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Voice, Tone & Audience

Consider who you are speaking to and how you want your message to sound to your audience.

Crafting an appropriate voice and tone is an important part of telling meaningful, engaging stories.


Our voice helps us establish and express our personality and reflect the way Spartans think and work and what we value. We are conversational, direct, smart and genuine.


While our voice is consistent, our tone changes based on the audience we are communicating with and what’s happening in their world and ours. While staying true to brand, we adapt our messaging and content when communicating with prospective students, alumni, staff and faculty, donors and other audiences.

Tone is reflected in messaging and through other content choices, including photos, design and music. It’s also reflected through our content choices and our content mix. Using the appropriate tone at the right time shows we respect and understand our audience.


Before creating communications, consider the audience you want to reach. Some of MSU’s audiences include:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students (current and prospective)
  • Parents and families
  • Alumni, donors and friends
  • Greater Lansing and Michigan public
  • Policymakers and funding partners
  • Academic peers


Want to Learn More?

Next Section: Telling Brand Stories