Our message is what we say.
Our voice is how we say it.
We speak in a way that’s true to who we are as an institution. Expressing our voice consistently is essential to the success of the BGSU brand. It helps us reach new audiences more effectively, and forge deeper connections with fellow Falcons.
With these voice guidelines, you’ll have what you need to tell our story clearly, compellingly, and yes, consistently.
Keep the sentiment of these traits in mind when crafting communications. Some of these traits will be dialed up or toned down, depending on your topic, audience and channel.
We treat others with kindness, dignity and respect. And it comes through in the approachability of our brand.
Our students are curious about their lives and their potential. We encourage it, guide it and see where it leads.
We’re going to be the 21st-century center of learning.
We embrace the uniqueness of Bowling Green. We have unconventional traditions. Our colors are unexpected. There’s a lot that may surprise you here.
We defy the status quo to better the lives of those we reach.
We care about each individual and help them connect to what matters to them and where they’re headed.
Regardless of what you’re writing, you want to make sure your message—and our voice—rings clear. Follow these tips to ensure that the BGSU ethos comes through.
Know your audience.
Identify the particular audience you’re trying to reach, or nothing you say will reach them.
Focus on one thing.
Emphasize a single message. Otherwise, your readers are likely to either forget what they’ve read or just stop reading.
Make it personal.
Use the second-person “you” and “your” to engage and motivate the reader.
Write clearly and keep your language accessible.
Jargon has its place, but our communications are not it.
Stay away from the passive.
Amazing things are happening at BGSU. Use an active voice to tell the world about it.
Give the reader something to do.
Always include a clear call to action.
Every communication needn’t contain every detail. Focus on what’s both important and relevant—clutter just gets in the way of our message.
Incorporate white space.
Your readers’ eyes need places to rest so that their brains can digest information. Work with a designer to organize your content visually, making good use of white space.
It’s easy to resort to clichés: At first blush, they sound catchy. But it’s best to avoid them. Use our personality to your advantage by being original and engaging.
Don’t force excitement.
If the message isn’t something we’d yell, it doesn’t deserve an exclamation point. Use this mark extremely sparingly— or better yet, not at all.
Crafting Content Checklist
Checking our voice:
When crafting any communication, ask yourself:
- Does this relate to our core message?
- Does it sound like something a person with our brand’s personality traits would say?
- Does it get to the point, or is the key message buried?
- Is at least one of our secondary messages included?
- Do the headlines convey our voice, or are they simply labeling the content?
- Is this appropriate for the intended audience, and does it convey the relevant aspects of our personality?
- Does it move beyond a simple statement of the facts to reveal something bigger about BGSU?
- Does it lead with audience benefits?
- Does it pay off those benefits with our attributes?
Updated: 09/12/2022 03:07PM