The Voice of Brigham Young University
Although there are some special requirements and considerations for writing as a member of OIT and the UX Team, all your content should be written through the voice of Brigham Young University. Below is a guide to better understanding BYU’s voice. For more information, please refer to the BYU brand guide.
BYU Voice Guide
When you write for BYU, you aren’t writing as yourself. You are writing as an institution with its own goals, history, and personality. The central challenge when writing for BYU, especially when creating public content, is to balance the need for clarity while projecting BYU’s voice. To adopt that lens, you first need to understand BYU’s mission and unique position in the world.
BYU Mission Statement
The BYU mission statement is as simple as it is powerful. It says:
“The mission of Brigham Young University — founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued.”
BYU’s core mission is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. It is not simply to educate students, help them find a career, raise a new generation of Church leaders, or create an environment where new lifelong relationships can be built. All those are worthy byproducts of BYU’s much more expansive and divine mission.
The themes of that core mission should be encapsulated in everything you write for BYU by being positive, helpful, vibrant, and uplifting.
BYU’s Unique Position in the World
BYU isn’t like any other university in the world. BYU is unique in its history and its core values.
BYU was founded over 150 years ago by Brigham Young and other pioneers and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ever since then it has been supported and guided by the Church and its leaders. In that time, it has grown to be a well-respected university in the United States and across the world. But despite that success, BYU hasn’t forgotten what sets it apart.
From the beginning, BYU has known that belief enhances inquiry, study amplifies faith, and revelation leads to richer understanding. BYU strives to be a light and beacon to the world, a different example of what a university can be, and a representative of the Church and its values.
Because of BYU’s position as a well-respected university and the flagship higher education institution of the Church, it is necessary to be both competent and confident in your writing, while also being unflinching in BYU’s values and faith. When you write for BYU it should be intelligent and accessible while also written through the unique lens of BYU’s history and core values.
BYU Messaging Core Attributes
Your messaging for BYU should be written through the lens of BYU’s unique standards and history. Be confident and unflinching in BYU's values but stay grounded and accessible.
BYU is a respected academic institution. For many, BYU is also the first and only contact they have with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is important that your writing make a good impression by being competent, intelligent, creative, and goal-oriented.
BYU has an expansive and divine mission. The content you create should reflect that mission by being uplifting, positive, helpful, and accessible. Being accessible means your writing should reflect BYU’s history of inclusivity and current diverse community. Your writing should create a feeling of belonging in the reader.
As you implement these attributes your writing will improve and more positively reflect Brigham Young University and its mission.