Voice and Tone

How our brand comes across is known as our voice and tone. While tone varies depending on who we’re engaging, how we’re engaging them and what we’re hoping to achieve—our voice should remain the same.   

At the University of Tennessee: 

  • Our voice is Wise. Not arrogant. 
  • Our voice is Driven. Not aggressive.   
  • Our voice is Courageous. Not rash. 
  • Our voice is Ambitious. Not ruthless. 
  • Our voice is Gracious. Not diplomatic.     
  • Our voice is Committed. Not forceful.   
  • Our voice is Engaged. Not controlling. 

The tone of our communications changes depending on audience, platform and purpose. For example, an informal tone may be appropriate for the copy of an Instagram post aimed at high school students. A more formal tone is better for a printed invitation inviting alumni to a gala.     

Some tips for striking the right balance include:   

  • Speak to your audience 
  • Use plain language. Avoid jargon 
  • Use shorter words and fewer of them