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Verbal

How to speak or write about Estonia, in a uniform manner.

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Principles

Principles

How we talk about Estonia is very important. Find a few pointers below.

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Friendly

Friendly

Write like you’d write to a friend – be direct, yet polite. Don’t fawn, flatter or apologise and stop comparing yourself to others. Stop using words like could, should, would. Because we’re confident with a “me too” attitude.

 

yes

“Estonia is a place for independent minds. A country that extends beyond its borders. Here, bright ideas meet a can-do attitude.”

 

no

“Estonia is small. Yet our people and their innovative thinking continue to inspire much bigger countries than ourselves. If interested in bright ideas and getting things done with limited resources, Estonia could be worth a closer look.”

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Contrasting/Unique

Contrasting/Unique

Focus on uniquenesses and stop putting out information about things that aren’t defining of the environment you’re describing. Step into your audience’s shoes, asking: “So what?”

 

yes

“Estonia is the world’s first country to also function as a digital service. Register a company online, digitally sign and exchange encrypted documents, conduct secure online bank transfers, and make tax declarations electronically.”

 

no

“Within a short period of time Estonians have managed to create a digital society offering a broad variety of services. We have different web-based solutions from healthcare to business which all are widely used, saving time and money.”

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Content-rich

Content-rich

Is there something educational to the reader you’re saying? Avoid excess adjectives, don’t be voluble and generic.

 

yes

“¾ of Estonia is forests and bogs, 22% of the land is a nature reserve.”

 

no

“Estonia is known for its beautiful nature – our organic forests, magical bogs, fascinating nature reserves and other picturesque sites.”

 

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Down to earth

Down to earth

There are a lot of great things we could talk about. So, don’t glorify or hide what isn’t necessarily perfect. We always have a plan how to improve things, so see the opportunity in negative. Like, instead of saying it’s often rainy, teach people how to pick mushrooms.

Also, only use the word “small” in a positive context.

 

yes

“Estonia is a country on a human scale. This means everything happens fast, nothing is physically far away, and population density is just 30,3 people per km2.”

 

no

“Estonia is a small country with the total area of 45,339 km2 and the population of just 1.3 million inhabitants.”

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Tools

Tools

We have developed a few verbal tools to help you add a unique flare to your communication. But keep in mind to only choose one verbal tool at a time and be persistent in doing it. Consistency is the key element in great communication.

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“e”

“e”

As in Estonia, eco, efficient, egalitarian, empowering, e-residency, e-society, expanding etc. As our .ee web domain and e-Estonia.

We use positive e-words in headlines, slogans and pullouts. We play with the rhythm of e-words and use letter ‘e’ as a design element.

Effect

Connecting the positive and progressive e-words with Estonia, making them synonymous with us.

Here is a small selection of e-words:

embrace, enjoy, enter, experience, explore, extend, efficient, egalitarian, empowering, enchanting, encouraging, exciting, expanding, exquisite

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“est”

“est”

EST is one of our ISO-certified country abbreviations (the other being EE). It can be found as a syllable in various languages, e.g. the english superlative form.

Peter Kentie’s campaign concept has been well received and widely used in Estonia. We use the est-concept in headlines, highlighting ‘est’ with bold, colour, underline etc. We’re witty using it, finding new words besides the obvious superlatives.

Effect

‘est’ (way of thinking) can be found anywhere and making people think of Estonia when they see a superlative.

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Estonia – using our name

Estonia – using our name

Use the word “Estonia” as often as possible to create awareness and recognition. Use it instead of a logo or a wordmark, just to highlight this wonderful country.

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Lowercase, upper case, sentence case

Lowercase, upper case, sentence case

  • as in our flat land and horizontal society
  • as in a state of being in between, neither the beginning nor the end
  • as in constant movement.

Lowercase can be used in headlines with the exception of names. Keep the text short and sharp.

Effect

friendly, neutral tone of voice, clear and smart thoughts.

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Application

Application

Consistency is the key in all aspects. Make sure that when you pick a verbal tool or follow the tone of voice guidelines, you’re doing it throughout the text.

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