Writing Tips

Writing Tips for Marketing Publications

Our marketing publications aim to provide useful information to our audiences and to do so in a way that makes Lane look good.

Organization
Since many readers scan for information, the text for brochures, advertising and web pages should be concise and organized into logical pieces of information. Choose section headings that are meaningful and short. Put important information first. For the web and for printed marketing publications, use paragraphs of two to four sentences.

Vary the length of sentences to create interesting rhythms. When a sentence needs to be long to communicate vital information, try to follow it with short sentence.

Use bullet points:

  • Bullet points aid scanning.
  • Bullet points organize information.
  • Bullet points increase retention.

Content

  • Provide value to your readers and focus on benefits for them.
  • Stick to the point.
  • Be concise. If a word, phrase, or paragraph is unnecessary, take it out.
  • Keep information current.

Tone and Voice
Text should be clear and easily understood. Use straightforward language, a conversational tone, and avoid jargon and academic language. Consider your audience and respect their intelligence and education.

Use an active voice rather than a passive one: "Lane offers these programs" is more energetic than saying that "these programs are offered at Lane." To increase the conversational tone of your writing, use contractions like "it's" and "you're" rather than "it is" and "you are."

Due to the informality of the web, first and second person addresses are increasingly used.  First person uses "I" phrases, second person uses "you" phrases, and third person uses impersonal pronouns like "they."

Consistency
It's important that Lane marketing materials reflect a consistent look and present information in a consistent way. Consistency helps the reader identify a publication as being from Lane and helps create a positive, high-quality image of Lane.

Consistency involves these components:

  • Accurate and up-to-date content.
  • Key messages about Lane.
  • Proper and consistent use of the language. For suggestions on how to format frequently used types of information, see the section on "Writing Style Guidelines from A to Z".
  • Use of the official college fonts, Goudy and Univers.
  • Design features and ink colors that rely on the graphic standards that have been developed for Lane. For information about Lane's graphic standards, see Logo and Graphic Standards.

Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar
It's important to use language correctly in all Lane publications to communicate clearly and to present a professional image of Lane. If Lane publications contain errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, it reflects poorly on Lane and the quality of education that we offer. If you're writing for a Lane publication and are not a trained writer, ask a skilled writer for assistance. For tips on using the language, see sections entitled "Punctuation Tips" and "Writing Style Guidelines from A to Z".

Alignment/Justification and Spacing
Text in paragraph form should use left alignment: this is the convention, and it makes text easy to read. Fully justified text that is aligned on both the left and the right sides will usually cause uneven and awkward spacing between words. Use one space between sentences.

Approval of College Marketing Publications
Before advertising and posters are published, Lane requires that these items be reviewed and approved by the Marketing and Public Relations department. For assistance with creating print advertising and posters, contact the marketing coordinator in Marketing and Public Relations.

For More Information
To learn more, consult a reliable writing style manual. Lane's Bookstore typically carries guides such as Merriam-Webster's Manual for Writers and Editors. For more information about developing brochures and other marketing publications, see Creating Collateral Materials.