How to say it

To effectively connect with our audiences, we must tell our stories with a distinctive voice that reflects our brand personality. The tone of our stories should be confident and genuine, written in a vibrant, easy to read style. We can do both by what we say and how we say it.

Make it appropriate to the intended audience:

  • Prospective students vs. prospective donors.

Make it personal:

  • Use first and second person.
  • "You can" vs. "students can."

Be true, authentic, persuasive:

  • Claim ownership of USC's assets.
  • Speak authentically to the strengths of individual colleges and the university at large

Be conversational:

  • Write like you were talking to a friend.
  • Avoid sounding stuffy or institutional.
  • When writing about complex research and related topics, find ways to explain the work with analogies, examples, illustrations, photos and graphs.
  • Use action rather than passive verb.