1. Purpose of policy
Reputation is crucial to the University’s future as it affects USC’s ability to recruit students and staff, and to attract funding for teaching and research. Reputation is influenced by people’s contact with USC, by what others say about USC, and by what they see and hear about USC in various media. Therefore, it is important to positively influence reputation and to limit the risk of damage to that reputation through careful management of USC’s corporate communications.
2. Scope of policy
This policy addresses a number of marketing and communications-related activities of the University, namely:
- USC brand
- Corporate identity
- Media liaison
- Promotional material, publications and graphic design
- Corporate functions
3. Application of policy
This policy applies to all staff, students and members of the University and its controlled entities.
Advertising means paid space or air time in media such as broadcast, online, press, outdoor, publications, etc.
Joint venture means work is carried out by each joint venture partner towards a common end, under a formal agreement. Where work is carried out by USC with funding or sponsorship from an external source, this does not constitute a joint venture.
Promotional material includes such items as merchandise, displays, portable signage, printed and electronic publications, etc.
Reputation means how the community perceives USC’s role and operations.
Social media websites means social networking websites and interactive web-technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, RSS feeds, iPhone applications.
USC brand means what USC stands for, or its promise to the market, represented in images and words.
USC corporate website means www.usc.edu.au
USC logo means the registered Trademark of USC, including symbol and name.
USC name includes "the University of the Sunshine Coast", "USC", "the University ", or other words used by USC from time to time to refer to itself.
USC slogan means the words "Rise, and shine."
Web authors means USC approved persons who create and maintain content on the corporate website that is relevant to their areas of responsibility.
Web coordinators means USC approved persons who have the delegated responsibility of checking and verifying the accuracy of content submitted by web authors.
Website architecture means the informational navigation structure of the website, as represented in the sitemap.
Website content means words, images, documents and other resources residing in the website content management system.
Website development means programming (coding) activities that repair, maintain or improve functionality and appearance of the website.
5. USC brand
Elements of the University’s brand include its corporate (visual) identity, its distinctive character and its market positioning (summarised in the slogan “Rise, and shine.”). The brand is promoted through all forms of communication, internally and externally. The brand strategy is available from Marketing and External Engagement.
6. Corporate identity
The way in which USC visually presents itself to the public influences the image that people have of the University.
The management of corporate identity aims to:
- create a single, consistent and clear visual identity for USC
- project the University as a reliable and contemporary organisation
- standardise the University's visual presentation in a number of applications, thereby increasing efficiency.
The corporate identity includes the USC logo (a registered trademark), slogan, corporate colours, typefaces and other elements of visual identity. The rules governing corporate identity are collected in the Corporate Identity Manual which is reviewed and updated periodically by Marketing and External Engagement.
6.1 Approval of the corporate identity
The Vice-Chancellor and President approves any major changes to the corporate identity of the University that is applied to stationery, signage, uniforms, certificates and testamurs, and other corporate or promotional uses. All applications of the USC name, logo or slogan, whether produced by USC or third parties, must be checked for corporate identity compliance and approved by the Manager, Design and Production as nominee for the Director of Marketing and External Engagement. It is not permissible for students or staff to use the logo for assignments, outside work, or for any other purposes not approved by the University.
6.2 Internal and joint venture logos
There is only one USC logo and slogan. Other logos or slogans must not be developed or used to represent sections within the University, with the exception of the Innovation Centre, which is a controlled entity of the University.
Special logos shall not be developed or used to represent joint ventures (with the exception of national research centres and CRCs, which may be exempted due to Commonwealth Government guidelines). To brand the joint venture, the name of the joint venture and the recognised and trusted logos of the joint venture partners are used.
Marketing and External Engagement manages all aspects of USC advertising in all media, except staff recruitment advertising. The Human Resources Department coordinates all staff recruitment advertising in formats approved in advance by the Director of Marketing and External Engagement.
7.1 Placing advertisements
All advertisements for USC brand, programs, courses, events, seminars, tenders, etc, are compiled, produced and booked through Marketing and External Engagement. All advertisements are approved by the Director of Marketing and External Engagement for editorial, brand and legal compliance. The University’s international CRICOS compliance number is quoted in all academic program print and digital advertising.
