The Voice of the University
Essential to the success of Saint Joseph’s University’s brand is the use of a distinctive, consistent and relevant voice.
It is our voice, expressed in a tone appropriate for each audience, that will help us connect, inspire and move people to action.
The voice of Saint Joseph’s University’s brand is expressed through a number of channels: advertising, print publications, websites, emails, direct mail — even letterhead and powerpoint templates.
A brand isn’t just a logo or tagline. A brand is a perception that is constantly being shaped through every interaction.
Saint Joseph’s brand voice adopts a tone that is smart, inspirational and confident. It conveys our tagline: live greater.
Someone who lives greater:
- Is focused on exceptional achievement (strong outcomes & professional success).
- Is optimistic and persistent (shows grit).
- Is constantly striving to grow for the sake of God, self and community.
Developing the university’s voice in your communications
Before you begin writing any piece of communication:
- Define its purpose — what is the key goal of this piece? How can I remain clear and focused on this goal, without distracting the audience with additional message points?
- Define its audience — who is this intended for? Am I addressing the needs of this specific audience? Am I speaking to them in an appropriate and approachable way?
- Define its lifespan — how long will this be accessible, and how might it be repurposed?
Consider how your messages align with strategic priorities for the University.
Saint Joseph’s strategic priorities, outlined in the 2017 strategic plan include:
- Enrich academic experience
- Expand transformational student experiences
- Enhance and promote programs of national prominence
- Foster greater strength and financial sustainability
Cross-cutting themes embedded in these goals are:
- Diversity and inclusion
- Jesuit mission and identity
Look to the brand voice statements and strategic priorities as directional guides, sources of inspiration. Content creators and editors should illustrate these ideas with real-world examples. The goal is to focus on results and outcomes around these pillars, communicated in an authentic way.
Focus less on creating statements or stories about the University, and think instead about ways to bring the audience front and center — to show them the ways in which the key values impact them directly and help them see themselves in the shoes of fellow students, alumni, faculty, etc.
Enhancing voice with multimedia
The University’s voice translates beyond the written word. Images and multimedia are powerful tools for conveying the impact of what we do best.
- In publications and on the web: Whenever possible, ground your pieces in powerful images. Articles with images get 94 percent more views. Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45 percent.
- On social media: Let multimedia anchor your social media posts. Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages a 37 percent higher level of engagement over text-only posts.
- Use unique, SJU images when possible: Access the University’s photo library at www.sjuphoto.com.
- When creating photography, video or other forms of multimedia, or using official University images or logos, consult the University’s brand guidelines.