Our Voice

Brand voice is what we say and how we say it, which covers content, message, tone and style.

How We Write

Our brand voice should be consistent from department to department, as though one writer created all of our materials. When we write, we want to incorporate these elements:

  • First person voice (we, our)
  • Active voice (the subject is the doer of the act)
  • Simple and direct; delete excess words
  • Professional, but not too formal or technical (unless the audience or topic requires it)
  • Sincere; tell stories whenever possible to connect with people on a personal level
  • Conversational, “business casual”
  • Approachable, friendly
  • Collaborative; seek feedback, when appropriate

Ohio State University AP Style Guide

The Ohio State University AP stylebook is an online, updated reference library for definitions applicable to the university.

View the Ohio State AP Style Guide

Business/Academic Unit Summary Descriptions

Approved boilerplate wording for internal and external use.

View summary descriptions

Style Manual

The style manual is our updated guide to spelling, naming and word usage.
Updated October 2021.

View the style manual

Naming Hierarchy and Guidelines

Medical Center

First reference: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Second reference: the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
Third reference: Wexner Medical Center
Do not use OSU Medical Center or WMC

Hospitals

When referencing any of our hospitals, always use the entire medical center name on first reference (The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center) and the individual hospital’s name on second and subsequent references, as listed here:

Second reference: Ohio State University Hospital
Third reference: University Hospital

Second reference: Ohio State East Hospital
Third reference: East Hospital
Do not use OSU East

Second reference: Arthur G . James Cancer Hospital and Richard J . Solove Research Institute
Third reference: James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
Fourth reference: Any of the previous references or The James

Second reference: Ohio State Richard M . Ross Heart Hospital
Third reference: Ohio State Ross Heart Hospital
Fourth reference: Ross Heart Hospital

Second reference: Ohio State Brain and Spine Hospital

Second reference: Ohio State Harding Hospital
Do not use Harding Hospital by itself

Second reference: Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital
Do not use Dodd Hall

Cancer Program

First reference: The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute
Second reference: The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
Third reference: OSUCCC – James (nationally) or The James (locally/regionally/specific to the hospital building)

Important Style Rules

Dos and Don’ts

NO: OSU
YES: The Ohio State University, Ohio State

NO: OSU Medical Center, WMC or OSUWMC
YES: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

NO: The OSU James
YES: OSUCCC – James, The James

NO: Division of Cardiology
YES: Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

NO: James Cancer Hospital
YES:James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

NO: Dodd Hall
YES: Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital

NO: Emergency Room, ER
YES: Emergency Department, ED

NO: Harding Hospital
YES: Ohio State Harding Hospital

NO: Heart and Lung Research Institute
YES: Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute

NO: OB/GYN
YES: Ob/Gyn

NO: OSU East
YES: Ohio State East Hospital

NO: the Ohio State University
YES: The Ohio State University

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