Headlines

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“Here is how” headlines

Since these lines are intended for higher visibility applications, great care should be taken in creating them. While there is no definitive limit to how many expressions any given unit can have, it’s essential that every expression be authentic, ownable and memorable.

Headline examples

Here is how we prove the impossible.

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Here is how we upend theories.

Department of Biological Sciences

Here is how we question the answers.

Department of Philosophy

Here is how possibilities become realities.

College of Arts and Sciences

Here is how we build the future.

School of Architecture and Planning

Here is how the upstarts get started.

School of Management

A sampling of where they can be used

  • Program covers
  • Environmental graphics
  • Unit overview publications
  • Dean’s addresses
  • Strategic plans
  • High-profile media
  • Speeches
  • Donor communications
  • Admissions materials

Considerations for creating “Here is how” statements

1. Express your purpose and how you deliver on it.

The essence of our story is a purposeful process and a great outcome. Show how one leads to the other.

OK

Here is how we arrive at new theories.

Better

Here is how we pioneer new ways of thinking.

2. Keep it short.

A “Here is how” statement isn’t your mission or vision statement: It’s a concise and inspiring expression of what makes your unit unique.

OK

Here is how we conduct research that improves outcomes across whole populations.

Better

Here is how our research changes the lives of millions.

3. Give it a twist.

Adding an element of surprise rewards the audience and further sets you apart.

OK

Here is how we understand society through literature.

Better

Here is how we find ourselves in the pages of a book.

4. Make it memorable.

If your statement feels vague, expected or too general, give it some more thought.

OK

Here is how we sustain innovation.

Better

Here is how we reinvent relentlessly.

5. Avoid clichés.

UB is different from any other place. Let’s make sure our highest-level messaging is unique.

OK

Here is how we understand what makes people tick.

Better

Here is how we explore the act of being human.

The ideal “Here is how” statement will employ a strong and active voice to form a bold and direct message.

Headlines that communicate “Here is how” without saying “Here is how”

Our creative platform is more than a catchphrase or a fill-in-the-blank. It’s a big concept from which all of our messages flow. The majority of our communications will be written outside the “Here is how” format. We can vary the sentence structure and still keep the “how” central to what we write. The headlines in this category are concise expressions of what we’re actively doing to fulfill our purpose.

Examples

Helping the vision-impaired hear their way around campus.

Using 200,000-year-old mud to gain a clearer picture of the future.

Providing a faster response to first responders.

A sampling of where they can be used

  • Web and print headlines
  • Announcements
  • Press releases
  • Event posters
  • Social media

Four simple guidelines for creating great headlines

These aren’t the only ways to approach headlines, but they’re a good place to start.

1. Focus on a single, concrete outcome.

Give readers something to visualize or focus their thoughts on. Your headline will be more powerful that way.

2. Explain how you’re achieving the outcome.

Make mention of a procedure, tool or process that helps achieve the outcome.

3. Keep it short and memorable.

Avoid trying to fit several ideas into one statement.

4. Experiment with these rubrics to develop headlines.

  • Using an unexpected idea to achieve an extraordinary outcome.
  • Accomplishing something concrete by doing something abstract.
  • ( verb ) + ( subject ) = ( amazing outcome )

Reaching different audiences with the same message

Keeping our voice consistent doesn’t mean communicating with every audience in the same way. Here’s an example of how a typical message can be flexed to connect with different readers.

 

Prospective Students

Tonal Emphasis:

• Excitement
• Opportunity
• Brag points

Alumni and Donors

Tonal Emphasis:

• Vision
• Leadership
• Pride

Internal Audiences

Tonal Emphasis:

• Pride
• Collegiality
• Purpose

External Audiences

Tonal Emphasis:

• Gravitas
• Purpose
• Progress

New Academic Program

Original:
One million dollar grant to UB nursing school funds new nursing programs to meet chronic nurse shortages, need for nursing faculty

Who will fill the nursing shortage? Thanks to a million dollar grant, it could be you.  Anticipating the growth of the nursing crisis and investing in ways to remedy it.  Everybody talks about the nursing shortage. We’re doing something to end it.  A new UB program aims to meet the nursing demand for Buffalo and beyond. 

Economic Development

Original:
Regional institutions collaborate to discuss new ways of strengthening innovation-based economic development

Making the connection between higher education and the innovation economy.  Exploring how industry and education add up to a stronger economy, today and tomorrow. Placing UB at the intersection of higher education and the innovation economy. Connecting education and industry, UB seeks to boost the region’s innovation economy.

Philanthropy and Engagement

Original:
Jacobs family makes historic $30 million gift to University at Buffalo medical school

A $30 million gift from the Jacobs family supercharges medical education at UB.  A $30 million gift from the Jacobs family helps to establish UB as a medical school to watch. A $30 million gift from the Jacobs family sets UB medicine up for even greater success. A $30 million gift from the Jacobs family to UB accelerates Buffalo’s downtown rebirth.

Research Development

Original:
Researchers Identify Neuronal “Middleman” Involved in Development of Alzheimer’s Disease

Meet the team that’s decoding Alzheimer’s from the middle out. Get behind the team that’s stepping into the middle of the fight against Alzheimer’s. As our researchers look for ways to disrupt Alzheimer’s, we’re all progressing toward a cure. Pressing toward an Alzheimer’s cure, UB researchers make a key discovery. 

Other forms headlines can take

Headlines that play up either “here” or “how”

“Here” and “how” form two parts of an equation. Some communications may lean more heavily on the spirit of UB (here), while others may focus on our process (how). A headline can focus on either, as long as you clearly play off the other part in the body copy.

Examples

Here is where entrepreneurs take root and flourish.

Collaboration is how we change the equation.

Unconventional solutions to everyday challenges happen here.

How we reach the answer makes all the difference.

We know that this construction begins to push the boundaries of what’s grammatically correct. So use these in places where it’s OK to bend the rules a bit (like marketing pieces where the bigger concept is obvious), rather than in communications to an audience who might not have the same context (like press releases).

Headlines that personify “how”

When focusing on an individual or team, it can be compelling to use a structure where the passion, focus or outcome is the prime driver of success.

Examples

I am how public education works.

I am how Buffalo stays strong.

I am how drama gets real.

We are how neighborhoods grow.

We are how heartbeats power pacemakers.

We are how research becomes the cure.

Again, this pushes the boundaries of sounding funny to the ear. There’s strength in that, but make sure it’s done in such a way that it doesn’t look like a mistake.

Expanding on the “Here is how” structure.

Consider starting with the “Here is how” construction and using it to craft a headline of similar meaning, but different construction.

Original

Here is how we question the answers.

Here is how big ideas light the way.

This is how perseverance pays off.

Expectations obliterated daily. Here is how.

Expanded

Letting no answer go unquestioned.

A big enough idea can light every path.

Where success is a reason to keep going.

Building possibilities by demolishing expectations.

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