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Communications Guidelines

Setting the Tone

Connect with your audience: Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is visiting your site. What would you want to know? What would you find most interesting? Once you’ve determined this, you’ve found your starting point for your content.

Confident: The U is one of the top public universities in the country. As such, our university websites should reflect that. The more confident your tone is in your writing, the more trust your audience has in you.

Upbeat: You should be thrilled about presenting the content on your site. Your passion should come through in the tone of your writing. If you don’t care about what you’re writing about, why would your audience care about reading it?

Write in an Active Voice: You should always be writing in the active voice on your website. In the active voice, the subject is the one performing the action.

Active Voice: I wrote an article about the benefits of exercise.
Passive voice: An article about the benefits of exercise was written by me.

Be Concise: At this point, we are well into the digital age. People don’t want to waste time digging through details on your site when they’re looking for information. Don’t make your audience do the extra work. The purpose of a website is to give a user quick access to the information they’re looking for.

Editorial Style Guide

Staying consistent with style and usage makes reading easier. This style guide is designed to increase the effectiveness of University of Utah publications by encouraging stylistic consistency and sensible usage campus-wide.

View Editorial Style Guide

Inclusivity Style Guide

The U celebrates the rich diversity of our staff, students, trainees, and faculty, by striving to make our campus a welcoming, inclusive, and anti-racist environment. The ways in which we communicate with each other should always seek to honor the humanity of each person who crosses paths with our institution, where no one perspective is more worthy than another.

View Inclusivity Style Guide

University Boilerplates

When needing to reference the Univeristy of Utah and its colleges we have come up with the following statements to use.

View Boilerplate Statements


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process used to optimize a website's technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity to make its pages more discoverable, relevant and popular in user search queries and, as a result, search engines.

View Web SEO Guide