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Brand Editorial

Our voice should be confident, but genuine and down-to-earth. We want to speak clearly and simply, without pretense. WSU should not sound institutional or overly authoritative.

WSU communications editorially should reflect the University’s core brand identity attributes, as defined in Who We Are.

The overall goal of our brand standards is to ensure that we communicate with a single voice to all of WSU’s audiences.

Prospective Students

Brand Drivers: Reasons Why

  • You will work side-by-side with faculty who care about your success ...
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research, scholarship, and creative activities ...
  • You will be challenged to get personally engaged in a premier campus experience ...
  • You will become a “Coug,” part of a close-knit network of influential alumni ...


  • ... which will jump-start or advance an outstanding professional career.
  • ... which will give you practical leadership experience and skills.
  • ... which will empower you to achieve your highest goals.
  • ... which will give you a competitive edge in your career and in your life.


Brand Drivers: Reasons Why

  • You will partner with world-class faculty who are recognized experts in their fields ...
  • You will enable leading research, eminent scholarship, and groundbreaking creative endeavors ...
  • You will strengthen one of the nation’s premier universities where students are challenged through individual involvement ...
  • You will access the power of the “Cougs,” a global network of influential leaders ...


  • which will connect you to leading-edge expertise and skill and help grow our state’s economy and benefit society at large.
  • which will lead to economic development for the state, creating new employment opportunities and businesses.
  • which will create the highly skilled workforce that attracts economic development and enriches our state and our nation.
  • which will give you opportunities to make a personal difference and increase the prestige of our state and nation.

use headlines to get the reader’s attention

Headlines are one of the most important parts of copywriting. Executed well, they cut through the clutter of communication to grab attention. They also guide your reader through the copy, influencing what is and what is not read.

Clever headlines sometimes include a play on words, but that isn’t always effective. It’s safest to use headlines to deliver information about a benefit of your program or event. Use action words in headlines. Don’t simply settle for a label.

Instead of:
A Message from the Dean

New Program to Emphasize More Field Experiences for Students
(highlights an aspect of the dean’s message)

keep copy short

We live in a world bombarded by millions of messages every day. To communicate effectively, it is important to deliver your most important points quickly. One way to approach this task is to focus on the benefits of your program, service, or activity, and then decide how you can communicate a couple of those points powerfully and quickly.

You might decide that your program’s most compelling benefit is the opportunity for students to do hands-on research with the faculty. You might express that idea in copy that begins like this:

Unleash Your Curiosity. Explore Your World.

At most universities, research opportunities belong exclusively to graduate students. But at Washington State University, as an undergraduate you might assist internationally known faculty with research that reveals new knowledge. Or you can design and conduct studies of your own with guidance from renowned scholars.

include a call to action

Don’t forget this important step. It is what moves members of your audience from being passive prospects to taking the next step and becoming a customer. Tell them exactly how they can obtain more information, sign up for a class, or purchase a service.

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