Writing style

Voice and tone

Voice
Our voice is insightful, optimistic, supportive, human, and clear. Used in harmony with our look and feel, we use our voice to express our brand personality through the way we speak and write. 
All spoken and written communications should embody a combination of our five voice attributes. While you shouldn’t create new voice attributes for any medium, campaign, audience, or channel, you can adjust your tone as appropriate. 
Insightful

Citrix language should reframe the way people see the world of work, offering actionable insights to make work more purposeful, creative, and innovative. It sounds knowledgeable, curious, fresh, and surprising. Not condescending, boastful, unapproachable, or obvious. 

How to sound insightful: 

  • Tell people something new or offer a fresh take on familiar ideas.  
  • Share the Citrix perspective.  
  • Use statistics or cite research from trusted and reputable sources, when applicable.  
  • Don’t reiterate what people already know, talk down to them, or make claims we can’t back up.  

Instead of saying

Employees today expect intuitive, easy-to-use tools at work.  

Be more unexpected

A new study by Quartz and Citrix discovered that the right technology can fuel employee innovation and creativity.  

Optimistic

We guide our audiences to a brighter future of work by carefully providing the right information and resources every step of the way, tailoring support to the mindset of the moment. It sounds positive, bright, grounded, and dynamic. Not unrealistic, out of touchor excitable.  

How to sound optimistic: 

  • Lead with the positive. Spend more time on the solution, not the problem.  
  • Focus on the desired outcome, not the problem at hand.  
  • Check your tone for doom and gloom.  
  • Don’t harp on problems or take a negative tone. Encouraging new ways of doing business is more effective and inspiring than emphasizing what’s wrong.   

Instead of saying  

A bad employee experience can ruin engagement.  

Be more uplifting  

A great employee experience makes for a happier, more engaged workforce.  

Supportive

We convey a sense of quiet confidence, knowing there’s a solution for every workplace challenge. We answer every question and address every concern. It sounds caring, empathetic, confident, and encouraging. Not self-serving, bragging, or dismissive.  

How to sound supportive: 

  • Put the reader first, acknowledging their needs and offering solutions to solve their problems. 
  • Focus on what the reader is trying to accomplish.  
  • Lead with solutions, not products.  
  • Don’t make Citrix the hero. It’s not about us. Show how we help our customers, partners, and prospects achieve their goals. Avoid bragging and sounding salesy.  

Instead of saying  

The most complete and effective virtualization solution for 3D graphics apps comes from Citrix, the longtime leader in virtual apps and mobile workstyles.  

Be more helpful  

No matter how intensive your 3D graphics apps are, we can help you deliver optimal performance, even over challenging low-bandwidth, latency networks.  

Human

The way you work is as personal as your fingerprint, so we address our audiences at an emotional level, focusing on the human experience and the real outcomes of our solutions. It sounds conversational, approachable, friendly, and downtoearth. Not robotic, mechanic, or monotonous.  

How to sound human: 

  • Write like you’re having a conversation, using everyday language—the kind people can understand the first time they read it.  
  • Use words like you, your, we, our 
  • Create a natural rhythm and flow by balancing longer and shorter sentences.  
  • Don’t use jargon, buzzwords, or insider terms, or speak indirectly to your reader (in third person).  

Instead of saying  

Organizations are looking for solutions to segregate the high-risk web traffic and execution of web code away from the internal trusted network.  

Be more real  

By separating web traffic from your internal network, you can keep both your users and your most sensitive data safe.  

Clear

We don’t waste our audience’s time because we like the sound of our own voice. Our brand is about creating space, not taking it up. Less time reading, more time creating. It sounds simple, smart, and straightforward. Not abrupt, terse, boring, or rigid.  

How to sound clear: 

  • Be direct and get to the point quickly. Be careful not to bury the lede. 
  • Approach copy with a less-is-more mindset—value quality over quantity and clarity over cleverness.  
  • Avoid clichés.  
  • Use the active voice.  
  • Make it scannable. Keep paragraphs short and use subheads.  

Instead of saying  

Data is consolidated into a single dashboard providing end-to-end visibility and enabling capacity planning and proactive response to performance degradation.  

Be more direct  

See all your data in a single dashboard to spot and resolve performance issues fast.  

