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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.


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.

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.


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.

/ 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 is our personality come to life when we write and when we talk. It pushes the creative envelope. 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.
  • Be eager, but not pushy.
  • Be welcoming, but not sentimental.
  • Be confident, but not arrogant.
  • Be inspiring, but not implausible.
  • Be direct, but not brash.

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.


Wehking Alumni Center, 4th Floor

University Marketing
One University Plaza, MS7350
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701