WHAT IS VOICE & TONE?
At PCC, we speak with a consistent voice across all publications and platforms. This voice is how we convey our brand and our personality to the world.
Our tone adapts to our audience and the purpose of writing. For example, social media writing may be more conversational and use shorter sentences, while writing for a potential foundation donor may call for longer, more dynamic sentences. However, it should always sound as if the same person is speaking. This consistency is the PCC voice.
THE PCC VOICE & TONE
The voice of PCC is friendly, familiar, optimistic, helpful and straightforward. Our words are simple, concise and conversational. Less is more — we say what we mean in the simplest way. Our priority is to help our audience get the information they’re looking for and the support they’re seeking.
In writing, our voice is created through our word choice, sentence structure, and point of view. When writing in the PCC Voice, a few key things to remember are:
After first reference, use first person plural pronouns such as we, our, and us.
Instead of “PCC offers degrees and certificates,” say “We offer degrees and certificates.”
Create closeness to your audience by speaking directly to them. Use pronouns such as you and your.
Instead of “Students can register today,” say “You can register today.”
You may be an expert, but avoid coming across as bossy.
Instead of “You must login to LancerPoint to register for classes,” say “Trying to register for classes? Login to LancerPoint.”
Instead of “You can’t sign up for classes without taking the online orientation,” say “Take the online orientation to get started on your course registration.”
Create friendliness through the use of warm, conversational words. Though informal words are great, carelessness such as spelling and grammar errors are not.
Use our Grammar and Editorial Guide to help answer any questions.
When possible, choose simple, easily understandable words.
In the world of academia, there are many institutionalized words that should be used, even if they are a bit more “complex.” Don’t dumb down the language. Instead, provide context to make it understandable.
Use our Grammar and Editorial Guide to help determine the correct academic words to use.
Use clear language. Avoid jargon and idioms, which may be confusing to your readers. Write in the active voice, avoiding the passive voice when possible.
Instead of “Club applications will be collected by the Associated Students,” say “The Associated Students will collect club applications.”
Your goal as a content writer is to help users complete their tasks and understand information. When writing, be aware of this and make sure what you are saying is helping them reach that goal.
Consider why users are reading your content and how they are likely to be feeling. Are they current students, frustrated because they can’t figure out which classes to take? Are they new students, excited because they just finished applying to PCC? Perhaps visiting community members, confused about where to park. When writing, adjust your tone to be conscientious of the wide range of emotions your readers are probably experiencing.