Marketing Tips

Marketing Overview

Marketing Your Organization

Below is a basic outline for getting started with promotion of your event, followed by some specific tips on promoting programs and events successfully.



What are your organizational mission, values, and goals? What values are important to emphasize? Consider what makes your event unique from other organizations. This will aid you in your preparation for marketing your organization and events.


Who is your audience? Even if the event is open to all students, are there specific populations that you want to target? What is the best way to reach this audience?


Part of determining your target audience is thinking about making an attempt to involve everyone. Obviously not everyone in the campus community can attend your event and that should not be your goal, but would everyone be welcome at your event? Is your publicity gender neutral? Is your meeting accessible to people with physical disabilities? Would there be any type of race, ethnic, or sexual orientation prejudice? Being inclusive and sponsoring events that are open to the differences in others should be a goal of any RSO event/activity.

Publicity Materials

Publicity materials or methods need to grab your audience's attention, interest them, provide them with information, and motivate them to attend your event. Not only should it answer the questions, who, what, where, and when, but also why? Why should I attend this event? What will I gain? What are the benefits?
When publicizing your event, plan on using at least three different methods of promotion. Publicity should be creative, attractive, and high quality. Information that should always be included:
  • Day of the week and date
  • Time
  • Description of Activity/Event
  • Location
  • Rain Location (if applicable)
  • Admission (Free or cost)
  • Sponsor (with contact information for additional questions)

Distribute publicity in waves if possible. Using the backwards-planning calendar this makes it easier to organize. Make sure members of your organization are fully aware of the program and are prepared to make announcements, discuss it with friends and other people who may ask questions. Word of Mouth is still the number one way students find out about programs and events on campus.

Chalking, Leafletting and Posting

Posting, Chalking, and Leafletting

Registered Student Organizations use a variety of ways to get the word out about organization meetings and events.  If your organization would like to put up posters on campus, chalk announcements on campus, or hand out leaflets to students, please see below for pointers and policies.


Posting on campus is limited to general bulletin boards and kiosks. In campus buildings, the posting of fliers and posters is only allowed on bulletin boards. In most cases departmental bulletin boards are maintained and regulated by individuals in the department's main office or sometimes the caretaker of the bulletin board is listed on the bulletin board itself. In "general use" buildings (Memorial Union, etc.), consult regulations posted on the board or contact the public service information desk. Ask about approval to post in various buildings.

DO NOT post fliers or signs on the following:
  • Telephone poles
  • Light poles
  • Garbage cans
  • Sidewalks
  • Stairs/steps
  • Fences
  • Trees
  • Buildings
  • Bascom Hill (without a reservation, Policy G-2)

Posting of fliers or signs in any of the places listed above is a violation of UWS Administrative code 18.08(9)(a). It is also a violation of Madison Ordinance 23.02 and carries a $68.75 fine per occurrence. DO NOT destroy or deface other organizations' posters.

University Housing Posting

Current University Housing posting policies, procedures, and regulations.


DO NOT chalk on the following:

  • University buildings
  • Courtyard areas
  • Vertical surfaces
  • Arch of bridge walkways
  • Lakeshore Path
  • Underneath any overhang

DO NOT use paint, oil-based chalk, indelible markers or spray chalk.

RSOs who choose to chalk notices on sidewalks or streets should cooperate promptly with any University or Madison Police requests for identification and information about the chalking activity. Chalking (an act of writing or drawing messages using chalk) is illegal by law. The UW Administrative Code 18.08(9)(a) and Wisconsin State Statute 943.01 prohibit this activity. However, some chalking is allowed by the UW Police, UW Physical Department and the Dean of Students if the following restrictions are met and followed.

Additional Chalking Restrictions:

  • You can only use a water-based/water-soluble chalk. Oil-based and aerosol chalk will not come off over time of its own accord, nor through daily exposure to the elements; water-based will. Water-based chalk rubs off or smears when you wipe your finger over it.
  • You can only apply the water-based chalk on sidewalks. Marking on a vertical surface requires physical effort to remove it; it will not come off on its own. This means that a Physical Plant employee must spend time and materials to remove it. Student organizations may be fined if Physical Plant has to remove any chalking on vertical surfaces or if water-based chalk was not used.
  • Chalk is only allowed on University sidewalks and University streets.


Leafleting is the process of distributing information in the form of a small (typically ¼ of a page) flier. If you wish to leaflet, you can ask permission from the building manager to distribute materials in the lobby of academic buildings.

DO NOT leaflet in campus classrooms of academic buildings. This activity is a violation of university policies and guidelines; student organizations may be subject to sanctioning under the Policy and Conduct of Registered Student Organizations as a violation of the Student Organization Code of Conduct.

Naming and University Logos

Naming Guidelines for Student Organizations

Below is a detailed list of University naming guidelines. Please see the "How to Use Bucky" document for a brief overview of this information.

You may NOT use any form of UW-Madison as the BEGINNING WORD(S) of the name of your student organization, e.g., UW-Madison, University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin. Instead, list the UW-Madison affiliation at the end of the name of your organization, followed by a comma or parentheses, i.e., Checkers Club, UW or Checkers Club (UW-Madison). Make sure ALL REFERENCES to your organization (official name, acronym, website, etc) adhere to this guideline. For more information on this, follow this link to the Naming Guidelines FAQ.

You are required to disclose any community, state, national, or international affiliations of your student organization by listing them on the registration application form. Note that the name of your student organization cannot be the same name as the affiliated group. For example, if your group is affiliated with United Way and you wish to use the words United Way as part of your name, then you may name your student organization, e.g., United Way, UW Student Chapter; Friends of United Way; United Way, UW; United Way Student Programming Board.

