Storytelling Style and Voice

Storytelling Tips

Make it personal.

  • Use first and second person, e.g., "You can" vs. "students can."
  • Make it clear why your audience should care.

Make it authentic.

  • Claim ownership of UC Davis’ strengths.
  • Reflect the diversity of our campus community.

Make it easy to understand.

  • Avoid stuffy academese.
  • Use active verbs.
  • Use analogies, examples, illustrations, photos or infographics to explain complex information.

Our best practices in photography and video can also help you tell a great story.

Our style

The UC Davis storytelling style is grounded in humanity, with a focus on the human outcome.

Pair our achievements and innovations with a face and a personal journey. Aim for stories that are personal, emotive and inspiring:

  • Describe breakthrough research and scholarship that changes lives.
  • Focus on what motivates people to chase their dreams at UC Davis.
  • Demonstrate how and where UC Davis is improving the world, and why it matters to individual communities.
  • Show unique collaborations across disciplines that lead to creative and innovative problem solving, benefitting humans, animals and the environment.

Please reference the strategy and messaging section for guidance on incorporating brand messages into your stories.

Our voice

To connect and leave a lasting impression with our audiences, we must tell our stories with a distinctive voice that reflects the UC Davis brand personality.

When we need support and guidance, we might look to a knowledgeable friend, a supportive mentor, a trusted expert, or perhaps a valued community member. It's easy to have a conversation with them because the experience is authentic, and we always take away something positive and useful. The voice of UC Davis should help our target audience feel the same way.

In short, the UC Davis voice is helpful, honest, knowledgeable, relevant, clear and above all, human.