7.2 Third-party advertising
Advertisements that are not paid for by USC or are partially paid for by USC (for example, in conjunction with TAFE, international partners) and which carry the USC logo, are subject to approval by the Director of Marketing and External Engagement. This requirement should be stipulated in any agreement negotiated with third parties.
7.3 Advertising by external parties in USC print and online communications
Advertising by external organisations in USC print and online communications (for example, publications, website, email) requires approval by the Director, Marketing and External Engagement.
7.4 Advertising agency services
USC appoints an advertising agency to provide professional advice and creative services for corporate branding campaigns and other key projects. All agency briefs are managed through Marketing and External Engagement. No other area of the University may engage any advertising agency for any purpose, with the exception of the Innovation Centre.
8. Media liaison
It is the responsibility of Marketing and External Engagement to facilitate media contact with USC subject experts, senior management and students by proactively issuing news releases and story leads, responding to incoming requests from journalists, and providing advice and training to staff in dealing with media.
8.1 Media access to campus
Media representatives are permitted access to campus.
8.2 USC official spokespersons
The Vice-Chancellor and President is the principal spokesperson for USC on matters of policy and corporate issues, but may delegate this role, depending on the issue. Generally, media enquiries are referred to Marketing and External Engagement to solicit a timely, accurate response.
8.3 Academic comment in the media
Academic staff are encouraged to share their expertise with media on matters of community interest and to talk directly to media on matters within their area of qualification and expertise. Any comment on matters outside the academic staff member’s area of expertise must be made in their capacity as a private citizen. Refer to Staff Code of Conduct - Governing policy.
8.4 Media releases
USC media releases are issued only by Marketing and External Engagement, ensuring that:
- the content is professionally written in journalistic style
- the story does not clash with another major USC story issued on the same day
- Marketing and External Engagement is aware of what stories are released as well as the availability of the spokespersons when media make enquiries.
8.5 Crisis communication
In the instance of an emergency, Marketing and External Engagement is represented on the University’s Critical Incident Management Team. All communications with the media must be arranged by the Media Relations Unit in Marketing and External Engagement.
Marketing and External Engagement drives strategies for the recruitment of domestic students for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, in cooperation with faculties.
9.1 School relations
It is important that USC maintains positive relationships with schools which account for about half of the University’s undergraduate intake. Communication and engagement with schools is coordinated by Marketing and External Engagement. The Department is responsible for:
- building and maintaining relationships with schools, guidance officers and teachers
- coordinating and documenting schools’ engagement at a corporate level
- coordinating the representation of USC at school visits, careers expos, subject selection evenings and awards evenings
- communicating to schools and the school community (parents and guardians), including promotional material, newsletters, invitations, and publications
- developing school engagement/outreach programs such as Experience USC program for year 9 and 10 students
- advertising in schools through the online newsletter provider, Schoolzine
- promoting the USC Headstart program (for year 11 and 12 students).
9.1.1 School visits, campus visits
Requests for USC staff to participate in school events or activities, or for a school to visit USC campus (excluding international student groups), are coordinated and recorded by Marketing and External Engagement.
9.2 Recruitment events
Domestic recruitment events for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including USC information events, open days, career markets and expos, and industry evenings, are coordinated by Marketing and External Engagement.
9.3 Faculty recruitment plans
Program-specific marketing plans are developed by Marketing and External Engagement in collaboration with the faculty.
10. Corporate website
Marketing and External Engagement is responsible for the management and development of the University’s corporate website.
10.1 Corporate website
There is one USC corporate website. Other websites must not be developed or used to represent sections within the University, with the exception of the Innovation Centre.
10.2 Web development and design
All development and design of the corporate website and its content management system is undertaken by Marketing and External Engagement in collaboration with IT Services. The Vice-Chancellor and President approves the design of the corporate website.
10.3 Web architecture and content
All architecture of the corporate website, including links on the homepage, is managed by Marketing and External Engagement with due consideration of national university benchmarking, website search trends, and assessment of USC website user needs.
Consultation is undertaken as necessary with other areas of the University to develop website architecture that meets identified needs. Links on the University homepage are approved by the Director of Marketing and External Engagement.
All content on the website is displayed using the corporate website’s content management system and is proofed and deemed appropriate for release by Marketing and External Engagement prior to being published for public access. Promotional web-based content (either for the USC corporate website or for external websites such as QTAC and The Good Universities Guide) is produced by Marketing and External Engagement. Accuracy of academic program information is the responsibility of the faculties, and must comply with Marketing and External Engagement’s style guides.
