Advertising Tip Sheet

It’s important to plan ahead when placing an advertisement on behalf of the University at Buffalo. Think through and fully address the areas below to ensure your ad meets the intended objective, adheres to the university’s brand guidelines and serves the right audience. These tips should be used to guide advertising on social (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), traditional (print, radio, etc.) and digital (email, display, search, etc.) media outlets.

Important points to consider:

1. Situation Analysis

What’s the project, program or initiative you want to promote? Will this be a stand-alone ad or part of a larger campaign for which greater coordination of campaign elements is needed?

2. Objective(s)

What do you hope to achieve? Objective(s) should be realistic and measurable based on your unit’s business goals.

3. Audience/Targeting

Who are you trying to reach? Remember, you can’t say everything to everyone. The more specific and targeted you can be, the more effective the ad usually is.

4. Timeline

What is the ideal timeframe for your ad to launch?

5. Platform/Medium

Where do you propose to reach this audience?

6. Budget

How much money have you allocated for this effort?

7. Key Message

Your ad should convey one main point. Consider overall tone and voice as dictated by your unit’s message map.

8. Content/Assets

Do you have high-quality imagery/video available?

9. Call to Action

What are you asking the audience to do? This should always be present in your ad.

10. Measurement

How will you measure the ad’s effectiveness?

11. Staff Contacts

Identify all individuals who will be responsible for creating and approving the ad and monitoring its performance. Be sure you know who will be ready to make adjustments and review comments if using social media.

Next Steps

Fill out the communication brief to hone your messaging and content. You’ll notice call to action, key message and audience are repeated on the brief.

For additional guidance, creative feedback or to request an ad consultation, please contact:

Elena Conti-Blatto, Director of Marketing and Brand Management,, 645-4656

Devon Jerla, Marketing Manager,, 645-9196