Audiences, Voice & Tone

Tune Your Message

Mizzou has one clear voice, and these carefully chosen tone words help clarify it for each of our audiences. When working on a message, think about your audience and adjust the tone words accordingly. While your content should epitomize characteristics of these words, the degree to which each audience feels them can vary. Dial them up or down to better reach your target audiences.

For example, when writing for an undergraduate audience, the tone and voice should convey our CURIOUS and AMBITIOUS nature. For a university donor or alumni, the tone and voice should reflect our HONEST, CARING, and ENTERPRISING side.

Tone Words

Honest Caring Courageous Enterprising
Curious Committed Ambitious  

 

Graphic showing the Mizzou tone words and bars above to indicate the level of which each word is emphasized in the copy.


Our Audiences

Audience Prospective Students & Family Advocates Influencers General Public
  Families in the target markets and from around the state Alumni, current students and parents, faculty and staff Legislators, business leaders, community leaders, general media, high school counselors and administrators Missourians, college-bound students and their families, extension customers
Objective Build a connection between their needs and what we offer. Enhance reputation and strengthen engagement Show our commitment Generate greater visibility, build strong relationships and partnerships

 

Examples: Audience and Copy Tone Variations


Undergrad Example

Where will Mizzou take you? Dive into undergraduate research instead of just reading about it. Report on breaking news stories from the only university-owned commercial television station. Or take the lead by running a successful local business, all while you’re still in school.

Graphic showing the Mizzou tone words and bars above to indicate the level of which each word is emphasized in the copy.


General Public

Between academia and career success lies the Missouri Method — a strategic, learn-by-doing approach that gives students a head start to becoming the next generation of innovative leaders.

Graphic showing the Mizzou tone words and bars above to indicate the level of which each word is emphasized in the copy.


Donor or Alumni Example

It isn’t just early-morning classes and late-night pizza… Mizzou gives students a head start to success with hands-on learning — and the support of 339,502 alumni Tigers.

Graphic showing the Mizzou tone words and bars above to indicate the level of which each word is emphasized in the copy.

 

 

Examples of Tone in Headlines

Our tone is Original Headline Headline in Our Voice
Honest but not blunt Mizzou’s freshman enrollment increase among highest in SEC Increased freshman enrollment highest in SEC
Caring but not sentimental Older sisters can play a role in healthy conversations about teenage relationships Sister time impacts healthy teenage relationships
Courageous but not boastful Mizzou adopts tobacco-free policy to promote health of university community Breathe easy on campus with tobacco-free policy
Enterprising but not commercial MU researchers create specialized delivery methods that could help treat cancer, other disorders Specialized treatment delivery system targets cancer cells
Curious but not prying Student language beliefs are a reflection of parents more than class or race Is language identity learned from our parents?
Committed but not stagnant Mizzou receives $500,000 for fall prevention programs Fall-prevention program reaches 6,000 elder Missourians
Ambitious but not zealous MU receives NASA grant to study cryovolcanism Studying ice volcanoes in outer space

Need help?

Discover on-brand headlines, examples and writing tips to help jump start your copy and craft marketing messages using the Mizzou voice.

Brand Writing Best Practices