Tone
While our voice never changes, choosing the right tone can help you better relate to your audience depending on their state of mind and what they’re trying to do.  Here’s some guidance for adjusting your tone based on our customer journey.  
Awareness

Possible content types 

  • Brand advertising
  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Analyst reports 

Audience goal

Stay on top of trends, discover new technologies and innovations, and see how companies like ours are addressing their needs

Audience state of mind

Curious, excited, skeptical, bombarded, distracted  

Tone tips

Keep it light and inspiring. Choose bold words to capture attention and motivate. Use everyday language 

Example

The future celebrates what people can become, not just what they do

Education

Possible content types

  • Blogs
  • Use cases
  • White papers
  • Top-level Citrix.com pages
  • Blogs
  • Statistics 

Audience goal

Learn more about various solutions that can solve a specific problem.  

Audience state of mind

Seeking knowledge, determined, looking to problem-solve, driven by their own use cases, have business outcomes in mind.

Tone tips

Be helpful. Use words that convey empathy and support. Be straightforward and confident but not salesyOffer solutions to problems, but dial down the urgency. 

Example

Give employees the app and desktop experience they need to succeed—on any device, over any network

Consideration

Possible content types

  • Reports
  • Comparison tools and content
  • Use cases and customer testimonials
  • Technical specs
  • Solution briefs
  • Webinars

Audience goal

Be able to write an ROI case for their CFO and know which solutions have the capabilities to solve their problem and fit seamlessly into their organization. 

Audience state of mind

Likely comparing multiple vendors and looking more in depth at specific functionality. 

Tone tips

Use straightforward, plain language focused on benefitsBe specific. Be serious but not stiff. Avoid playful language. 

Example

Citrix Endpoint Management provides a policy framework you can use to manage devices, apps, files and network access through a single console. And with easy integrations to Okta and Azure Active Directory, you can keep your existing identity and access infrastructure, too. 

Decision

Possible content types

  • Product trials or demos
  • Customer success stories
  • Data sheets
  • Technical documentation
  • Reference architectures
  • Implementation guides

Audience goal

See the solution in action, find out if it will work in their current environment, and engage with the vendor to help answer questions. 

Audience state of mind

Ready to buy. Laser-focused on the details. Slightly anxious but looking forward to see the fruits of their labor. 

Tone tips

This is where it starts to get really technical. Be as clear and concise as possible, but don’t forget we’re still people talking to people.

Example

The Citrix SD-WAN Premium edition integrates WAN virtualization with WAN optimization capabilities. This allows you to optimize the user experience for branch and mobile users while achieving fully resilient applications, regardless of network quality. 

Adoption

Possible content types

  • Onboarding plans
  • Configuration guidance
  • Training materials
  • Support

Audience goal

Get the business and end users to see the value in their new solution and verify it’s solving their problem. 

Audience state of mind

Excited, relieved, and focused on getting up and running. 

Tone tips

For technical support, choose a friendly, helpful, and informative tone. For end user adoption, aim to excite and inspire.  

Example

Your flexible work style—delivered

When you have the freedom to choose your work style, you can do your best work—any time, anywhere, and on any device. Citrix Workspace gives you and your team members one place to access all apps and files so you can spend less time searching for what you need and more time focusing on what matters.

Informality and humor

Setting the stage for how we act and speak in informal situations is a lot like hosting a dinner party—creating an environment of warmth, comfort, and inclusiveness. As the host, you turn on the figurative lights and gently pull guests into the conversation. Loosen your tie a little (but don’t take it off!). 


Delight guests with appropriate wit, and enter side conversations after listening first. Think about what you want them to feel while they’re there and what you want them to remember after they leave. 

Informal versus casual

While we can be informal when the situation calls for it, it’s important to remember that we are not a casual brand. We’re always professional because we help organizations navigate complex challenges in a new world of hybrid work. We celebrate giving individuals and organizations the space they need to succeed so they can do their very best work. Everything we do and say should support this strategic direction.   

When we speak informally or use humor, we should sound…

  • Warm, not overfamiliar 
  • Sophisticated, not juvenile or goofy 
  • Subtle and reserved, not over-the-top or hammy
  • Clever, not snarky or condescending 
  • Witty, not cheeky  
Where is it OK to act and speak informally?

An informal tone is perhaps most predominant in social media, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be informal in other situations when appropriate. Some examples include product UI, chatbots, customer service or support calls, and certain customer and partner communications, in-person events, and sales presentations.  

