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Creating Body Copy

In most cases, aligning our body copy to the “Here is how” platform is less about voice, tone and style, and more about messaging and content that focuses on the “how.” Maintaining a structure of “process and outcome” will help build a cohesive message. Certain body copy—such as course descriptions and instructional copy—works best when it’s treated as strictly informational.

How to create it

  • Turn facts into reasons to care
  • Go beyond what you’re doing and share how you’re doing it and why it matters
  • Place everything you do into a larger narrative
  • Encourage a behavior—visit UB, enroll, etc.

A sampling of where you’ll use this type of copy

  • Web copy
  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • Press releases

Remember, bringing longform copy into sync with the “Here is how” platform is less a matter of changing the language we use and more about telling stories in ways that illustrate our unique approach by focusing on the “how” instead of the what.

Bringing the spirit of “Here is how” into body copy

Both paragraphs below are written well, but the reworked copy below illustrates an emphasis on the “how.”

Existing copy:

The undergraduate programs in the School of Management are designed to prepare students for eventual managerial roles in the private and the nonprofit sectors. The curriculum emphasizes a broad exposure to mathematics and social sciences and a general education in management studies.

Reworked copy:

By equipping undergrads with a broad base of knowledge in mathematics and social sciences and a general education in management studies, the UB School of Management sets students up for success in their further studies, and ultimately their careers in the private and nonprofit sectors.

How our brand expression influences media releases.

Press releases walk a straighter, more strictly informational path than other media. But that path is still purposeful, informed by the bigger UB story, and uses elements of our brand voice.

When the brand voice is applied to media advisories, there are three key areas of difference.

  • The headline assumes an active, process-oriented voice.
  • The caption, when present, reasserts UB’s role in the story.
  • The opening paragraph asserts UB’s direct impact on the subject matter.

Just as with other long-form and informational communications, it is more important to orient our stories around the “how.”

Beyond the opening paragraph and before the close, the text is straightforward and factual.

Before: After:
UB applications up significantly UB sees application numbers surge
Total number seeking undergraduate admission to UB grows, diversity of applicants increasing Stronger, more diverse pool of applicants is attributed to growing awareness of UB

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Undergraduate applications to the University at Buffalo are 10.3 percent higher than at this time last year, and university officials are attributing the increase partly to greater awareness of UB’s status as one of the nation’s top public universities.

 

As of Jan. 21, this represents the highest number of applications to the university in the past five years...

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo’s status as one of the nation’s top public universities has contributed to a spike in undergraduate applications, with an increase of 10.3 percent over the same time frame a year ago.

 

As of Jan. 21, this represents the highest number of applications to the university in the past five years...

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