Laddering Techniques

While product type and content volume dictate your final approach to message construction, laddering is an effective technique to provide scaffolding for message development. Using this technique, you’ll build the basic framework of your message using one of the following two sequences: Up the Ladder or Down the Ladder.

Up the Ladder

  1. Evidence – Start by listing your evidence, or fact.
  2. Dimension – Integrate the essence of your selected dimension.
  3. Storyline – Finish by connecting to the main storyline.

Down the Ladder

  1. Storyline – Start by using the main storyline.
  2. Dimension – Integrate the essence of your selected dimension.
  3. Evidence – Finish by connecting to your evidence, or fact.

More on Laddering

Full Laddering

Full laddering utilizes the full laddering sequence: Evidence + Dimension + Storyline. Full laddering is especially effective when your product has ample room for content. This may include a blog post, press release, viewbook and other mediums where expanded messaging is intended.

Step Laddering

Step laddering utilizes only two elements of the laddering sequence, either Evidence + Storyline, or Evidence + Dimension. Step Laddering is especially effective when your message must be kept short, such as a tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, or a news snippet.

Laddering Samples

Full Laddering


We awarded a record number of scholarships in 2018.

Dimension – [Powerful]
Every year, we use our assets to reinvest in students and create impactful leaders.

Storyline – [Blue]
At The University of Alabama, this is our definition of success. It’s how we make a legendary difference in the world.


Storyline – [Yellow]
At The University of Alabama, we have a transformative mindset to better our world through innovation and research.

Dimension – [Advanced]
We start with a broad-based education that goes beyond what is required to inspire new ideas and advance opportunities.

This spring, we went as far as Antarctica, studying the effects of climate change through research and on-the-ice activities.

Step Laddering

UP THE LADDER (Storyline-Based)

Take the lead in UA’s Student Government Association.

Storyline – [Blue]
Join a legendary group of students committed to advancement and influence, on campus and beyond.

DOWN THE LADDER (Dimension-Based)

Dimension – [Empowering]
At The University of Alabama, students develop the critical thinking and citizenship skills to be agents of change.

This fall, join one of UA’s community service programs, or lead one of your own!