EditorialWhat we say and how we say it are crucial factors in the establishment of the Purdue brand and its voice. From messaging and proof points to style and compliance language, our words represent the most frequently used tool in our brand arsenal.
In the Editorial portion of our Brand Guide, we address the basic concepts and best practices regarding our editorial approach. Topics include messaging, brand voice, the Purdue Boilerplate, our style guide, proof points and fast facts, and equal opportunity guidelines for the University community.
Boilerplate of Purdue
Our standard boilerplate appears at the end of press releases and other official documents. It delivers basic information about the University and its philosophy to readers. Occasionally, modifications of this are used at the discretion of news writers and are based on audience.
Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the University has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.
Version for Social Media Use (140 characters)
Purdue University is committed to student success, changing how classes are taught with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative uses of technology.
Writing in the Brand Voice
Brands have personality (just like people). Voice is how that personality is conveyed in communications. Sentence structure, word choice and tone all create a distinct character that shouts "Purdue University." Here's how to do it consistently.
Just as you'd change your tone based on whom you were speaking to and what you were saying, Purdue's written voice bends on the subject matter and audience. Our brand voice ranges from informational to promotional, depending on the project and audience. Our brand voice feels friendly, simple, practical and, at times, inspirational. Our brand voice sounds conversational, smart, sophisticated and, at times, energetic.
Some tips below can help you convey the eureka moment in copy. They all use the brand voice while expressing a sense of urgency and excitement that shows our culture of discovery. These are examples. Add your own techniques as you become more familiar with the brand voice.
Use the moment as a device
"1:23 p.m.: the moment you ..."
Use present tense.
This is the instant
Avoid gerunds wherever possible
The eureka moment is about being active and powerful.
"— ing" words sound soft and unsure
"Make a difference" vs. "Making a difference"
Ask a question
Did you know ... ?
Have you seen ... ?
Will you discover ... ?
Brand voice examples
Examples below show different ways the brand voice can bend, depending on audience and context, while still sounding consistent.
The brand voice uses every opportunity to highlight the eureka moment.
"Forecasting Flight: Ideas for Innovation in Aerospace"
"Rolls-Royce Memorial Lecture Series: The Future of Flight"
"This is a place where like minds meet. Where business ventures are born. Where tomorrow's leaders learn to lead. Krannert Weekend is your chance to see what it's all about."
"Krannert Weekend 2010: We're waiting for you."
"1:23 p.m.: Professor Dave Bauer sets down his violin bow and sees the world in a new light. He's just discovered a new chemical compound to detect cancer."
"Professor Dave Bauer's research in the field of biochemical engineering may have led to a new cancer detection analysis."
The brand voice uses an active tone and simple language to convey immediacy.
"Make your Mark"
"Leaving a Legacy"
"It takes confidence to take a good idea and dive in. These young Boilermakers have that trait in abundance."
"Purdue has many young Boilermakers whose achievements we can all root for."
"State of Change: Ideas from Purdue help power the Indiana economy"
"2010: Moving Indiana Forward"
Remember. The Purdue voice is NOT
Sassy: "Bet you didn't know Purdue has 23 astronauts. Yeah, that's right."
Excited: "We promise this will be your best year ever!!!"
Sales-y: "Get more for your money at Purdue."
Overly technical: "Advanced analysis of palladium-catalyzed carbon-based molecular reactions."
Writing for the Web
While we apply the same principles to writing for the web as we do for print pieces, there are a few specific things to keep in mind. First, and most important, it is best to use short sentences and paragraphs when writing for a digital audience. If possible, try to stick to one idea per paragraph. Also, try to put your most important information at the beginning of your copy so the reader does not have to hunt for it. Finally, remember that subheadings, lists and hyperlinks can help improve the readability of your web copy.
Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Language
It's important that our brand voice and personality carry through every communication about Purdue — even those that aren't readily apparent. Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in an unpaid result.
Example: Page title (50-60 characters)
"Purdue University - Indiana's Land Grant University"
Example: Meta description (160-170 characters)
"Learn about Purdue University, a major research university located in Lafayette, Indiana known for discoveries in science, technology, engineering and more."