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ASEF Writing Style Guide

ASEF WrIting Style Guide

This section of ASEF’s Brand Manual gives you an overview of ASEF’s writing style including messaging, formatting and syntax.

  • Always use the full name including the acronym, “Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)”, wherever possible (in texts, publications, in agreements & ToRs, under the signatory’s names, on forms, etc.). Exceptions: (1) Once the full name is introduced in a text, the acronym “ASEF” can be used thereafter; (2) No space available.
  • In a running text, please mention the full name with the acronym (e.g. ’Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)’ in the first instance and then use the acronym (‘ASEF’) in subsequent paragraphs. This is only for reports, concept papers, and publications, letters, agreements, ToRs, etc. It does not apply to contents page or programmes when in each mention of ASEF ‘Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)’ is to be used.
  • It is “the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)”, but only “ASEF” (without article; not “the ASEF”); it is “the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)”, but only “ASEM” (without article; not “the ASEM”).
  • Remember to always use a hyphen between Asia and Europe when writing ’Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)’ or ‘Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)’ (but not in the exceptional case of the ‘Asia Europe Economic Forum (AEEF)’).
  • Always write out ‘Board of Governors’ or ‘Board of Governors’ Meeting’ (not ‘BoG’) in official external documents.
  • In all ASEF documents, the following order is to be used: Project name (title) / event, date (DD Month YYYY), venue (city, country).
  • Refer to ASEM Partners as “ASEM Partners” (NOT “ASEM Members” or “ASEM countries”. “ASEM countries” are only 51 and do not involve the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union).
  • Include the acronym when referring to ASEM events and initiatives. Use the ASEM Glossary as guide.
  • When referring to Asia and Europe, ‘Asia’ should precede ‘Europe’ in most cases.
  • Superscript ordinal numbers for Project/event Series (subject to formatting constraints).
  • Project/activity titles must be in bold.
  • The first letter of succeeding references to events/activities in paragraphs must be typed in upper case; for example, the Meeting/Workshop/Roundtable/Conference/Forum.
  • Always type in this order: Project/activity, date, and venue or location.
  • Use the ampersand (&) symbol for ‘and’ for headings and subheadings unless prescribed otherwise.
  • Capitalise each word in headings and subheadings except for prepositions.
  • Always write surnames (family names, last names) in capital letters (CAPS) in order to facilitate correct communication between Asians and Europeans (e.g. Ambassador ZHANG Yan; Ambassador Roland VAN REMOORTELE). This should be done in all lists, programmes, profiles, publications, agreements, email signatures, and on name cards, name badges, table tents, etc. This is not applicable to letters (such as invitations) or other correspondence.

  • Use only “Ms” and “Mr” (not “Mrs” or “Mdm”) in order to respect gender equality, unless specifically requested otherwise.

  • Always write out ‘Governor’ (not ‘Gov’) and ‘Ambassador’ (not ‘Amb’).

  • In a programme/as part of event details or in agreements/ToRs, ASEF staff should be mentioned as “Ambassador Karsten WARNECKE, Executive Director, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)”.

  • In a narrative, ASEF staff should be referred to as “Ambassador Karsten WARNECKE, ASEF’s Executive Director”; another example would be: “Ms Angelina CHEW, Administrative/Communications Executive, ASEF’s Communications Department”.
  • Use British spelling (instead of American spelling) throughout all documents.

  • In writing a narrative/post/blurb, the ‘active’ voice is preferred to the ‘passive’ voice. For example: Please write “ASEF will host the upcoming briefing in Brussels” instead of writing “The upcoming meeting in Brussels will be hosted by ASEF”.

  • Write simple sentences communicating one idea (maximum 2) in 1 sentence. Avoid long and complex sentences.

  • When listing items (in a sentence or as bullet points) put them in a logical order (by importance or as a logical sequence/climax, otherwise alphabetically or chronologically).
  • Use “…” only for direct quotes/statements etc.

