Writing guide

How can we express plurality, stand proud, get personal, and articulate the intangible? By embracing our brand voice and finding a tone to fit each moment of messaging.

How do we say we're Jayhawks?

KU isn’t just laboratories and landmarks. It’s a diverse and enthusiastic community fueled by vision, tradition, and an indefinable Jayhawk spirit. KU is a “we.”

How are voice and tone different?

Aspirational and authentic, smart and engaging, authoritative yet approachable. Voice reflects our identity — regardless of the audience or the subject.

Formal or informal, serious or celebratory, imperative or informative. Tone depends on the audience, the subject, and the media.

What guidelines should we follow?

Keep in mind these guidelines for strong writing:

  • Be active: Place us in the present — or the future. Use active voice.
  • Be unified: Refer to KU as “us.” Consider the communities we comprise.
  • Be positive: Avoid negatives. Be concise. Know the goal.

Consider our brand pillars and personality in creating voice and tone:

  • Be creative: Make it memorable. Ditch gimmicks. Internalize Our Chant Rises.
  • Be proud: Serve up specifics. Tell stories. Celebrate the contributors.
  • Be inquisitive: Go deep. Explore perspectives. Eliminate confusion.
  • Be inviting: Personalize. Point to help. See prospective Jayhawks everywhere.
  • Be spirited: Shout “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!” with purpose. (And explain it.)
  • Be honest: Embrace difficulties. Share solutions. Speak plainly.