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

  • Deconstructing the Facebook News Feed, social media’s most powerful feature

    February 12, 2016

    University Marketing & Communications

    Facebook is by far the most utilized social media platform, with over a billion users. People spend almost as much time scrolling through the iconic blue and white News Feed every day (39 minutes) as they do interacting with people face-to-face (43 minutes), according to a TIME article.

    Facebook’s News Feed feature has come to dominate how we interact online — what we see, what we talk about, how we talk about it. It’s propelled the success of sites like Buzzfeed and Vox, and left traditional newspapers shriveling. But how? What drives the world’s largest digital billboard?

    Hint: It’s not as simple as just posting content that will attract the most “likes.” So how does the algorithm work, and how can we, campus communicators, leverage it to have the most impact with our social media content?

    Relevancy scoring

    A recent article in Slate explored this topic in depth with the developers responsible for this vexing feature. Among the mysteries writer Will Oremus helped solve is Facebook’s “relevancy score.” This individual component is what makes Facebook one of the most powerful social networks because it powers the creation of a personalized online experience. Here’s how it works:

    • An algorithm takes into account hundreds of factors — from posts you’ve previously liked to how long you spend reading a story — to predict your reaction to a post.
    • The relevancy score ranks each post in your feed based on these predictions.
    • Once every post has received a relevancy score, the sorting algorithm places them in the order you see on your screen. The top post in your feed has been chosen as the one most likely to resonate with you.

    Constant evolution: beyond “likes”

    User testing has been instrumental for helping Facebook determine what changes to make to account for human behavior. Facebook constantly asks users not only what content they like, but also why they liked or didn’t like it, how much they liked it and what they would have preferred to see instead. The data showed there were blind spots that no algorithm could have predicted.

    As a result of this testing, Facebook now:

    • Gathers data on how long you spend on a post and whether you like a story before or after you read it.
    • Gives users more control over their News Feeds with features like “Show First,” “Unfollow” and “See Less.”
    • These actions factor into what content users see on their feeds and whether your page’s content will be visible.


    • Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is a complex web of software made up of smaller algorithms.
    • The mysterious algorithm is surprisingly human and very much a work-in-progress. Software engineers are constantly making changes and updating the algorithm.
    • “Likes” aren’t the only consideration that the algorithm takes into account when ranking content. Some interactions are more valuable — like how long a person spends reading the story.

    All this being said, your content will appear in users’ feeds if you can regularly engage them. Find ways to create or continue conversations. Bring a new perspective. Incite emotion.

    Check out the rest of a Slate article on the inner workings of Facebook. And keep up with News Feed changes on Facebook’s news blog.

    —Ashley Walls

  • UW brand resources at your fingertips

    February 9, 2016

    Wayne Gillam

    Brand portal screen grab

    One of the challenges of working in a UW school, department or unit (especially one with a tight budget) can be pulling together the requisite resources needed to achieve professional, on-brand marketing and communications materials. If you find yourself in this situation, or challenged by fast-approaching marcomm deadlines and project demands, it’s worth checking out the centralized brand support resources University Marketing & Communications has provided at

    Easy-to-use and frequently requested brand resources, such as logos , colors, typography and brand swag are just a click away, as well as other helpful brand-related information, tools and templates.

    Below is a quick tour through and what it has to offer. Each of the sections listed are accessible through the website’s top navigation bar.

    Brand 101

    • Are you new to campus and would like to learn more about the UW Brand, or would you like a refresher course in the strategic thinking behind the UW’s brand development? Review the Brand 101 tutorial to learn about our brand pillars, tenets, tagline and FAQs.




    • In this section, templates are provided for several different types of frequently produced office communications, events and presentation needs. Stationery, PowerPoint and fact sheet templates are all popular downloads.


    • Useful downloads and guidelines designed to help bring your website in alignment with UW branding are located here. Add to your website(s) vital HTML components, the Boundless header, and content management system themes for both WordPress and Drupal.


    • At the date of this blog posting, the email section of is still under construction, but downloads of the on-brand email signature and branded email headers for the Convio email distribution system are ready-to-go and available here.


    Make sure to check frequently for new tools, guidelines and resources. In addition to email branding guidelines, video graphic tools and a 16x9 PowerPoint template, campaign-related fundraiser tools will be coming soon. For questions or more information, please contact Alanya Cannon, Director, Brand Management, at 206-616-5535 or

  • Tips and tricks for effective interviews

    February 9, 2016

    Jamie Swenson

    Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 2.54.51 PM

    If you’re a communications professional, chances are you’re frequently tasked to interview people, be it for articles, videos or speeches. I would also wager that most of you — being your highly capable selves — have developed your own interviewing style with no formal training, just through trial and error. Nice work!

    But what, exactly, does make a good interview? What are you doing well, and what tips might help you improve?

    For this month’s Word Nerds meeting, I interviewed several campus communicators about best interview practices for print and the Web, for videos and for speeches.

    We discussed:

    • The importance of choosing an interview location
    • Making your subjects comfortable
    • Different question types
    • Planning an interview versus allowing it to go where it needs to go
    • How to get a subject to sound authentic when interviewing for a video
    • What to bring to an interview for a speech you’re writing
    • … and much more

    Check out my slides from my 2.9.16 Word Nerds presentation to learn more — or shoot me an email with any questions!

Read more on the blog