Voice & Messaging

Using messaging in your materials

People-First Engineering Logo

Marketing language expresses our brand values and differentiators to influence an audience’s attitude or impression about Michigan Engineering. Any marketing materials that represent Michigan Engineering should thoughtfully and consistently incorporate our key messaging points.

Our Name: Michigan Engineering

Third-party research confirms that “Michigan Engineering” is the best way for the College to refer to itself. Use this whenever possible (and in particular when used externally). These alternatives are not recommended: 

  • U-M Engineering
  • Engineering at the University of Michigan
  • CoE

Primary Messaging

  • People-first engineering helps make the world a better place by closing critical gaps and elevating all people.
  • Michigan Engineering’s people-first approach builds upon our greatest strengths to help close critical gaps and improve the lives of all people.
  • For us, people-first engineering is both a goal and a practice.
  • Michigan Engineering is developing the people-first engineers who will shape the world for the better.
  • Through our people-first framework, Michigan Engineering is reimagining and reshaping what engineering can be – at Michigan and beyond – enabling all engineers to have a positive impact on the world and build a future that will elevate all people.
  • Michigan Engineering builds upon its unsurpassed engineering fundamentals and equity-centered values, leveraging the University of Michigan’s unique ecosystem, expertise and global worldview to solve human problems and close societal gaps.

Secondary Messaging

  • By taking a lead role in reimagining and reshaping what engineering can be – at Michigan and beyond – we are pursuing our vision to be the preeminent College of Engineering serving the common good.
  • We believe that engineers must have strong fundamental skills in their chosen field – but those skills alone are not sufficient. Engineers must also have a deep appreciation for how their field integrates with others, along with a well-honed ability and desire to evaluate their work and its impact on the world from multiple perspectives.
  • The next generation of great engineers will be globally minded thinkers who build and rebuild systems to improve the lives of all people. They will seek out diverse perspectives and worldviews to ensure that their innovations have a positive impact on all populations. They will draw upon a range of disciplines to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

Excellent Engineering Fundamentals

  • Michigan Engineering is fortunate to have access to some of the strongest academic and research capabilities in the world, and we’re leveraging that to reimagine what engineering can be.
  • Our position as one of the top engineering schools is what enables us to advance our people-first principles from the conceptual to the practical – empowering our engineers with the skills they need to truly transform our world.
  • Our world-class faculty are leaders in their fields, and they are committed to ensuring that their students thrive.

A Convergence of Disciplines

  • Michigan Engineering’s students and faculty draw upon critical insights, expertise and wisdom from across a wide range of academic disciplines.
  • We leverage the University of Michigan’s full ecosystem of world-class schools and colleges, creating the best possible environment for transformative integration across disciplines.
  • We strive to account for the impact of engineering solutions across a range of contexts to help ensure new innovations, systems and products achieve their intentions while avoiding unintended consequences.

Equity-Centered Values & Global Worldviews

  • Michigan Engineering is committed to being a leader in equity-centered engineering, striving to equip engineers with the skills to reevaluate established assumptions and rebuild systems to better serve all people.
  • We are fostering conversations and launching new learning objectives around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and actively recruiting students, faculty and staff with diverse backgrounds.
  • Global participation is in the fabric of U-M. From our roots in launching the Peace Corps to our diverse international community, we understand the importance of engaging with many cultures.

Our Language Style

Clarity and authenticity build trust. This truth manifests in the tone of our brand voice. We are straightforward and inclusive. We speak with respectful authority from areas in which we lead, sharing knowledge freely. Our work is interdisciplinary; therefore we speak plainly so that our message isn’t muddied by jargon. Most importantly, our voice is humane and approachable.

Editorial Guidelines

Good marketing language finds the intersection between our brand voice and the audience’s expected formality or rigor. For example, we talk differently to our undergrads than we do to our major donors. In practical terms, our marketing language should be affinity- or awareness-building, and focus not just on where Michigan Engineering is today, but where it’s headed – both who we are now, and where we aspire to go.

In marketing materials, your language should:

  • Be conversational but correct
  • Aim for brevity and scanability
  • Invite exploration
  • Express empathy, inclusivity and authenticity

To create engaging and action-oriented content:

  • Use present tense (unless past tense is important for understanding)
  • Include a blend of first person (“we”) and second person (“you”) perspective:
    • At Michigan Engineering, we build and rebuild…
    • Our campus has unparalleled resources, facilities and perspectives…
    • As a student, you will be able to…