Messaging

Our messaging provides a way to talk about the University of Iowa with consistency and impact. It explains what makes us different from other universities and ensures we’re all speaking with the same voice.

Drone shot of the Iowa River

Key messages

Use these themes when communicating to prospective audiences to reflect and reinforce the most distinctive facets of the Iowa brand.

A person reading at Iowa Writers’ Showcase, a literary reading and fundraiser for the Iowa Youth Writing Project

The writing university.

Iowa’s excellence in writing has created an unmatched array of writing-related resources that everyone can benefit from.

students talking in bike building class

Where art meets science.

Iowa’s balanced leadership in the arts and sciences encourages exploration and innovation across disciplines.

Lab students studying electricity, magnetism, light, and modern physics.

Collaboration over competition.

At Iowa, we believe great teams, not individuals, will find the answers to the biggest challenges.

Aerial view of campus

A college town like no other.

All of this is made possible by our uniquely integrated town and campus, making Iowa City an ideal place to live, learn, and work.

Messaging Guide

Use our messaging guide when talking about the university—online, in conversation, in print materials, in speeches, and during presentations. It applies at all levels, from the president’s office to prospective student tour guides.

Download messaging guide

Effective messages are: 

  • Active. Avoid the passive voice, dull language, and run-on sentences.
  • Simple. Limit your use of adjectives and superlatives.
  • Concise. Keep sentences short, tight, and focused on the objective of your message.
  • Intentional. Understand your audience(s) and your unit’s goals. Use that understanding to guide your communications.
  • Clear. Avoid heavily academic or technical language in promotional or recruitment-driven materials.
  • Compelling. Look for opportunities to connect with your audience emotionally and move them to action.

Editorial style guide

The University of Iowa is known both nationally and internationally as “the Writing University.” We encourage communicators to live up to this reputation by demonstrating care and precision in all messaging, including press releases, digital and print materials, social media posts, and editorials.

The University of Iowa uses predominantly AP style, with some exceptions. Consult the style guide for more instruction and details. 

Download Editorial Style Guide

University of Iowa in text

Refer to the University of Iowa on first reference and as “Iowa” for subsequent references. If doing so may lead to confusion between the university and the state, use “the UI” (not “U of I”). Use sparingly as adjective. Don’t capitalize “university” if standing alone, and only capitalize “the” in “the University of Iowa” if it is at the beginning of a sentence.

Examples:

  • The University of Iowa has 11 colleges.
  • Welcome to the University of Iowa campus.
  • Iowa has a world-renowned space-science program.
  • There are three public universities in Iowa; the UI has 11 colleges.
  • The university was established in 1847.