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Storytelling Principles

Everyone loves a good story. While our communications are rich with data, graphics, images, and animations, we always look for ways to wrap facts within a story that builds an emotional connection with our audiences.

Our storytelling highlights the real-world impact of McMaster's research, teaching and community service. We emphasize how our students, faculty, alumni and staff are improving people's lives here and worldwide. Our stories include, and sometimes lead with, the perspectives of people whose lives have been changed by McMaster's ambitious goal of advancing health and well-being for all. Here are the principles that make a Brighter World story.

Expandable List

While our Brighter World brand allows us to share stories of excellence and optimism, our audiences connect deeply with stories that include the challenges we overcome. Even the most accomplished among us experience setbacks. Our storytelling can embrace the obstacles that happen when creating a better future. Authenticity lets more people see themselves in our storytelling and reminds us that everyone belongs here.

Our storytelling intentionally engages with diverse peoples, perspectives, and ways of knowing. We recognize that diversity strengthens our storytelling: Better outcomes and more significant impact are achieved when diverse perspectives from our students, faculty, alumni and staff are amplified. Our storytelling is responsive to the distinct needs of equity-deserving communities as we work to build a sense of belonging and celebrate excellence.

Collaborating with people from different backgrounds leads to developing richer multimedia stories that consider more perspectives. We look to faculty, students, alumni and staff to ensure we are building on our community’s storytelling talent. Collaborating with others allows us to lean into our strengths while providing opportunities for growth and building a larger community of storytellers.

McMaster has a rich history of innovation that continues to affect people’s lives here and around the world. While our storytelling highlights research discoveries and excellence, we are always looking for points of connection to our history. Whether it is our proud tradition of learning innovations, research discoveries, or better care through evidence-based medicine, our storytelling includes the context that answers the question: Why here? Why now? What is unique about this? These elements in our stories help audiences understand what differentiates McMaster from other institutions in Canada and globally.

Our communications remain focused on a brighter future through storytelling that showcases the ways we are creating healthier societies and a more sustainable world. Our stories are beacons of hope at a time when society’s challenges demand complex, evidence-based solutions.

Looking to write a Brighter World story? Use this checklist as a guide:

  • Does the story connect to McMaster’s vision of advancing human and societal health and well-being? 
  • Does the story clearly demonstrate how McMaster students, faculty, alumni or staff are making a positive impact in society?  
  • Does the story include a diverse range of perspectives affected by McMaster research, education, or service? 
  • In our efforts to be authentic, is the story true to the experiences of the person being featured?
  • Does the story answer the question: “Why McMaster?” How can the story be tied to McMaster’s history, culture and institutional strengths? 
  • Does the story highlight one of McMaster’s strategic priorities: 
    • Inclusive excellence 
    • Teaching and Learning 
    • Research and scholarship 
    • Engaging local, national, Indigenous, and global communities 
    • Operational excellence