Voice and Tone

The language we use when writing about Stony Brook shapes the way people feel about the University. You should always convey the spirit of Stony Brook — bold, confident and energetic.

Adapt your tone to fit your audience and message. An upbeat, active and friendly tone would be appropriate for an open house invitation to prospective students, while a thank-you letter to alumni may require a more sincere, respectful tone.

Regardless of your message and audience, your writing voice should be consistent with Stony Brook’s brand:

DIRECT, YET FRIENDLY
Clearly state the purpose of your communication in an inviting, engaging way. Eliminate unnecessary phrases and words so that your message isn’t diluted.

INCLUSIVE AND THOUGHTFUL
Carefully consider how people with different lifestyles, beliefs, ethnicities and geographies may perceive your words and images. If you’re not sure, ask others to provide feedback on your draft. Communicate complicated ideas in plain language, but avoid dumbing down complex concepts. Use gender-neutral nouns and pronouns and avoid jargon.

PROUD AND CONFIDENT, NEVER BOASTFUL
When writing about Stony Brook’s achievements, always be respectful of others and competitive institutions. Avoid exaggeration and hype to allow the straightforward truth to shine through.


Brand Personality Checklist for Writing Effective Copy

DRIVEN
Do passion, perseverance and determination play a role in the story?  Is our need to impact our world on display?

CURIOUS
Are you telling stories of innovative and resourceful people whose curiosity to discover and explore drive big ideas that would otherwise not happen?

WELCOMING
Will the reader get a sense of our open and inclusive environment, our eagerness to engage everyone?

PROUD
Do you build on our natural and unshakable sense of pride, showing how our purpose is driving achievement and making an impact?

HANDS-ON
Does the story convey the active participation and experiential opportunity that is afforded our students and faculty? Is our desire to engage as many students as possible in first hand learning on display?