Brand, Audience, and Inclusive Language

This page is part of our Editorial Style Guide.

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UCSF and the School brand

Brand, in the most general sense, is what an audience thinks about or feels about an entity that distinguishes it from its peers or rivals. A brand is something that exists in the mind of an audience. Our brand is expressed through a visual identity of specific colors, logos, typography, and graphic design, as examples. It’s also expressed through specific words and phrases known as positioning and messaging.

The School supports and follows the UCSF Brand Identity for both. We further differentiate the School with School of Pharmacy positioning and messaging when communicating about the School and our doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program.

Who is your audience?

We generally write for the educated lay audience. Depending upon the communications delivery vehicle (e.g., web news story, video, recruitment materials, research section of a faculty lab website, etc.), the style of the editorial content can be tailored to its intended audience (e.g., potential faculty members or students, science colleagues, donors, prospective donors, staff members, alumni, etc.).

In order to deliver the right editorial content, in the right way, you need to understand the purpose of the communication, the intended audience, and what you action you want the audience to take. Put these in writing before developing and styling editorial content.

Avoid writing in the first person point of view; use it only occasionally, where appropriate. For example, our person pages have a section called “What I do.” This section is correctly written in first person. Blog entries might also be written in first person, as well as text in publications such as the Update from the Dean.

Inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges and respects all people and groups, all perspectives and opinions. It is free of words, phrases, and omissions that reflect or could be interpreted to reflect prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination, or bias. At UCSF, it is language that promotes our shared UCSF PRIDE values. Language applies not only to web pages but also to:

  • Curriculum materials
  • Social media communications
  • Video production
  • Printed materials such as brochures
  • Informal signs

More resources on inclusive language

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