Here are a few things to ask yourself if you’re unsure whether informality is appropriate: 

  • Is this the right situation? If so, how would Citrix act? What would Citrix say? Remember we are always insightful, optimistic, supportive, human, and clear. 
  • Is this the right audience? If so, will they be in the right mindset? 
  • Would it feel out of place? Kind of like showing up to a formal event in a T-shirt and flip-flops. 
  • Would it trivialize my subject matter or my audience’s challenges? 
Using humor

Our sense of humor is more of a wink than the squeak of a clown nose. It’s subtle, somewhat dry, and observational—we find moments of delight in everyday work experiences. Our commentary is optimistic with a dash of wit. We’re never sarcastic or childish.  

We use humor conservatively and judiciously, and only in informal circumstances. If you’re unsure whether humor would be appropriate for something you’re working on, send us a message, and we can talk through it with you.

Do's and don'ts
Do:
  • Stay within the realm of our brand personality. 
  • Dial up our human side.  
  • Make someone smile, not laugh out loud.  
  • Be inclusive and welcoming to create a sense of belonging. 
  • Avoid jokes, colloquialisms, and culturally specific references, like movies. Stick to common words. 
  • Remember words aren’t your only option for setting an informal tone. Illustration, music, and color choices are all factors to consider. 
  • Help your audience think about something in a new way. 
Don’t:
  • Try to be something we’re not.  
  • Use your own sense of humor as a gauge.   
  • Make it your goal to be entertaining—your goal should be to help your reader accomplish something or solve a problem. 
  • Use emojis to replace words. 
  • Use elaborate puns, wordplays, and metaphors that can distract from your point. 
  • Use humor in situations where it would feel awkward or inappropriate. 

 

Tips
  1. Simple is smart. A little goes a long way. 
  2. When in doubt, choose clarity over cleverness. If it feels forced or like only a few people would “get it,” consider a different approach.  
  3. Don’t add a joke or aside for the sake of trying to be clever. Every word should facilitate the action you want your reader to take and should aid in comprehension. If it doesn’t make it easier for your audience to understand something, it’s not the best approach. 
  4. Run your idea or content by someone. If you find yourself having to explain it to them, it’s not simple and inclusive enough. 
Examples

Today’s workforce requires secure SaaS and web access that’s zero trust. (Trust exercises at team-building events are still OK.) Citrix Secure Workspace Access gives you control over your remote work landscape. No device logs in without the network’s permission. You can trust us on that.  

Why this works: Using a familiar reference can make your audience smile without trivializing the subject matter.

Why this works: It puts a lighthearted, observational, positive spin on an everyday workplace experience.

Your single sign-on solution (SSO) should make life easier for IT and employees. But when new apps require different SSO tools from different vendors, things get kind of dicey. We don’t know about you, but we’re not the gambling type—especially at work. 

Why this works: Conversational language with subtle humor makes the technical more approachable.

Why this works: It’s clever, simple, and Twitter-appropriate. 

Twenty minutes is all it takes to learn how Citrix Workspace Essentials can help your SMB. That’s about the time it takes to check a few emails, make your lunch, schedule some meetings, load the dishwasher, or go for a walk around the block. So why not pick one of those tasks and put this mini webinar series on in the background? 

Why this works: Bringing in a slice of life can make us feel more relatable.

Why this works: It’s smart, observational, and Reddit-appropriate. 

IT pros: Time for a pop quiz. Ok, not really. You can shake off that high school flashback now. But this is still a critical assessment to measure whether your IT environment can support a growing remote workforce.  

Why this works: A moment of relief puts the reader at ease before we ask for a few minutes of their time.

Why this works: The illustration is whimsical and celebratory, and the use of contractions and natural language makes it feel human and familiar. 

Other resources

Learn how we sound in product:

Learn how we sound across our social channels:

Top 5 voice and tone tips
1. Tell people something new, helpful, and insightful. 

Always offer a fresh take on familiar ideas. There’s no need to reiterate what they already know. 

2. Take a glass-half-full approach.

Help people see what’s possible with Citrix. Don’t harp on problems or take a negative tone. 

3. Be conversational.

Use everyday language—the kind people can understand the first time they read it. That means you’ll need to scrub for jargon, buzzwords, and insider terms. 

4. Put your reader first.

Be supportive, not salesy. Lead with their need, never a product pitch. 

5. Get to the point.

Take a less-is-more mindset, and always choose clarity over cleverness.  

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