Voice and Tone

  • Let’s get right to it. Being direct. Showing empathy. Sounding real. Demonstrating encouragement. Doing it with a sense of liveliness and fun. All of those are traits we know resonate with our audiences. Here are some comparisons.

    Instead of this... Try this... 
    Due to inclement weather, the program has been rescheduled for next Tuesday at 9:00 p.m.  Because of the blizzard, we’re changing the date. See you next Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. 
    Our IUP community is forward-moving as we review and reassess all we do to meet current and future needs for our students, to develop tomorrow’s leaders in our communities and around the world.  IUP is on the move. We continue to look at all we do to meet challenges. Then, we pivot to develop the next generation of leaders who will care for communities around the world. 
    The office is committed to providing information and services to students and their families while also being responsible stewards to the university. As members of the IUP community, we will collaborate with other campus offices and external organizations to assist in promoting educational access.  We know a college education is a big investment. You can count on us to give you current and accurate information.
    (Note: We've omitted the part about being a good steward of university resources. The audience assumes that the university is speaking to them. Why would the university need to assure itself that it uses its resources wisely?)  
    Our vision is a university that exceeds accessibility compliance: one that enhances the integration and success of persons with disabilities and a campus-wide culture of access.  We strive to ensure everyone on campus has a chance to succeed. We want everyone on campus to understand the obstacles people with disabilities face, so we can work together to eliminate them. 

    A Note on Mission and Vision Statements

    Every office and department on campus rightly has a mission and vision. If you want to share it, do so, but make sure you do it in a way that is appropriate for the audience and not just your accrediting agency.