While an affiliated student organization may adopt the goals of the broader organization, the student organization itself must also relate to student life on the Madison campus, be composed primarily of UW-Madison students, and must be controlled and directed by UW-Madison students. For example, the United Way, UW Student Chapter purpose might be to support the work of United Way, to inform students about working in the non-profit sector, and for student members to encourage other students to volunteer in United Way agencies.

Special Characters

No Registered Student Organization name may start with a special character. This includes, but is not limited to: ", #, @, *, any number (other than written out), or any non-Latin alphabet text.

University Logos and Trademarks

Adhere to the following guidelines if your organization intends on using University trademarks or logos on products or letterhead.

University Indicia

  • The University asserts ownership and all rights, title and interest in and to its indicia, which includes trademarks, service marks, mascots, slogans and any other indicia that is associated with or refers to the University
  • To protect the University of Wisconsin’s trademarks and promote a consistent visual identity, UW logos, symbols and marks may vary in size, but cannot otherwise be altered, tampered with, modified, incorporated into other marks, or overprinted with other words or design elements
  • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System owns and supervises use of University indicia
  • Examples of University indicia include any graphic representation relating to the following (Motion W logo is only approved for use by Varsity and Rec Sports club teams):
University Indicia
Examples of University Indicia
University of Wisconsin ®
Wisconsin ®
University of Wisconsin Madison ™
University of Wisconsin Badgers ™
Badger ™
Badgers ™
Wisco ™
Fifth Quarter ™      
UW ™
UW Madison ®™
Logo of Bucky Badger head ®
Football helmet logo ™
Crest W ®
Wisconsin Badgers ®      
W ™
The Motion W logo ®
Bucky Badger Logo ®
Bucky Badger ™
Bucky ™
Kohl Center ™
Camp Randall Stadium ™       


      Bucky UW Madison Numen Lumen


   UW Helmet Bucky Picture


   W Logo UW Madison Logo

Collegiate Trademark Licensing

  • Countless third parties wish to associate themselves commercially with a school's tremendous prestige and spirit
  • Trademark licensing has been developed to become an important means for universities to maintain and promote their prestigious images through licensed products and promotions
  • To ensure consistency in the use of the University’s name and logos, all products must be produced by manufacturers licensed through the University’s licensing agent, Fermata Partners
  • In return for the right to use the University name and marks on products, a University license requires a company (called a licensee) to sign a license agreement, which sets forth the specific rights and responsibilities of the school (the licensor) and the licensee
    • The UW currently receives a 12% royalty.
      • The royalty is based on the wholesale cost of the goods, and is in essence considered the "rental fee" for the use of the University's trademarks on the product(s)
      • Royalties collected support the University’s “Bucky Grants,” scholarships for need-based students, and the Athletic Department.

Restricted Users of University Indicia

  • Only companies that are officially licensed by the University are permitted to produce items using University trademarks
    • Approximately 370  companies are licensed with the University of Wisconsin
  • Purchases must be made from licensed vendors to ensure quality, consistency and appropriateness of design on the goods
  • In addition, licensees have signed a Labor Code of Conduct agreeing to conduct their businesses in a socially responsible and ethical manner
    • This includes meeting employment standards and practices deemed acceptable by the University of Wisconsin
    • The Office of Trademark Licensing can assist you in providing information on licensed companies

To Use University Indicia for your Campus Organization

  • Receive approval from the Office of Trademark Licensing
    • Following are some guidelines in designing/layout of how the indicia might be used upon approval:
      • The name of the recognized/registered student organization must be listed in close proximity to the university indicia you're using
      • For example, at the top of a flier or letter or on the front side of a T-shirt may be listed a University logo and underneath or to the side of the logo would be listed the name of the recognized student organization
      • A second line for University of Wisconsin-Madison or UW-Madison identifies your registered student organization as a part of the UW.
      • You may NOT include the logo of a non-university business or non-profit organization, which is co-sponsoring or contributing to a student organization event or activity, in close proximity to University indicia
      • You may list any mention of these sponsors in much smaller print at the bottom of the letter or flier as a thank you for the contributions of XYZ in making this event possible, but you cannot include their logo
      • On a T-shirt, you could list on the front of the shirt the University indicia with your registered student organization name and affiliation with UW-Madison
      • Any acknowledgements of other non-university sponsors should be listed on the back of the T-Shirt
      • You could include a list of sponsor names and/or their logos on the back of the T-Shirt.
      • Any University departmental or other registered student organizations that are co-sponsoring your event or activity, could be listed on the letter, flier, T-shirt, or other products by their name or logo.
    • Submit your request via e-mail (
      • Explain how you intend to use the indicia on promotional material
      • Include an actual design/layout of how the indicia will be used
      • Copy of promotional flier or t-shirt design
      • Take your desired artwork to a licensed company and ask the licensee to assist you in designing the look you desire.
    • Please direct your request to:
      • Address: The Office of Trademark Licensing, University of Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, 1440 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
      • Phone: (608) 265.1152
      • Fax: (608) 265.1154
  • Contact for more information.
  • Additional information is available at

Cost of University Indicia

  • Royalties are required when:
    • Item is intended for resale, either to the public or to individual members of a student organization.
    • Includes a commercial message, sponsor, or endorsement (regardless of size).
    • Is used as a promotional marketing device for a particular event.
    • (Note: the royalty will be built into the final cost of the product and paid to the University by the licensee)
  • Royalties are exempt when:
    • The item (generally clothing) is used as a "uniform".
    • Distribution of the item (generally non-apparel items) is for internal use by a department or an organization.