All content on the corporate website must be original or sanctioned USC copy, or appropriately acknowledged. The corporate website may display or link to content sourced from other University corporate information systems, such as course descriptions in PeopleSoft or research papers in the USC Research Bank. It must not display content simply duplicated from external websites, however links to external websites may be included with the approval of Marketing and External Engagement.
10.4 Web authors and coordinators
Web authors and coordinators must be nominated by their cost centre manager, and delegated the responsibility to deliver quality content via the corporate website on behalf of their host unit. Web author and coordinator nominations are approved by the Communications Manager within Marketing and External Engagement. Web authors and coordinators must satisfactorily complete training in the use of the corporate website’s content management system and its compliance requirements prior to being given editing rights.
10.5 Content management on external websites
Where areas of USC supply information for placement on external websites, they must retain responsibility for accuracy of this content over time. The provision of links to academic program information on the USC corporate website is preferred.
10.6 USC presence on social media websites
Marketing and External Engagement coordinates some social media website activities at a corporate level (for example, corporate information for prospective and current students).
Social media website activities may be undertaken at cost centre or individual staff member level. Guidelines are available at www.usc.edu.au/socialmedia
Social media website activities undertaken by student groups, associations or individual students are considered to be independent of the University.
10.7 Joint venture websites
Where a joint venture is established with an external organisation, an external website may be developed but the developer must take responsibility for legislative compliance and regular updating of information. Content on the external website should not simply duplicate information contained on the USC corporate website but may link to the USC corporate website. The joint venture website may also appear as part of the USC corporate website (that is, via the www.usc.edu.au domain).
All USC corporate website development, design, architecture and content is subject to compliance with:
- internal guidelines on style, content and quality control
- relevant University policies and procedures
- relevant Queensland legislation (for example privacy, right to information)
- relevant Commonwealth legislation (for example copyright, ESOS, disability discrimination)
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) accessibility guidelines, currently WCAG 2.0
Marketing and External Engagement is the contact point for USC corporate website compliance queries.
11. Promotional material, publications and graphic design
Marketing and External Engagement coordinates production of all official USC promotional materials. All design, production and printing projects are managed by the Design and Production Unit in Marketing and External Engagement. Design (no cost) and printing (cost recovery) services are provided to cost centres. No area of the University may engage directly with external design studios or printers without prior approval of the Director of Marketing and External Engagement.
Promotional materials at a corporate level (for example annual reports, student prospectuses) are written, designed and printed by Marketing and External Engagement. For promotional materials at a cost centre or individual staff member level, the internal client has the responsibility for writing, proofing and verifying the accuracy of content submitted for design and production.
Marketing and External Engagement maintains a limited range of USC merchandise which may be purchased (internal transfer) by cost centres within the University. Where cost centres wish to order their own USC-branded merchandise for give-away or sale to staff, students or external stakeholders, final artwork for promotional items must be checked for compliance with corporate identity standards and approved by the Director of Marketing and External Engagement.
12. Corporate functions
Corporate functions hosted by any organisational unit of USC are those which involve representation at senior USC level with dignitaries and other community members. They include such events as graduation and orientation ceremonies, building openings, centre launches and ministerial visits.
Planning for events and functions is undertaken by the host cost centre with advice from Marketing and External Engagement. The host cost centre is responsible for obtaining approval for the function and for the full implementation of the function, including costs. Marketing and External Engagement assists in pre-promotion and media coverage of corporate events.
13. Sponsorships by USC
USC sponsors a number of community events and organisations with in-kind or financial support.
Major corporate level sponsorships are approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President. The Director of Marketing and External Engagement provides advice on the perceived marketing value of sponsorships to USC.
USC signing, logos and materials to support sponsorships are provided by Marketing and External Engagement.
In order to maximise recognition for corporate sponsorship support, the Vice-Chancellor and President may nominate USC staff or students to represent the University at sponsorship events.
Where in-kind support of venue and/or catering is sought, the Director, Capital and Commercial approves such requests. Refer to Hire of University Facilities – Managerial Policy. The above does not preclude minor sponsorships (for example, conferences, student activities, academic activities) by faculties or organisational areas.
The Director, Marketing and External Engagement must be consulted prior to any new agreement which commits USC to promoting an event or relationship.