Storytelling Tips

Everything we create to tell Northeastern’s story is content—articles, videos, ad copy, web banners, program descriptions, letters, invitations. Here are a few tips for communicating in a way that says we are Northeastern.

Have a purpose. Who’s your audience? What do you want them to think, feel, or do when they’ve read or viewed the content?

Create content that highlights Northeastern’s unique strengths—global experience, use-inspired research, partnership, innovation, lifelong learning. Include details that emphasize those strengths—show, don’t tell.

Consider which channel(s) you’re using. Web writing, for example, is less linear than print, so consider ways to embed related content throughout.

Let the personalities of our students, faculty, and alumni shine through. People like to read about people.

Leverage existing content. Managing content well is as important as creating good original content. Pull microcontent—data, photos, captions, quotes—from longer pieces to give a story additional legs.

Don’t bury your point. Start with what’s going to resonate with your audience, and then provide the relevant backstory if needed.

Steer clear of jargon, “insider,” and academic language. Smart content is accessible. People are busy, so get straight to the point.