to see the big picture and grasp how to make your business appealing to an online audience. But when you hire a copywriter you benefit from their objective opinion. I worked with the FitXR brand team to focus on the reader and craft copy that serves two audiences: gamers, who make up the bulk of customers right now, and, let’s call them people who shop at John Lewis, who FitXR want to reach in the future.


The new website looks and reads beautifully. The FitXR team are much more confident about how they should write online. The company is growing fast. I’m happy to have played a small part in that. And watch out — VR really is coming.

What the client said: >

FitXR sample content

Perform at Your Best

BoxVR is a boxing-inspired app featuring vibrant graphics and uplifting music. Every aspect of the app is designed to help you focus completely and perform at your best.

Whatever your fitness level, you can put on a VR headset and immerse yourself in BoxVR’s high-intensity routines, choreographed by professional instructors. Jab, weave, and uppercut your way through the levels in time to pumping tracks. Upload your own music and instantly create a tailored boxing workout.

By playing BoxVR regularly you can increase your energy levels, build strength, lose weight, and improve your overall health.

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Emma Shoesmith, Head of Brand — FitXR

I contacted Olly for help making our business stand out online. We had a strong look and some clear brand values but we were lacking a consistent tone of voice. Olly understood what were trying to achieve straightaway. He wrote awesome website copy that does exactly what we asked — sell, but not too hard, and be direct, yet friendly and informative.

Olly’s feedback was great and he’s full of ideas. He saw things from a different angle, which enabled us to step out of our company bubble and look at the big picture. I look forward to working with Olly again and hopefully attending one of his copywriting workshops.


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The Bear Kitchen – Web, Flyer and Poster Copywriting

Bear logo - The Bear Kitchen - Web, Flyer and Poster Copywriting

Bear logo 1828f33795b48d778473863e0eb3767a - The Bear Kitchen - Web, Flyer and Poster Copywriting


Food is a subject that’s very close to my heart. Or should that be stomach? Either way, I was thrilled to be contacted by The Bear Kitchen: an ambitious young company that wants to change the world by changing the way we eat. Co-founder Jens called me in need of web copy, as well as copy for a flyer and a poster.


My challenge was to turn Jens’ vast knowledge and undeniable passion into effective web copy. You have only limited time to convert a visitor to your website. You can’t say everything so you have to make tough choices about what goes in and what’s left out. The Bear Kitchen vision is huge—to reduce the risk of ecological meltdown by encouraging the rich world to eat less meat—but their requirements at the time were simple. Jens needed a tone of voice that would convey enthusiasm but also the seriousness of what they are trying to achieve.


The website did its job and the supper clubs were sell-out affairs. I went to one myself and deeply enjoyable it was too. The web copy concisely communicates what they’re all about. Making the bear female was a nice touch. Just a tiny way of sticking it to the patriarchy.

Bear Kitchen sample content

Eat Your Way to a Better World

You have the power to change the world. How? By choosing to eat better food. We founded The Bear Kitchen to help you do just that. Our supper clubs and event catering service bring together food lovers who care about what they eat, and the planet it comes from.

This is not about diets, deprivation or turning foods into enemies. Food is joy. But we fully respect individual choices. Vegetarians, vegans, omnivores: all are welcome at The Bear Kitchen. We want to unite people around the pleasure of eating well.

Our philosophy is simple: eat like a bear. Our furry friend has no concept of local or seasonal ingredients, but she eats nothing else. She munches mostly plants, and treats herself occasionally to good quality fish and meat. Oh, and she’s never heard of a factory farm. She’d feel right at home with our menus. And so, we hope, will you.

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The Flower Appreciation Society

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The Flower Appreciation Society has been making flowers lovers happy for almost a decade. They are pioneers of the fresh, wild style that has helped drag floristry from its formality-dogged stupor. When they needed a new website they called me to write the lot.


The floristry market is super competitive, especially in London. The challenge was to help The Flower Appreciation Society stand out, communicate their passion and expertise, and highlight the fantastic brands they’ve worked with. All done with engaging copy as warm as the personalities of the founders, Anna and Ellie. No problem.


The new website is receiving more traffic, bookings of The Flower Appreciation Society’s renowned floristy workshops have increased significantly and the site is now ranked third on Google, organically, for one of the company’s most important long tail keywords.

What the client said: >

The Flower Appreciation Society sample content

Our Story

When we met, pulling pints in a Hackney pub, we never dreamt we’d get this far. We started by creating flower arrangements for the Scolt Head in De Beauvoir. Now, nearly ten years later, we spend our days making couples happy and working with brilliant brands. It’s been quite a journey – we love what we do.

We were united by ‘visual thinking’ and a shared love of flowers. Our backgrounds in illustration (Anna) and textile design (Ellie) complement each other and inform our wild, natural style.

