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Tips and Tools

Below are some tips to consider when you are developing and placing advertising.

Before You Decide to Advertise

  • Identify your target audience and then put yourself in their shoes to determine which media outlets will most likely reach that audience.
  • Take note of advertisements that appeal to you, or ask people who are representative of your audience to identify advertising they would find most effective.
  • Determine your medium by consulting publications and websites for demographics and editorial calendars. Most editorial calendars are planned a year in advance and identify the focus or theme of each issue. If you are not certain which medium would offer the best opportunity to reach your target audience, contact the Office of Strategic Communications, 732-932-7084, ext. 604.
  • Plan ahead. To secure the best available spots in print, broadcast, or online, booking ahead is critical.

When Creating the Message

  • Think of your advertisement as part of an overall communications campaign.
  • Determine what you want to achieve with the advertisement (for example, increased attendance at an event, recruitment for your program, or general exposure for your unit).
  • Make your main message clear and prominent. What is the most important thing you want your audience to read or hear, and how do you want them to respond? This should form the basis of your advertisement in terms of content, look, and feel. It's best to limit your advertisement to one theme or message.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid complicated words, and make the advertisement easy to read. Bulleted lists are better than lengthy paragraphs.
  • Consult the Rutgers Editorial Style Guide for preferred spellings and usage.
  • Remember to include contact information (an address, a URL, a phone number, or an email address).

When Designing the Advertisement

  • Consult for the proper use of the university’s visual identity system, including placement of the university logotype and unit signatures.
  • Use plain fonts, such as Palatino and Arial, which are easy to read.
  • Leave enough white space around the text to attract attention to your message.
  • Position your main message where it can be seen the quickest (the eye is naturally drawn to between two-thirds and three-quarters up on the page or space).
  • If you use photos of people, it is preferred that they be people in real-life settings rather than stock art. Be sure to get permission to use all images and have every individual sign a model release form.
  • Avoid cluttering the advertisement with large blocks of text or fancy or detailed images, colors, and backgrounds.
  • Allow enough time in the production schedule for the review process.