Tone

Filed under Voice
06.19.2009

The tone of NC State is one of eagerness, impatience and curiosity. There’s a sense of urgency in those who are connected to North Carolina State University. We know what we want to accomplish and we go after it with vigor. We’re fueled by our collective talent, pride and search for excellence. We’re bold, yet down to earth. We’re confident, yet approachable. That feeling should come through our words, both spoken and written.

Sentences should be short and efficient. No words are wasted in speeches or written materials for NC State. The structure and content of the language should mirror the brand and be just as powerful and dynamic. Passive voice is not preferred because everything about the NC State brand is active. Crisp, hard-hitting sentences drive home our points in a way that makes people stop and take notice. The words and phrases have an attitude and confidence that motivate and energize.

For Example:

Avoid: “Recommending that a student copy from another student’s paper is certainly not something he would ever think about advising.”
Use:
“He wouldn’t advise cheating.”

Avoid: “For the most part, our woodlands are coming back by virtue of the fact that our economy seems to have shifted its emphasis in another direction, and this is really starting to catch more attention and appear in more news stories all over the area.”
Use: “Our economy has shifted its emphasis. Our woodlands are resurging. Reporters are taking notice.”

Avoid: “Researchers who knew what was going on tried to make sure someone heard about it.”
Use: “Knowledgeable researchers spoke up.”