(A) Policy statement and purpose
The faculty, staff and others associated with Bowling Green state university (BGSU) must be cognizant of the reputation of the university, and the impact of individual actions on that reputation. This policy is meant to help protect the universitys reputation and provide guidance to individuals on best practices.
(B) Policy scope
The policy applies to any person subject to a university policy including but not limited to:
(1) The board of trustees, ("board")
(8) Others who provide services or act under the name of the university including contractors, vendors and consultants.
(C) Media relations
Working effectively with the news media is essential to helping Bowling Green state university meet its strategic goals and fulfill its mission.
The office of marketing and communications (OMC) is charged with overseeing the universitys media relations efforts. This includes publicizing and promoting BGSU to build awareness and interest in the university; enhancing and protecting BGSUs reputation and image; providing the universitys official response to media inquiries; and leading communications efforts during a crisis.
The athletics communications office oversees athletic media relations unless an incident or issue occurs that could affect the overall reputation or image of the university. In those instances, OMC takes the lead.
BGSU has established the following policies for working with the media.
(1) External news
All external promotional and news material must be approved by OMC. The office will review publications, promotional materials, news releases and web content for news worthiness, design standards and style standards. OMC will work with the submitter to address any concerns and coordinate distribution.
(2) News releases, announcements, news conferences
All news releases must be routed through OMC. In addition, news conferences or announcements where media will be present should be coordinated with OMC to ensure the university is represented consistently and appropriately. OMC may edit items for newsworthiness and style requirements.
(3) Crisis communications: OMC maintains a communications plan that must be followed in the event of a crisis. With the exception of emergency alerts that may be sent by BGSU police, during a crisis situation all communications to students, faculty, staff and the public must disseminated by or authorized by the OMC. The universitys chief communications officer and/or senior director of communications will consult with the president, appropriate senior administrators/deans, police and emergency responders to formulate and disseminate information in a timely manner.
(4) Incidents or sensitive issues: Incidents or sensitive issues that could create negative perceptions or negative publicity should be shared with OMC as soon as possible, so information can be gathered and timely responses can be prepared.
(5) Official university responses/positions: Any media inquiries that require an official BGSU response or the stating of a university position, must be referred to OMC. OMC will in turn notify appropriate senior administrators and coordinate the response to the media.
(6) Faculty and the media: The BGSU administration and OMC respect academic freedom. Faculty members are encouraged to work with the media to highlight their work and to serve as media resources on their areas of expertise.
(a) Faculty members are not required to seek approval to speak with the media. However, OMC welcomes the opportunity to assist faculty with coordinating interviews, message development, "pitching stories" to reporters and providing general counsel on working with the media.
(b) Faculty members should also coordinate with OMC when receiving requests to film or otherwise tour sensitive areas including laboratories and animal facilities.
(c) It is strongly recommended that faculty let their dean or department chairs know about any media interviews and alert OMC. This allows the office to watch for the resulting story, share the news with the university community, and look for ways to maximize the exposure.
(d) Faculty and staff cannot speak on behalf of BGSU or convey the universitys stance on a topic without authorization. Media seeking an official response or statement of a university position should be referred to OMC.
(7) Requests for experts
OMC receives calls every day from reporters seeking an expert to comment on a topic. The office works to match these requests with BGSU faculty with knowledge in that area.
OMC maintains a database of faculty members and their areas of expertise to meet these requests. Faculty members who are willing to work with the media are encouraged to submit a media profile form to OMC for this purpose.
(8) Story ideas
OMC also welcomes story ideas from faculty and staff. Ideas may be sent to the sr. director of communications (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the universitys communications specialist (email@example.com).
(D) Advertising, merchandise, signage, graphic identity and institutional logo policies
Broadcast, electronic and print advertising must be approved by office of marketing & communications (OMC) to ensure appropriate use of logos and content: Bowling Green state university marks and logos must be used appropriately in print and advertising as per the Bowling Green state university graphic standards manual, and as per the collegiate licensing company, which governs commercial and non-commercial use of Bowling Green states name and marks on merchandise and other materials.
Campus signage: Bowling Green state way-finding (directional) and building signage is produced by the office of design and construction under the Bowling Green state university campus master plan.
The division of student affairs manages the on-campus advertising and distribution policy.
(E) Web design and usage policies
Working with many campus areas, including information technology services (ITS) and college/unit/school web designers, OMC sets standards and primary design protocols that all areas must follow for the university website; all areas are required to keep content on sites updated as part of their communications/marketing priorities and to use the most current version of the official university web templates. Customized elements for distinct or non-traditional audiences can be planned with OMC to ensure cohesiveness with the university and universal navigation features.
(1) Content management guidelines: A content management system is administered and available through the ITS to make meeting web design standards, and using and updating websites easier campus-wide. Testing of navigation and features with target audiences is ongoing.
(2) Web protocol and conditions for official university web pages: using Bowling Green state university web pages are a privilege, and certain requirements or standards of use in addition to design parameters must be followed. They are described in the enterprise applications guidelines.
(3) The office of information technology manages policies covering security, storage and maintenance, as well as other appropriate uses of technology.
(F) Branding guidelines
OMC will champion and protect the university brand, approving messages in concert with that brand and helping colleges, schools and areas customize their own positioning in conjunction with it. Major university messaging/marketing themes, which evolve over time and are based on strategic planning, will be shared with all communicators and marketers, with assistance and support for customizing those themes to help promote individual areas available on request. To date, messages consistent with past university branding and enrollment efforts include different variations of themes authentic to BGSUs audience perceptions, awareness, guide decision making and responses to calls to action: for example, the Bowling Green falcon athletics, Bowling Green state university enrollment and BGSU firelands enrollment themes (recent examples include we are BG, education worth celebrating and university within reach television spots and print designs). General themes may change or adapt in the future based on changing perceptions, branding research, desired audience actions or additional planning.
All university marks, icons and logos are owned by Bowling Green state university and managed by the OMC and falcon athletics per the collegiate licensing company.
(G) Social media and mobile applications
BGSU has extensive social media audiences, and is actively engaged with official university accounts managed by the OMC and ITS in facebook, twitter, foursquare, youtube, flickr, wikis, blogs and other mediums. Colleges, schools and other campus areas often have pages or accounts connected to the primary BGSU social media sites, customized for their specific audiences. OMC is tasked by the Office of the president to monitor any social media sites using official university marks, identifiers, and logos and reserves the right, in most cases, to remove inappropriate, inaccurate, or misleading material, or material that conveys personal information, violates FERPA laws or opinions in a way that can be construed as a university view. OMC will work with community managers to update and maintain these sites, as well as provide forums for training and best practices. Social networking guidelines are available in the graphic standards manual (http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/gsm/page96997.html).
Mobile applications, both native and web-based, are coordinated through a university mobile/apps committee, chaired by an OMC representative. Policies and procedures are being created and will be shared campus-wide. The OMC will provide approval for BGSUs official mobile apps.
January 1st, 2012