Person and Voice

Our brand messaging, as much as possible, should use first-person plural consistently.

Consciously using the pronouns WE and YOU will foster feelings of SHU being inclusive and inviting and will allow readers to connect with SHU on a personal level. Creating a first person brand voice for SHU will also emphasize the importance of the human element in the SHU experience.

When writing on behalf of a brand, it helps if you have a clear idea of the brand “persona” in your mind.  Thinking of SHU as a single person trying to make a connection with another single person and NOT as an institution will help you simplify your word choices and sentence structure.

The SHU voice is:

  • approachable
  • sincere
  • honest
  • intelligent
  • straightforward
  • helpful
  • interested in others
  • celebratory of others and their accomplishments

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice

Often, universities feel compelled to write in passive voice. It makes us seem dispassionate, objective and unbiased to our audiences. It removes the human element of the Sacred Heart brand that is an essential component of what makes Sacred Heart unique.

Action Verbs

Aim to include more action verbs instead of relying on "is," "are," "was," "were."

Start Broad, Finish With Details

Begin declarative statements boldly and authoritatively, but finish with details and examples of why the Sacred Heart experience really is superior.

For instance, you might begin your message with an assertion that SHU is the first Catholic university in America to be led and staffed by lay people, but be sure to also include that the advantages of that are that students benefit from a rich, Catholic intellectual tradition of intellectual inquiry and exploration as well as a practical and pragmatic educational experience led by leaders in business, technology and commerce.