Messaging Guide

Now that you know DU’s key messages and brand voice, it’s time to shape your story. How you craft your communication depends on a range of variables from the spirit of the story you’re sharing to the product you’re promoting to your delivery mode to your word count parameters. In this section, you’ll find two possible approaches to help you get started if you’re new crafting communications on behalf of the University of Denver brand. 

Approach One: Ask-and-Seek

Ask yourself a series of questions. Locate the answers and collect information one piece at a time.

  1. What story are you telling?  
    • Gather appropriate information, keywords and phrases.
  2. What UVP concept are you reinforcing?  
    • Use specific examples and evidence to illustrate your message.
  3. Who are you talking to?  
    • Identify your target audiences, how you want them to feel and what you want them to do next. (To learn more about undergraduate students attracted to DU, review developed about their motivators at
  4. What takeaway feeling do you want to evoke?  
    • Is this story and audience best suited to the Innovative Visionary, Influential Idealist or Determined Engager portion of our identity? Pick your voice and review the corresponding personality traits.
  5. Start writing!  
    • Keep story details, audience needs, desired takeaways and persona voice in mind throughout your process.

Approach Two: Laddering

While desired takeaway, product type and content volume will ultimately guide your final approach to message construction, laddering is an effective technique to provide scaffolding for message development. Using this technique, you can build the basic framework of your message using one of the following sequences.

Up The Ladder

  1. Evidence
    • Start by listing your evidence: UVP proof points and facts.
  2. Voice
    • Integrate the attributes and essence of your selected voices.
  3. Storyline
    • Finish by connecting to the main storyline.

Down The Ladder

  1. Storyline
    • Start by utilizing the main storyline…
  2. Voice
    • Integrate the attributes and essence of your selected voice…
  3. Evidence
    • Finish by listing your evidence: UVP proof points and facts.