As world-leading hubs of innovation, universities inspire global engagement. I have worked with universities (mostly UCL) since 2014, on projects ranging from new website builds to website, brochure and newsletter copywriting.
With central university communications teams and departmental marketing managers hard-pressed to manage diverse content and communications needs, my experience means I’m able to hit the ground running on new projects. Managing complex university dynamics with communications best practice, my university clients know they can trust me to deliver what they need.
Here are just some of the university content and communications projects I work on for my clients:
Website builds + revamps
Departmental websites or sections on university websites tend to lose good structure and usability over time. At the same time, new funding opportunities mean new websites need to be created for research centres and to house thematic content on a regular basis. Experienced in Information Architecture (IA) development, an array of content management systems (CMS) and user testing, I regularly create new websites and web sections for universities. Carefully incorporating university brand and editorial guidelines, while creating engaging websites with SEO and usability in mind, I can lead the process from start to finish.
I write engaging copy for universities that strikes a balance between inspiring users and delivering key information. A university website is its window to the world, and it’s important to me to showcase the very best of each and every university I work with. According to Google, nine in ten prospective students start their university research on a university’s website. Yet an estimated one in five take a university off their list if they have a poor website experience. From home page and landing page content, to course information, news pieces and editorials promoting the student experience, I apply different editorial styles depending on the brief.
Building an engaging picture of life at a university, I have researched and written a variety of university case studies. This includes Q+As with staff and students to aid recruitment, information about research projects, and innovative examples of entrepreneurship thanks to university support. This work typically involves telephone or in-person interviews with staff or students, then writing up and editing case study content. Many of my clients feel this is an incredibly powerful way to recruit staff and students, as well as to showcase university life.
Blogs, long form features + content marketing
For many other sectors, blogs and long form feature writing form part of a wider content marketing strategy. More powerful than advertising, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising and generates 4x the engagement (Demand Metric). With no shortage of possible content available at universities, this is becoming an increasingly popular way for universities to engage more audiences and support their recruitment goals. Typically, I will get to know the specific aims or priorities of the university department I’m working with, before jointly coming up with blog post ideas that will inspire audiences. Long form features are particularly useful for SEO purposes or to populate social media channels, and can relay interesting research to readers using non-academic language.
Social media content
Part of my work has involved building up university social media channels from scratch, engaging users and sharing content that helps spread university messages and reach new people. Having done this, I also know that social media channels are ‘hungry’ and managing the content for social media channels can be time consuming. Yet social media can make a marked difference to universities in terms of recruitment and global brand image. I’m able to do the majority of this legwork for university clients, planning and writing social media posts on a monthly basis, while including all the right hashtags and trackable links.
E-newsletters and email campaigns
An important way to keep in touch with a range of audiences, e-newsletters are effective for everything from student recruitment to fostering deeper relationships with stakeholders. I write and manage e-newsletter mailings to meet university goals while relaying engaging content.
Brochures and print material
Prospectuses, brochures and booklets – either in digital or print formats – are still important to many universities, and I regularly apply my skills to these content types. Whether it’s crafting leaflet copy with precise word counts, or writing and editing entire brochures – my journalism, editing and book writing skills lend themselves well to area of work.
Other areas I work in:
Editorial calendar production and management
Uploading content and blogs to content management systems
Sourcing and editing images
Social media campaigns and channel set-up
Website user testing
Some examples of my work with universities:
UCL Global Engagement Office – new website IA and transfer to new CMS, template creation and guidelines, copywriting, image selection
University of East London, Schools and Colleges – developed new departmental aims and tone of voice, persona development for widening participation audiences, copywriting new website pages
UCL Innovation and Enterprise – copywriting a variety of case studies about student and staff entrepreneurship projects, copywriting event flyers, writing strategy documents
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology / Moorfields Hospital – new templates for key landing pages on the website, content development to promote short courses for CPD
UCL Prospective Students – new website templates and content plans for key pages in the ‘Study at UCL’ section
UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society – new website IA, new templates for key website pages, implementation in CMS, copywriting of key pages, website user testing
I quote for each project individually, based on the amount of research and writing time required. My clients find that working with an individual rather than an agency is always more cost effective. Working with me means you’ll always be dealing with the same person and you get the benefit of my in-depth university, communications and copywriting experience too.
Get in touch
If you have a university copywriting or communications project you’d like to discuss with me, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at:
sasha [at] sashaarms.com or via my contact form.