• The Rule of Thirds

    The rule of thirds is a well-known guideline for capturing great photos. To use it, visualize a three-by-three grid overlaying your image frame or camera’s viewfinder. The evenly-spaced horizontal and vertical lines create four intersections that are ideal spots to place the focal point of your shot. In doing so, you will balance the subject […]
  • How to Effectively Engage Your Audience

    Do you want to increase the chances for success from your next story, video, or other message?  Then learn how to engage your audience. “Engaged audiences” is a common term, but what does it mean?  To engage is “to attract or please; to secure for an action.”  When your readers, viewers, and listeners are attracted […]
  • First party data (the most important party in town)

    About every five minutes, a new article comes out talking about the demise of cookies – the kind that contain data, not chocolate chips. With the demise of cookies comes the end of ad tracking, retargeting, and behavioral/locational targeting as we know it. For many of us, this is like a giant meteor hurtling toward the […]
  • Making your jobs easier with brand templates

    The Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding exists, in part, to help campus marketers’ and communicators’ jobs to be a bit easier. We understand that you have a lot to do, no matter how large or small your team may be.  One of the ways that we will be looking to help in the coming […]
  • The Mighty DSP (and how it can help you reach your audiences)

    You’ve probably heard some talk around campus about this DSP. What the heck is this thing? And why in the world should you care?    First the boring part – explaining what a DSP is. A DSP is a Demand-Side-Platform, which in essence is a form of software used by us advertisers to place all different kinds of […]
  • Powerful Together: Promoting the March 7 IlliniFest

    Weeks and months in the making, our first-ever virtual IlliniFest is almost here. On March 7, at 7:00 pm, alumni and others will tune into YouTube from locations near and far to reconnect with the university that helped shape who they are as humans. It’s a powerful connection that pays forward for generations, in a […]
  • Planning an IlliniFest that highlights both diversity & unity

    Since joining the Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding and starting my listening tour over the past month, I’ve heard a lot about both diversity and unity at the University of Illinois. Our campus draws strength from bringing together people from all backgrounds and providing them opportunities to thrive. Our individuality actually binds us together. […]
  • A Top 10 list for 2020

    With the winter holidays right around the corner, this is the perfect time to reflect on the best parts of the past year, in spite of the challenges we’ve all faced. At UIUC we’ve had much to celebrate as a campus community. On a unit level, here are the top 10 things we’re celebrating in […]
  • Look beyond the target

    Sometimes to hit the target, you need to look beyond it. It’s a counter-intuitive concept that can have important implications for marketers and communicators. Let me share a personal example to illustrate this idea. About a year ago, my son was in the process of deciding where to attend college. For months during his senior […]
  • A free, on-brand WordPress theme makes it easier to share your content

    You’ve probably heard the saying that the journey is more important than the destination. In the case of the on-brand WordPress theme that was recently created, I would say that the journey has been at least as important as the destination, because they’re both pretty exciting. I’ll start by defining the destination: Creating on-brand, easy-to-use […]