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Additional guidelines for building our brand voice

Below are some writing best practices that can help build a brand voice that is personalized, inviting and charged.

Craft

  • You'll get to know your instructors and work closely with them as they share their expertise and passion with you.
  • Suraiya, we’re excited you’re joining us for our open house this spring.
  • “We’re committed to giving students from all over the world, from all types of backgrounds what they need to become their best selves. Whether they’re returning to their communities or moving on and up in the world, NIU is behind them.”
    — Dr. Vernese Edghill-Walden, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Be who you are. Discover who you want to be.
  • Our faculty will help cultivate problem-solving and leadership skills that you’ll find useful far beyond the classroom. You’re already a thinker, dreamer and doer. We’ll just help you find your way.

Organize

  • Organize your communication with a clear hierarchy so the reader can scan for key information
  • In long communications, use headlines and subheads
  • Carefully edit to eliminate unnecessary words, sentences or ideas (and remember that your communication is one of many the student will receive from NIU)
  • Use quotes from faculty, staff and students, but make sure the quotes are compelling and authentic
  • Use examples to clarify or add empathy

Edit

  • Make any next steps or what students can expect next very clear
  • Read your writing aloud — if it sounds unnatural, it probably needs to be revised

Be clear and aligned on objective.

Before writing a communication, be clear about your objective and the points you need to convey. It’s helpful to have the objective and key message points agreed-upon and in writing, ready to be shared with stakeholders at every stage of review.