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If you have questions about style issues, consult the University of Idaho Style Guide for Print, Web, News Media and Social Media.

Writing For Destination

There are general writing guidelines for the variety of channels we use to distribute information and communicate with our audiences. Writing a news release is much different than writing a post for social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. Consider the following example:

TOPIC: University of Idaho Graduate Programs Rank High Nationally

News Release

“The October 2010 release of the National Research Council ranking of graduate programs places Idaho master’s and Ph.D. degree recipients among the top in their fields. The assessment of U.S. doctoral programs included data on more than 5,000 programs in 62 fields at 212 universities nationwide. The survey included the top research institutions in the country and the University of Idaho College of Graduate Studies was the only one assessed in Idaho.

The survey, with data gathered five years ago, assessed tangible productivity indicators, including student time to graduation, the number of research publications, the number of research grants, and the number of times a faculty member’s publications are cited by other scientific research studies.”

Social Media Post

“Good news for Idaho grad students, your degree is getting more valuable. How do you feel about the latest rankings?”
link: National Research Council Rankings

WHAT’S DIFFERENT?

News release: The copy in the news release excerpt is distinctively factual and specific with detail. The news release is intended to inform, and does not prompt the reader to take a specific action. Note the phrase that alluded to “first choice for statewide leadership.”

Social media post: The copy in the social media post is conversational and personal (use of your) and much more succinct than the news release. While the social media post also informs, it directly prompts engagement by including a link to the original article. Notice how the copy still enforces Idaho’s brand promise: “first choice for student success.”