Archives—December 2016


To Tell a Statistics Story

Campus communicators are always on the hunt for a good story. The story can take shape as full-fledged news on mtu.edu/news, it can morph into a tweet, or maybe it grabs attention on a postcard. Editing a story is one thing; finding it is a whole ‘nother. Finding stories that communicate our brand requires building connections and relationships. Listening. Conversations online and in person.

Director of Admissions Allison Carter recently drafted copy for a Statistics postcard. The story was rich—and real. I asked Ali how she came across the juicy bit. Turns out she spoke with the student, Hannah, in 2015, and featured her in a Michigan Tech Night presentation. Hannah graduated in December 2015 to work at Domino’s. Professor Linda Ott led Ali to her.

This is a wonderful example of an on-brand story. It’s a story that will pop off the piece of paper and connect with our audience. Have a look:
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Four Writers, One Paragraph

All writers take great care in crafting meaningful words. Perhaps none more so than marketing writers, whose jobs it is to say a lot—in a very crowded market (and on a very small postcard).

University Marketing and Communications’ editorial team gets together for a short half-hour each Monday to conduct a group brand edit. We take a small bit of raw copy, and brandify it together. We get to learn from each other and walk away with words we can use. Here’s what we came up with this week:

The Original

[Header] Twelve days until Midyear Commencement. Snow is falling. Students are making that final push. It’s busy.

[Intro] I have fond memories of this part of the academic year—the return from Thanksgiving to that combination of exhaustion, excitement, and anticipation of some time at home with family and friends. It seems as if we’re a long way from Orientation Week in August, but time has certainly flown.

Version 1

[Header] Snow. Commencement. And the Final Push.

[Intro] We’ve returned from Thanksgiving break. There’s excitement, exhaustion, and anticipation in the air. We’re a long way from O-week.  

Version 2

[Header] Twelve days until graduation. It’s snowing. Students making that final push. It’s busy.

[Intro] I think fondly of this time of year—the exhaustion, excitement, and anticipation of some time at home with family and friends. We’re a long way from Orientation Week, but time has flown.

Version 3

[Header] Snow is falling. Students are cramming. It’s always busy this time of year.

[Intro] The return from Thanksgiving brings exhaustion, excitement, and anticipation of some time at home with family and friends. Orientation week wasn’t too long ago, but time has flown.

Version 4

[Header] Finals pressure, falling snow, and holiday spirit in the air. And for some Huskies, that moment they’ve been waiting for: Midyear Commencement.

[Intro] Orientation. Wasn’t that yesterday? And now, you just got back from Thanksgiving—and it’s almost time to celebrate more time at home with family and friends.

Then we mashed them all together and came up with a rock-solid, totally branded version we all loved; you’ll read this in the upcoming edition of Tech Alum newsletter!

Published!

Snow. Commencement. And the Final Push.

Orientation. Wasn’t that yesterday? Students are back from Thanksgiving break. There’s excitement, exhaustion, and anticipation in the air. And for some Huskies, that moment they’ve been waiting for: Midyear Commencement.

 

 

Shannon Rinkinen
Brand Manager


Where Does Brand Belong?

The Michigan Tech brand—what our audience thinks and feels about us—is, philosophically, everywhere. It’s in our culture, our events, our sports, and our bulletins. It’s in the air. When we think where brand language lives in our marketing and communications, it may surprise you to know that brand doesn’t—and shouldn’t—live everywhere.

So, Where Does Brand Live?

Brand language should be in a few essential places:

  • Headlines
  • Email subject lines
  • Captions
  • Pull-out quotes
  • Covers
  • Social Media
  • Ads
  • Transitions

So do not despair, there will always be room for the nuts and bolts of your program, features and benefits (55,000 square feet of lab space!), deadlines, and due dates. The fine print.

How Can We Work Together?

While brand language draws readers in and connects them to Michigan Tech, the content you—subject matter expert—provide gives readers the valuable details they need to know. When collaborating with UMC on external marketing pieces, often, clients provide draft content and UMC writers will take the lead on brand language.  Headlines that highlight the people, experiences and opportunities at Michigan Tech. Subject lines that influence. Value-added captions. And pull quotes that evoke our human, honest approach. Both types of content are necessary to create a successful, strategic piece.

Can you think of other important places for brand language? We’d love to hear your ideas—email brand@mtu.edu.

Shannon Rinkinen
Brand Manager