The Brand Basics: Creating Documents for the ACCT

My name is Bri Merling and my communication emphasis is strategic organizational communication.

For my project, I partnered with the American Center for Civic Training as their first marketing and brand specialist. They had already clearly defined their company values and goals, so the next natural step was creating a marketing plan and documents to ensure consistency throughout the launch process.

The American Center for Civic Training is an educational organization committed to providing comprehensive civic training and to popularizing hopeful solutions to America’s greatest problems. As a non-partisan organization, it was vital that the branding be very intentional and clear to avoid any polarization.

I created two main documents to move the organization forward. First, I worked with the executive director to define the target audience — which we ultimately decided was three main personas. Then I conducted interviews with members of each group to gather data on their needs and interests. From this I compiled a bank of potential future content to create based on their feedback and also a target audience document that brings each group to life.

This is a sample of the full document to illustrate the concept.

After clearly defining these target audiences and the internal strategy to reach them, I moved my attention to some public facing content that would help the world understand the brand better. The most important of these was the media kit.

A media kit is a guide for media journalists or others to draw useful, accurate information from for their publications. Because the ACCT is planning on partnering with other organizations and joining local events in addition to running articles, I decided to add some style guide sections to the media kit to ensure protection of the brand during collaboration with other entities. This included things like a guide to using the ACCT logo.

The media kit included other sections, such as:

  • Who We Are
  • What We Do
  • What We Don’t Do
  • Why We Do It
  • Testimonials
  • Press Release Bio
  • Our History
  • Executive Bios
  • How to Get In Touch With Media Inquiries
  • Language Guide
  • Logo Guide
  • Brand Colors and Typography


Throughout this experience I learned valuable lessons in collaborating with team members to create something from nothing. It required active listening, embracing correction and starting over, and being creative in new ways.