  • Use italics for project/event/publication titles, for example: Shared Heritage: As we see it or 7th ASEF Editors’ Roundtable.

  • Missing words in quotations. For example: ASEM leaders “called for strengthening cooperation […] to promote …”.

  • Text enclosed in double quotation marks must be italicised.

  • Event titles/themes should be italicised and enclosed in double quotation marks.
  • Always use the following format for a date: “on Wednesday, 17 April 2013”. Add the weekday in all invitations and programmes to assist the recipients.

  • For 2 days use “12-13 August 2013”, for several days use “12-17 August 2013”.

  • Use en-dash (–) for ranges of dates and other numbers.
  • Abbreviations (especially internal ones) should be avoided and only used when necessary.

  • Use the full name before introducing any abbreviation for the first time.

  • tbc (to be confirmed): means the available information is preliminary and still requires confirmation (not in caps).

  • tba (to be announced): means the expected information is not yet announced/declared (not in caps).

  • N/A (not applicable): means the information requested cannot be supplied in this case.

  • N.N. (Latin expression “nomen nescio”): means “anonymous” or “not nominated” (for example, if a Governor has not been nominated).

  • e.g. (Latin expression “exempli gratia”): means “for example”.

  • i.e. (Latin expression “id est”): means “that is”.
  • SGD (and NOT S$, $) for Singapore Dollars (When writing as a range of amount, write only once; for example, SGD 5,000–8,000)
  • EUR for Euros (and NOT €)
  • USD (and NOT US$ or $) for US Dollars
  • Always mention the currency before the amount. For example: SGD 1,000.00; EUR 1,000.00; USD 1,000.00
  • List currencies in the following order: SGD, EUR, USD
  • We follow up (verb) with a follow-up (noun).

  • We set up (verb) a set-up (noun).
  • Always write “ASEF Governor from [name of the organisation]”.

  • For example: Professor Leo TAN Wee Hin, ASEF Governor from Singapore

  • Another example: ASEF Governor from Singapore, Professor Leo TAN Wee Hin, said …

As much as possible try to use the % (symbol) with numbers. This is writing newsletter articles, concept papers, reports, etc.

For example: 60% of the world population, 60% of world GDP, 60% of exports

This is a list of all official ASEF & ASEM project & event names, along with their corresponding acronym, abbreviation and/or hashtag.

  • When writing these names, please follow the styling accordingly. For example, ASEF ClassNet should be used for ASEF Classroom Network, not ASEFClassNet or ASEFclassnet.
  • Where possible, it is recommended to use coloured fonts in hashtags, as such: #ASEMHRS. This is to make the hashtag easier to read and understand.


  • ASEF culture360
  • Mobility First!
  • ASEF Roadschool
  • ASEF Unplugged
  • Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS)
  • ASEM Cultural Festival (ASEMfest)


  • ASEF Classroom Network (ASEF ClassNet)
  • ASEF Education Innovation Lab (ASEFInnoLab)
  • ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC)
  • ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU)
  • ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS)
  • Model ASEM


  • ASEF Public Diplomacy Training (ASEFPDT)
  • Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights (ASEMHRS)


  • Asia Europe Economic Forum

Sustainable Development

  • Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum)
  • CLMV Regional Conference

Public Health

  • ASEF Public Health Network (ASEF PHN)
  • High-level Meeting on Risk Communications for Public Health Emergencies


  • ASEF Editors’ Roundtable (ASEFERT)
  • ASEF Journalists’ Seminar (ASEFJS)


  • ASEM Summit (ASEM)
  • ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMCMM)
  • ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMEMM)
  • ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMME)
  • ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMEnvMM)
  • ASEM Finance Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFinMM)
  • ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFMM)
  • ASEM Labour & Employment Ministers’ Conference (ASEMLEMC)
  • ASEM Ministerial Conference on Energy Security (ASEMESMC)
  • ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMTMM)

For all abbreviations/acronyms above, please denote the edition as such: e.g. 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFMM14).

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