Today, our small but thriving team creates flowery magic at our studio in Hackney, East London. Come and say hello.
Our Garden

To really understand flowers we knew we had to grow our own, and now we do. We transformed a disused backyard in Hackney into an urban oasis. In spring and summer – when the sun shines and bees buzz around the cosmos, dahlias, snap dragons and poppies – there’s no place we’d rather be.

Our admiration for flowers deepened while we nurtured them from seed to maturity. It’s honed our eye for detail too. We love bendy stems, frilly petals and trailing vines; untamed touches that add character and intrigue to our arrangements.

Screenshots from The Flower Appreciation Society website

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Ellie Jauncey, Director and Co-founder – The Flower Appreciation Society

Our website needed a complete overhaul, to transform it from a site that looked pretty to one that worked hard to boost our brand. Our objectives were to attract more affluent clientele, stand out in a saturated market and sell our floristry workshops online. It was important to communicate our expertise and the bespoke service we offer.

Olly helped us do this with his clear, straightforward language, emphasising our passion and experience. The website content had to sound conversational and personable, as well as high-end and professional. Olly captured this tone of voice perfectly. His copy sells us without feeling like it’s selling.

We’d recommend Olly to any business needing copywriting services. He was very thorough in the initial briefing sessions, and understood our brand and what we were trying to achieve quickly. He encouraged us to be brave and use language which spoke to the customer, rather than looking inwards.

Before we worked with Olly, we didn’t realise the value of professional copywriting. But the difference is clear. We’re thrilled with our new website. The copy makes it shine.


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Adidas Copywriting

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U-Dox, a creative agency, asked me to write a brand manifesto for a new Adidas training shoe – the ZX Flux ADV.


This project was about connecting the humble training shoe to something bigger – making a link to today’s fast-paced world and demonstrating how the shoe is an opportunity for self expression.

Sample copy


Flux is about movement – the condition of the modern world. Information flows at light speed. Ideas are created and changed constantly. People are more connected than ever before. Tomorrow offers infinite possibilities. Waiting will leave you two steps behind. So why wait?

ZX Flux embraces this world. It says:

“Focus on your goals. Don’t just join the movement, start one.”

The ZX Flux allows unlimited choice for self expression within an iconic form. Clean, understated and extraordinarily versatile. The classic rebooted for the 21st Century. A powerful combination of innovation and design.The ZX Flux ADV builds on this pedigree: a cutting edge declaration of originality.

The Flux consumer is shaping the world we live in. They are the heartbeat of our cities: creative, adventurous, ambitious. Leading by example and influencing their peers. Passionate about music, sport and style.

Flux ADV represents for this energetic generation: the two-screeners, the cord-cutters, the ad-skippers.

Flux embodies a positive attitude. There is no end to what you can achieve. You don’t need permission. Take control and make the most of infinite possibilities.

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Udox logo 1 - U-DOX
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U-Dox is a creative agency that creates cutting-edge campaigns for brands. They needed a new mission statement for their redesigned website.


Working with the guys at U-Dox, I helped to focus on their strongest USP and put it into words, namely their understanding of, and access to, underground youth movements.

Sample Content

U Dox screenshot - U-DOX


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JA Films Website Copywriting

Ja Films 300x300 1 - JA Films Website Copywriting

Ja Films 300x300 1 1fabd565209072600089ca8b37affa1c - JA Films Website Copywriting


I was hired to write the copy for this award-winning production company’s new website. JA Films specialises in music films, as well as feature documentaries and TV shows.


The challenge was to appeal to music industry decision makers and artists with copy that matched the panache of JA Films’ productions.

What the client said: >

Sample copy

There are not many places the Rolling Stones haven’t played. Until 25th March 2016, Cuba was one of them. On a hot night in Havana, half a million Cubans watched the legendary group become the biggest foreign rock band ever to play on their soil. Havana Moon captures the highly charged atmosphere of this extraordinary concert.

The Rolling Stones rocked the Cuban capital only five days after the first visit by a US President in over 80 years. Both events heralded the start of a new era for the country. In his speech to the world’s media, Barack Obama evens pays tribute to the band. The combination of hope plus rock and roll is an intoxicating one and the film, shot in 4K, captures the vigorous energy and excitement of the crowd.

As one concert goer remarked, “This is a moment I have been dreaming about. I have just witnessed the most important concert in Cuba in a long time.”

Havana Moon was premiered at a one night exclusive cinema event on 23rd September 2016 at more than 1,000 screens across Australia, Europe, Japan, Latin America and Russia.

Ja Films - JA Films Website Copywriting


Julie Jakobek, Managing Director – JA Films

While rebranding the company and designing a new website we were struggling to see the wood for the trees; our existing content was too wordy and longwinded. Olly distilled our ideas into concise, effective copy resulting in a clearer, more engaging website. His patient and personal approach helped us improve the way we communicate JA Films’ strengths, including our unique experience and roster of talent.


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