Message and Voice

Usually, we believe actions speak louder than words. When it comes to the Southeast message and voice, our words are pretty powerful, too. And when we choose them based on a consistent, deliberate writing style, there’s no limit to what they can do.

Strategy

When we talk about Southeast, it’s important to speak in benefits and attributes. An attribute is what we offer our students: knowledge, services, products, unique offers we bring to the table. A benefit is what students get. It’s the value of the attributes we offer. The answer to the question, so what?

Structuring your messages this way is necessary because what we give and what our audiences get go hand in hand and play a key role in telling the complete Southeast story and supporting our core messages. You aren’t interested in hearing someone talk about nothing but themselves. Your audiences aren’t either. That’s why using attributes, benefits, and the supporting points that prove them true provide the foundation for clear, consistent, and compelling brand messaging.

Personality

As an institution, we’re made up of many different people with distinct personalities. As a brand, we have a personality as well. It’s what gives our brand authenticity, and that’s why all of our communications should reflect these traits. Our personality is made of up both of what we want people to think of Southeast and how we want them to feel about us.

/ Self-Assured
We're proud of our character and our strengths, but never arrogant.

/ Practical
We're realists at heart, always acting with intention and purpose.

/ Welcoming
We wholeheartedly embrace people, showing them respect and kindness.

/ Approachable
We're down-to-earth, reflecting on our achievements with humility.

/ Tenacious
We're go-getters who seize opportunities and dive into our work.

/ Innovative
We're industrious, not only contributing fresh ideas, but also finding a way to make them happen.

Voice

Voice is our personality come to life when we write and when we talk. It pushes the creative envelope. But to make sure we don’t push it too far, keep these tips in mind. By staying consistent, we can be confident that everyone is writing in the same voice.

  • Be challenging, but not demanding. Make sure you're empowering others, not ordering them around.
  • Be eager, but not pushy. We’re always excited to take on new challenges. But keep that energy positive, not forceful.
  • Be welcoming, but not sentimental. We’re an inclusive, caring community--not Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.
  • Be confident, but not arrogant. We believe in our ability and the ability of our students, but we’re not out to make other institutions or people look bad.
  • Be inspiring, but not implausible. We set our sights high, but keep messages from becoming so grandiose that they feel generic and lose their meaning.
  • Be direct, but not brash. With so much to do, we don’t have time to mince words. Be straightforward, but don’t be so blunt that you come across as rude.

When crafting content, ask yourself these six questions to help capture the Southeast voice:

  1. Does this communication represent the bold spirit of the will to do?
  2. Does it include a benefit for the reader?
  3. Do we back up the benefit with an attribute of Southeast Missouri State University?
  4. Does it sound like something a person with our (brand) personality would say?
  5. Is body copy also written in our voice?
  6. Does the piece focus on a single key idea?

Brand Platform

Our positioning statement represents the Southeast brand at its highest level--capturing our spirit and our impact. It’s what happens when our messaging meets our voice.

At Southeast Missouri State University, we’re here to put in the work. And we don’t have time for boasting. We’re too busy building, researching, healing, creating, and learning. Because real credit can’t be given. It has to be earned. By coming to the table with big ideas and taking action while taking nothing for granted.

Our region needed a cultural center, so we built one. Our students need cutting-edge programs, so we create them. Our community needs top teachers, caregivers, and agricultural minds, so we prepare them.

We’re giving everything we’ve got. And earning everything we get. Because progress isn’t promised to anybody. It will be made by those with the courage to question. The hunger to know. And the will to do.

Contact

573.651.2509
editor@semo.edu
Wehking Alumni Center, 4th Floor

University Marketing
One University Plaza, MS7300
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701