Telling our story

Tone of voice

How we express our brand personality is critical to credibly owning our new positioning. The verbal and visual tone of voice creates our unique character. It essentially opens up the dialogue with potential students, new staff members and our wider audiences.

First, and foremost, it's important to understand the mindset we are talking to.

Audiences view CDU as one organisation, one person if you like – no matter what part of CDU they're interacting with. Therefore, consistency of tone and delivery is just as important as consistency of message and action.

Knowing who we're talking to

Like CDU, our target market is determined to make a difference. They have a strong sense of social justice, are environmentally conscious, perhaps a little idealistic, and have strong beliefs and values. They’re progressive, not conservative.

While they’re aware of the issues and injustices of our time, they’re not especially prone to negativity. They’re empathetic, caring, optimistic and spirited. They try to do the right thing where they can. Whether that means cycling to work when they have the time, doing their little bit for charity when they can, shopping at a farmers' market and cheering for the underdog.

Knowing this enables us to set the tone of our brand and how we demonstrate our deeper understanding.

Our tone is


Whenever and whatever you're communicating, please keep our new world voice in mind ensuring our tone remains well-balanced, accessible and engaging.

Our tone is not


Message delivery

All messages should be bold, invitational and motivational. They should be intelligently and succinctly expressed in our new world tone of voice.

What to avoid

  • ‘Clever’ word plays, clichés and puns
  • Exclamation marks!
  • Elevating our own achievements; rather than inviting people to be part of something bigger than us all
  • Long-winded diatribes
  • Institutionalised ‘ivory tower’ and corporate speak; for example: pioneering, state-of-the-art, world-class
  • Overly familiar written greetings – “Hi there” is fine, “G’Day” is not
  • Hyperbole; for example: an amazing range of awe-inspiring courses
  • Abrupt retail sounding calls to action; for example: apply now to avoid disappointment

What to incorporate

  • Direct, informative and easy to understand plain English
  • Challenging, but not abrupt, motivational statements. For example: How will we use knowledge for the future?
  • Empathy and sensitivity, expressed succinctly and confidently in a well-balanced way. For example: If you need a little help before starting, our free Tertiary Enabling Program will give you the skills for entry into your chosen degree.
  • A warm, open manner that still maintains stature and credibility. For example: Be part of a university ranked in the top 2% of all universities worldwide.
  • Calls to actions should have a human element. For example: Now is the time to follow your passion for nursing.

View our editorial style guide for more information on telling our story.

NEXT: Brand activation