3.1 General voice and tone

The goal of a consistent voice is to earn a reader’s trust and establish credibility by presenting information that sounds as though it is in unison no matter where a reader clicks. 

3.1 General voice and tone  

Voice, with limited exceptions, should be first-person plural (“we”) speaking directly to readers (“you”) because “we” and “you” is both direct and approachable vs. a detached, impersonal voice. 
The content is meant to be read on a screen, one user at a time, not from a podium. So write for the one person at a time who is reading this content, not a large group. See prepared personas and audience research to guide you when you’re new to a project so that you can visualize your reader. 
Never use “you guys”, “y’all” or another ultra-casual greeting or directive. Acronyms from the text-messaging world that are too casual, such as LOL, BRB, BTW, etc., must not be used. FYI and OK are acceptable when appropriate. This content represents the university. 
Exceptions should be defined on a content calendar or at the outset of a project. 
Online content is, by nature, meant to be consumed in short bits. Generally speaking, online content is more casual than printed content. Editorial content created for the UT Health San Antonio should be informative, yet conversational. Web content should meet the “task” at hand, so use common sense. A block of copy describing the types of insurance plans accepted at a clinic would not be peppy or include broad themes on the mission of the university. But the content should be readable and approachable, so that the reader gets some context and feels that his or her questions have been answered. 
The overarching goals for the tone of writing for web content and digital projects are: 

  • Friendly 
  • Direct, but not too forceful 
  • Casual, while remembering this is a business environment 
  • Candid, but not cloying 
  • Cheery when applicable, respectful and serious when needed 
  • To use terms that are easy to understand by someone without a lot of medical knowledge without sounding condescending. Avoid bureaucratic terms when possible. Accomplish this by avoiding jargon and words that would sound too formal in conversation. (Utilize, facilitate, methodologies, etc., aren’t as approachable as use, work with, methods, etc.) 
  • To use wording that is sincere. Flashy marketing content with lots of hyperbole should be avoided, i.e., “latest and greatest technology”, “state-of-the-art facilities” and “unique, innovative programs”. 


Article ID: 91889
Thu 8/20/20 3:46 PM