If you help maintain an NIU website, you’re familiar with NIU’s communication standards. You know that our primary audience is current and prospective students. But you might wonder how you can better use the NIU brand voice in your writing. How can your writing be more personalized, inviting and charged—and optimized for the web?
Writing in the Second Person
You can make your writing more personalized and inviting by using second person pronouns. When you use pronouns such as “you” and “yours,” you draw you reader into your content. Second person pronouns help your readers picture themselves at NIU.
For example, instead of this: “Students enrolled in the program attend lectures by successful businesspeople.”
Try this: “You’ll learn from leaders in the field as they share their stories and strategies.”
Writing in an Active Voice
You can make your writing more charged by using an active voice instead of a passive voice. In a sentence written in active voice, the subject performs the action. In a sentence written in passive voice, the subject is being acted upon. Sentences written in passive voice can be vague and complicated.
Passive voice: “The program must be completed within six years from when it was started.”
Active voice: “You need to complete the program within six years of your start date.”
Writing for the Web
Remember to use simple words and short sentences. Avoid dense paragraphs—they can be hard for readers to scan. Use headings to organize your content and guide your reader.
By using these tips, you’ll help create a consistent web presence for NIU that appeals to our audience.