University Marketing & Communications

University Marketing & Communications

On the University Marketing & Communications team, we consider ourselves enthusiastic ambassadors of the University of Washington and our brand. Our focus is on building awareness and increasing support for the UW across the board. We achieve this by collaborating with our partners across campus to connect the University with the general public as well as targeted audience segments.

Brand alignment funding

All 2015-16 funds have been allotted. Thanks to everyone who participated in this important brand alignment initiative.

Brand guidelines

Find our brand guidelines and resources at


Marketing Roundtable

2016 meeting schedule
HUB Lyceum

  • Feb. 16, 2–4 p.m.

Our mission

University Marketing & Communications builds awareness of the UW and enhances its reputation through integrated marketing and communications while transforming the vision and values of the UW into engaging, strategic campaigns.

The team supports the UW by championing the brand, providing university-wide services and support, building and maintaining a powerful Web presence and pursuing innovative marketing strategies and opportunities.

Our services include:

  • Brand and creative
  • E-communications
  • Outreach
  • Public relations
  • Social media
  • Sponsorship
  • Strategy
  • Web communications

Let us hear from you

Consider us your go-to resource for brand consultations and other marketing needs. We’re here to support you. Send us an email at or contact one us directly. We also welcome your feedback and ideas.

Latest from our blog

  • Three reasons why you should use video marketing to target millenials

    January 25, 2016

    Hannah Gilman

    Old Navy commercial

    Omid Kordestani, Twitter’s executive chairman and former chief business officer at Google, shared a staggering fact last July: on mobile, the average YouTube session is over 40 minutes.

    Forty minutes! YouTube has transformed the way we consume entertainment and information, whether it’s watching Teddy Bear the porcupine nibble a piece of corn on the cob (guilty) or live-streaming the presidential debates. In fact, YouTube now reaches more 18 to 49–year-olds (that encroaches on Generation X territory, folks) than any U.S. cable network. Fellow marketers: if you’re not harnessing the power of video in your messaging strategy, you’re doing it wrong.

    Animoto reports that millennials will spend more than $200 billion annually beginning in 2017 (courtesy of consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow). Whether they’re spending that on drugstore mascara or a top-tier education doesn’t matter so much as the fact that they’re making that decision by experiencing the product or service before they’re actually purchasing it. Simply put, if you don’t share whatever it is you’re trying to market via video, then, well, you’re missing out on a major opportunity.

    At the UW, campus communicators have an opportunity to share with their audience (potential students, current students, alumni, donors, etc.) firsthand:

    1. What the student experience is really like,
    2. All the ways in which Huskies are contributing to communities near and far,
    3. And the innovative research happening at the UW that’s changing lives — and making an impact — around the world.

    We’re all about showing and telling — and so are millennials. And Animoto’s research backs it up:

    • 60 percent of millennials would prefer to watch a video than read a newsletter
    • 80 percent of millennials find video helpful during initial research for a purchasing decision
    • 70 percent of millennials are likely to watch a video when shopping online
    • 69 percent of millennials find consumer testimonials helpful

    Chalk it up to the ability to watch whatever, whenever, on our devices or the fact that social media platforms like Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram and Facebook are totally integrated with — or centered on — video: the bottom line is the trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So take advantage, friends!

    And, because it’s fun: check out this commercial from Old Navy’s 2015 holiday campaign, in which they enlist former “SNL” and “Portlandia” star Fred Armisen to take on the role of Alexandra Gert — a millennial vlogger touting her Old Navy haul. Take it from me, a millennial who now wants to wear Old Navy more than ever: this is good.


  • Marketing trends for 2016

    January 7, 2016

    Meg Cressey

    Now that we’ve had our fill of holiday treats and reflected on 2015, it’s time to look forward to what the new year will bring. Courtesy of, here are a few of the marketing trends you can expect to see in 2016:


    Video marketing for millennials will be a must

    A study done in the fall of 2014 showed that younger audiences watch more video on digital sites like YouTube than on television. By speaking directly to current and prospective students — or even making them the stars of your videos — you’ll be able to grow their interest and passion for your unit.

    Storytelling will have a bigger role in content marketing

    Studies show that reading stories activates areas of the brain that we use when experiencing events, making information in story-form more memorable. Stories also move people to act, bridging the gap between a cause and its relation to your audience. Copywriters and editors already know how stories artfully convey a subject to a wide audience, but storytelling will be utilized as more of a strategy staple than years past.

    Social media will become an integral part of overall marketing strategy

    As the author of the Forbes article writes, “Social media is one platform out of many, a tactic that does a great job of supporting broad campaigns but flounders by itself.” Aligning social media with your website, newsletters, emails and other materials will be key in developing a well-rounded and fully-formed content strategy.

    Mobile will continue to dominate

    According to eMarketer, about 47 percent of Facebook’s more than 1 billion users accessed the site exclusively through their mobile device in 2015. Beyond Facebook, the number of people who do the majority of their Internet browsing from a mobile device has already surpassed desktop users. In planning for the upcoming year, it’s important to ensure your unit’s website and other online content are designed with mobile viewing in mind.


  • Pitch perfect: Mastering the UMAC pitch form

    December 23, 2015

    Jamie Swenson

    As a member of the University Marketing & Communications editorial team, one of my responsibilities is to work with units across the UW to find and tell our University’s best, most boundless, brand-defining stories.

    But where do we get our story ideas from? It often begins with a convincing story pitch.

    Every two weeks, the University Marketing & Communications editorial board meets to discuss story ideas we’ve learned about through our own research — or that UW units have shared with us by completing a pitch form. We talk about whether or not the stories are boundless, about strategic ways to tell them, about the best platforms to share these stories.

    So, what makes a good pitch? Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

    • Be focused: Choose one story idea per pitch form, and make your case for us to pursue this one story, as opposed to giving us vague snippets of several stories.
    • Be concise: Keeping in mind our brand values, distill your story idea into two to three short paragraphs, rather than copying and pasting the complete story. Be sure to include the “hook” — the angle that you think sells the story.

    And, finally ...

    • Be Boundless: The story pitches that we do decide to take on are those that are best aligned with our brand and strategy. They represent a clear understanding of our editorial guidelines — they’re human, they focus on impact and they’re highly specific.


    Check out this example of a successful story pitch from Bruce Betz, the School of Social Work’s communications director:

    Betz story pitch

    P.S. Are you struggling to find an angle to your story? Confused about the pitch form? Unsure of whether it should go to UMAC or News & Info? Contact Jamie Swenson, UMAC senior copywriter, or Julie Lauderbaugh, UMAC associate director of content — we’re here to help!

Read more on the blog