What would drive your content strategy? Who would manage it? How much would you budget for each issue? And what would you want your readers to do?

Texas Woman’s University asked — and answered — all of those questions when it launched a new publication to celebrate its success stories, as the newest university system in Texas, and lead the communications philanthropy narrative.

On the heels of being named the only woman’s focused public university system in the United States in 2021, TWU needed to communicate its new strengths and build a culture of philanthropy.

Starting with a blank slate can be intimidating. So TWU partnered with Zehno to crystalize the vision. Our discovery focused on understanding what audiences wanted to read. Then we developed a content strategy mapped to the university system’s goals and created a magazine to inspire both internal and external audiences.

Challenges

  • Show philanthropic gifts at work.
  • Communicate how research matters and helps people.
  • Carve out stories that show the impact of an affordable, public Texas Woman’s University education through barrier breakers.
  • Share unexpected stories that burst stereotypes of women as leaders.

Results

Build a philanthropic culture

Stories communicate the impact of giving with a storytelling perspective — helping to build a philanthropic culture.

 

Exclamation mark!

Content Strategy

Extends the university brand — Boldly Go — by sharing stories of barrier breakers unafraid to go where no woman has gone before.

TEMPLATES THAT WORK

A clearly defined template system makes editorial planning a breeze. And signature editorial devices provide a strategic framework for every issue — and build familiarity with readers.

What Zehno did

  • Audit and strategic recommendations.
  • Editorial consulting to map out story types.
  • Mood boards.
  • Prototype and templates.
  • Layout of first issue.
  • Ongoing consulting.

TWU cover and pioneers

 

Tips for your team

  1. Go bold with illustration. TWU used an illustration package on the cover — and throughout — to communicate the university’s growth and capture the chancellor’s vision of what the new university system can become.
  2. Carve out space for each campus. A one-page news roundup for TWU’s campuses in Dallas, Denton and Houston conveys a united system while spotlighting each campus strengths.
  3. Mix in bite-sized content. Don’t be afraid to appeal to readers who say they want stories that get to the point quickly.

Does your magazine matter?

Next time budget slashers descend on your office, be prepared to answer what it actually accomplishes.

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