Telling our Story

As we tell the stories of Missouri State, we should be clear. We should be interesting. We should be authentic. And we should be consistent.

Which connection are you trying to make?

Stories create emotional and rational connections.

Emotional storytelling

  • Shows your audience you stand for something bigger
  • Connects with their values
  • Gives them motivation to act
  • Makes it real for them
  • Surprises them

Rational storytelling

  • Guides them along the way
  • Gives them the proof
  • Doesn’t overestimate what they know
  • Helps them understand their options
  • Doesn’t underestimate what they’ll understand

Tips for powerful storytelling

Use these tips to connect with your audience and tell the university’s story in a relevant, powerful way.

  • Write in a confident, conversational, professional voice.
  • Use punctuation marks to add emphasis to statements, but use exclamation marks sparingly, if at all.
  • Be concise. Sometimes it’s okay to use phrases instead of full sentences.
  • Be specific. Don’t say "breakfast" when you could say "steel-cut oats with blueberries and almond milk."
  • Use contractions to convey an approachable, friendly tone.
  • Use the active voice.
  • Use strong verbs. They're short and personal, and they're a direct link to the emotions.

Guiding principles

Getting our story down clearly and compellingly takes a combination of instinct and discipline.

Good writing feels purposeful, intentional and above all, believable. Here are several principles to keep in mind when crafting your next communication.


After writing any communication, you’ll want to gut-check it. Here is a list of considerations. If you can’t answer with confidence, revisit your work and revise it.

  • Does it align to our positioning statement?
  • Does it lead with a benefit?
  • Does it pair a corresponding benefit and attribute?
  • Does it sound like something a person with our brand’s personality traits would say?
  • Does it sound even better when you read it out loud?
  • Is it appropriate for the intended audience? Does it convey the relevant aspects of our personality?
  • Does it get to the point, without burying the key message?
  • Do the headlines convey our voice, instead of simply labeling the content?
  • Does it move beyond simply stating the facts to reveal something bigger about Missouri State, our mission and our place in the world?