The foundational elements of the Oregon State brand — the positioning, messaging and voice — help guide our approach to marketing and collateral across the university.

As you approach a specific project or the creation of a new piece, think through these questions:

1. Who Do You Need to Reach?

First, consider the intended audience. Who is this piece for? Who do we need it to resonate with? What do we need them to do?

Consult the Audience Segments to determine the priority audience. These segments, along with the accompanying details about who they are and what they think about OSU, help determine a focus for how you reach them.

2. What is the Desired Outcome?

Next, define what you want this piece to achieve. What are the core objectives? In what way do we want this piece to move the needle? What key action do you want this audience to take?

Refer to the Audience Segments for guidance on what, specifically, we need or want each segment to do. These details can help shape a call to action and desired outcome.

3. What Do You Want to Tell Them?

Then, determine the messages to highlight. What do we want our priority audiences to know? What will resonate with them? What attributes matter to them — and what will move them to action?

Use the Messaging Map as a starting point to determine what to say. The map helps ensure consistency with the OSU story while providing a flexible framework for selecting the right message(s) to include in any communication.

4. What Specific Stories Will Reinforce the Message?

Select the authentic and powerful stories that can be included. What successes and breakthroughs could we highlight? What stats or facts can further support the piece?

The benefits in the Messaging Map can help frame these stories in the right way — with a focus on the meaningful outcomes and lasting impact of our work.

5. How do You Want it to Look, Feel and Sound?

Experiment with our distinctive personality traits and voice. Which traits are most appropriate given the audience? Which characteristics will help reinforce the messages and stories we tell?

Our Personality influences how we bring our messaging and stories to life in a way that feels like Oregon State. Beyond what we say, they shape how we infuse our authentic tone and voice into everything we create.

6. What Format or Delivery Will be Most Effective?

Finally, determine the delivery method or system of distribution that will best convey this message and story. Where will this piece have the greatest impact? How will it reach our audiences in the most significant way?