Copy Tips

Here are some general tips for making your UB copy strong.

Avoid jargon.

Specialized language has its place in peer-reviewed journals, but always strive to make your work relevant to the general reader.

Avoid clich├ęs.

Our work is original and unique. Our communications should be too.

One message is better than more.

Make a singular point and support it well. You’ll make a stronger, more lasting impact.

No shouting, please.

If it’s something you’d be willing to yell in a quiet room, use an exclamation point. Otherwise, don’t. Forced emotion will feel fake.

Find the balance.

Every “give” (attribute) has a corresponding “get” (benefit). Make sure they support and strengthen each other.

Make it about them.

Never stop thinking about the readers, and what the story might mean to them in a tangible way. It helps keep the information relatable and relevant.

Celebrate the unexpected.

Tracking traffic patterns though Twitter. Predicting the future with a 200,000-year-old sediment core. At UB, you don’t have to look far for compelling stories with an interesting twist.

Show outcomes.

Every story has the potential for an inspiring result, a concrete example or a goal achieved. Even pure research leads to new possibilities and breakthroughs.

Focus on the how.

Always remember that the University at Buffalo is as much a way as it is a place. When in doubt, refer to the messaging map and our personality traits, and write with a focus on how we arrive at amazing solutions, insights and discoveries. These three important elements will unify our content across all units and channels.

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