Communications & Marketing Article Formula Exposed: Our Simple Four-Step Guide


A detailed diagram of the GCC&M formula, see more examples at the bottom of this article.

By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor

Have you ever noticed that every article on is the same? Literally by inserting a new name and some new photos, you too can be the author of “original” content for the college website.

Here is a simple four-step formula to help you write your very own Gettysburg College homepage features:

1) Choose a first-year seminar or— if you’re particularly adventurous—a senior seminar that had a great impact on the student being spotlighted. This seminar had a single-handedly life-altering impact on the student, no matter what.

2) The student then goes abroad. It doesn’t matter so much where. The key is that it too was a life-altering experience that provided them a new perspective on the world. If the student happens not to have studied abroad—and this is typically a disqualifier from being plastered on the website—double down on the narrative of how the student arrived at Gettysburg College and envisioned every component falling into place exactly as it did … except for that transformative experience in part three.

3) Here, you have a choice. The key is to make the inextricable connection to the life-altering study abroad experience and to sprinkle in some buzzwords like “impact,” “transformative,” “social justice,” “self-awareness,” “holistic,” “experiential,” “curiosity,” “networking,” “passion,” “entrepreneurship,” “distinctive,” “inspiring,” “innovative,” or “great work.”

a. Garthwait Leadership Center Leadership Certificate program to empower the student to take what they learned abroad and apply it to their campus involvement

b. Center for Public Service to allow the student to engage with an issue they discovered or on which they gained a new perspective while abroad

c. Eisenhower Institute to demonstrate that the college is really working hard to convince people that this public policy component of the strategic plan actually exists

4) An internship or job placement relevant to the study abroad experience caps off this article with a gushing quote on how liberal arts prepares you to do anything.

With these four steps in your arsenal, you are prepared to craft on-brand messaging that demonstrates how “our fearless inquiry of the self and world unleashes positive impact,” “we pursue our mission with energy and perseverance,” and “our transformative experience inspires purposeful change.”

Click on the thumbnails below to see more examples of the GCC&M formula in action:

April Fools’ Special

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as managing news editor of The Gettysburgian, a position he has held since the middle of his first year. In four semesters, he has written more than 100 articles on topics ranging from student activism on campus to sports. Ben previously served as the event coverage and social media coordinator and led the paper's inaugural efforts using Facebook Live and live tweeting events on campus. Aside from The Gettysburgian, he is a peer research mentor in Musselman Library, a research assistant in the political science department, and drum major of the Bullets Marching Band. He is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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