Editorial Best Practices

  • Identify and emphasize key messages.
    What are the most important things you're trying to say? Who is your audience and why should they act? Answering these questions will help you identify the most important parts of your messaging. Once you you've determined what's most important, emphasize it. Remember—you will get a better result if you focus on the benefits to your audience rather than simply including a list of features.
  • Include calls to action in headlines or other prominent places.
    Instruct your readers to do something with what they've read. Instead of simply announcing an event, tell your audience to attend—even better, tell them why they should attend! Calls to action are important and should be featured prominently, either in a headline, subhead, or as the closing.
  • Follow IPFW style standards
    Marketing Communications has developed an extensive guide to IPFW style standards, based on the Associated Press Stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, and The Yahoo! Style Guide (for digital content). The official university dictionary is Merriam-Webster's Collegiate. Preserving consistency across campus helps to convey a cohesive message from our university. You will find the IPFW editorial guidelines at ipfw.edu/style-guide.
  • Use clear, concise messaging and ensure your copy is easy to scan.
    Be clear, direct, and brief to greatly increase readability. The IPFW editorial style is for copy to be scannable—text should be broken up into easy-to-digest parts. Consider using tables, short paragraphs, bold text, and pull quotes.
  • Ensure your work can translate to other media (e.g., Web).
    Consider how your content is delivered—be it Web, print, or mobile—to help you reach a larger audience. Simply repurposing copy directly for a brochure is no longer considered a sound strategy for Web content.
  • Remember the basics.
    All material must contain three things: (1) name, phone number, and email address for the person who should be contacted for more information; (2) the university signature, as outlined elsewhere in this style guide; (3) the EO/EA statement (IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University).
  • Collaborate
    Editors/writers should follow the IPFW guidelines and have a solid understanding of the university voice and key messages. Please try to avoid providing subjective feedback that reflects your personal writing style, word choices, etc. However, your feedback is critical; the more we learn about your discipline or department, the more value we can provide to you and the university.
  • Review prior to submission.
    Please review your copy carefully and provide feedback in a timely manner, with all comments from your department incorporated into one document or email if possible.
  • No Orphan URLs
    Include a call to action when posting a URL. Give the reader direction as to what you'd like them to do next.

Editorial Checklist

Does your copy…

  • Identify and emphasize key messages?
  • Include calls to action in headlines and other prominent places?
  • Follow IPFW style standards
  • Use clear, concise messaging?
  • Translate to other media (e.g., Web)?
  • Include basic requirements?
    • Contact information (name, phone number, and email address)
    • University signature
    • Equal Opportunity/Equal Access statement
  • Conform to Marketing Communications Editorial submission guidelines?
    • Reviewed internally prior to submission
    • Provided electronically (email attachments are preferred)
    • Saved in .doc (Microsoft Word) or .rtf format
    • Straight text in a single column (no formatting)
    • Does not include clip art or graphics
    • Uses Helvetica or Times new Roman in 12-point size
    • Uses all capital letters, underlining, boldface, or italics judiciously
    • Copy is flush-left, no paragraph indents
    • Uses only one space between sentences