Voice and tone

Voice is our brand’s personality in written form. Tone refers to the mood or attitude our voice takes when communicating with different audiences.

Use our voice and tone when creating collateral that represents the company. Use your own voice in your communications, as in emails and blog posts.

We are

  • Visionaries who think big picture
  • Problem-solvers
  • Storytellers who communicate through a human lens
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Charismatic and engaging
  • Truthful and accurate

We are not

  • Traditionalists
  • Naysayers
  • Bureaucratic
  • Salesy or pushy
  • Pretentious
  • Verbose or long-winded
  • Hyperbolic or overly subjective

Flatiron’s Voice

The Flatiron voice is captured in the following five traits:


We speak in an assured and simple manner. The magnitude of our mission keeps us humble, while the rigor of our research and our commitment to data is a source of confidence.

Our voice is confident, not pretentious
Our voice is simple, not showy


We speak matter-of-factly. We lead with data and information, using accessible language to bridge understanding. We cut to the chase but never sacrifice the science or technology behind what we do.

Our voice is approachable, not verbose
Our voice is pithy, not overly explanatory


We speak with a clear purpose behind each interaction. Our words are carefully chosen and precise.

Our voice is thoughtful, not reactive
Our voice is focused, not myopic


We speak with an eagerness to share and listen with a desire to learn. Our mission means that we—and our partners—face unknowns every day. We facilitate an open exchange of ideas.

Our voice is eager, not overbearing
Our voice is curious, not closed


We speak with measured optimism and hope. While we are committed to progress and improving patient outcomes, we never over-promise. We always remember that behind the data are real people.

Our voice is hopeful, not cheery
Our voice is compassionate, not dismissive

Five guidelines for communicating the Flatiron voice

Be brief and direct

  • Use shorter sentences and avoid run-ons to counteract a feeling of density or complexity.
  • Consider your audience when using science or medical terms or concepts. Simplify as necessary. Provide context or a brief definition where appropriate.
  • Know when more information for the sake of context is too much.
  • Avoid cliches (e.g., curve ball, back to the drawing board, hole in one, up the ante, double or nothing, top-of-the-funnel, move the needle, low-hanging fruit, peel the onion, boil the ocean, etc.), and avoid metaphors or jargon that go beyond the subject or audience at hand (e.g., sports metaphors, tech jargon if not speaking to engineers, etc.).

Lead with facts

  • Lead with and back up claims with references, research and proper annotation to showcase our rigor.
  • Be upfront and transparent about limitations, while also anticipating the questions skeptics in the audience might ask.

Use measured enthusiasm

  • Be deliberate and thoughtful when showing our enthusiastic side (e.g., use exclamation points sparingly). We are a passionate team, but we always remember the seriousness of our mission.
  • Avoid hyperbole (e.g., avoid saying Flatiron will cure cancer).

Refer to cancer and those in the industry appropriately

  • Use matter-of-fact, simple language when referring to cancer or patients (e.g., “She has metastatic breast cancer.”).
  • Avoid battle-related speak when discussing cancer (e.g., fighting or battling cancer, in the war against cancer, etc.).
  • Avoid personifying cancer (e.g., “cancer touches lives”).
  • Avoid publicly disparaging any company or competitor; we support everyone working to improve treatment options and accelerate research.

Follow our grammar style guide

  • Use the first and second person to make content relatable and approachable.
  • Write in the active, not passive, voice when possible for a streamlined, straightforward sentence.

For more specific guidance on writing for your intended audience or for access to our writing style and grammar guide, please contact communications@.