( View Printable )

Type: University Policy
Division: Governance
Classification: GOVERNANCE & LEGAL

Contact Phone Number: 503-838-8208
Contact Email Address: marcom@wou.edu

Communications and Marketing
Executive Director, Strategic Communications & Marketing Strategic Communications & Marketing

This policy ensures the university is represented by one voice using consistent messages and visual branding in addressing all audiences.

Strategic Communications and Marketing (MarCom) manages the distribution of all information for the purpose of enhancing the visibility of the university or representing the core messages of the university in written, audio, video, digital or visual formats. Official communications may include, but are not limited to, news releases, feature stories, publications, printed materials, videos, speeches, the official WOU website, outreach programs, social media and media relations.

MarCom is responsible for adhering to, enforcing and updating the Visual Identity Guide, Editorial Style Guide and Photography Guide. MarCom also establishes official messaging and visual branding based on WOU’s mission statement, strategic plan and overall goals.

To aid these efforts this policy is outlined into seven major categories:

1.    Name, seal, logos and visual identity

2.    Messaging and style

3.    Media relations

4.    Digital

5.    Photography

6.    Social media

7.    Video

8.    Website

WOU Campus Community

1.    Name, seal, logos and visual identity  

Western Oregon University’s name, seal and logos are the official emblems and registered trademarks of WOU and are only used for officially sanctioned Western Oregon University purposes. The Western Oregon University seal is reserved for use by the Office of the President at the discretion of the president or his/her representative.

Western Oregon University logos, including approved variations, are the graphic marks for Western Oregon University. Primary logos must appear on all materials representing WOU regardless of distribution method or audience. The logos may not be used on any materials not officially connected to the university, regardless of distribution method or audience.

Any Western Oregon University division, college, department or program must include the official logo on all materials representing WOU regardless of distribution method or audience as outlined in the Visual Identity Guide. This includes, but is not limited to, all letterhead, business cards, reports, posters, magazines, newsletters, presentations, web pages and signage.

Commercial use of the Western Oregon University name, seal or logos is strictly prohibited except when authorized by MarCom or through authorized channels.

Any product with the WOU names or marks must be purchased through an approved and licensed vendor.

MarCom provides graphic design services for the university. Correct and consistent use of all design elements creates a unified look in all communications and allows all audiences to identify materials as coming from WOU.

All Western Oregon University divisions, colleges, departments, programs and employees must adhere to WOU’s Visual Identity Guide for official university communications as outlined above. 

2.    Messaging and style

MarCom establishes university messaging and visual branding based on WOU’s mission statement, strategic plan and overall goals. These messages must be foundation of any communication that is officially sanctioned by the university.

MarCom maintains and updates the Western Oregon University Editorial Style Guide, which is the official style manual for communication. For terms with no entry in the WOU style guide, The Associated Press Stylebook is the official style manual. Exceptions: academic papers, grants/direct mail (i.e. communication with specialized style guides or requirements).

All Western Oregon University divisions, colleges, departments, programs and employees must adhere to WOU’s Editorial Style Guide for official university communications as outlined above.   

3.    Media relations

The on-duty Public Information Officer will serve as the official university spokesperson in responding to media inquiries unless another designee is authorized. In the case of a crisis situation, the official communications hierarchy is outlined in communications annex of the Campus Emergency Operations Plan.

MarCom issues all news releases on behalf of the university and maintains the official university experts list. Marcom is the sole department to publicize WOU events that are open to the public. Marcom will work with associated organizations on publicity materials in all formats. The only exception are releases and outreach by the Athletics Department regarding NCAA student-athletes or athletic programs and events.

WOU programs, departments or individual employees that receive a media inquiry about a topic related to their position must coordinate their responses with MarCom. If they do not wish to respond, MarCom will field the inquiry.

Only MarCom designees, preauthorized personnel and members of the experts list will represent the university in an official capacity. When talking to the media, faculty and staff members must make it clear whether they are representing the university or sharing their own views.

4.    Digital signage (LED monitors)

All signage must adhere to the Western Oregon University Visual Identity Guide, the Western Oregon University Editorial Style Guide and Campus Posting Guidelines.

Because videos posted on digital signage do not include sound, they must have open captioning or be created in a way that inherently is meant to be read or viewed silently. On the few special occasions for which a video with sound is warranted, the audio must be broadcast-quality.

Artwork for digital signage must use approved templates that ensure scalability.

Monitors must not be used to advertise non-WOU products or services.  


5.    Photography

All official WOU materials that include photographs or video images must adhere to the Western Oregon University Photography Guide.

Photography/video of identifiable people may only include people from whom a written model release form has been obtained or, for large groups, workshops, events, that clear signage indicating photography for promotional use was present.

Photographs or video images representing the university should not include any inappropriate, offensive or attire representing a university other than WOU.

Photography used in social media, must adhere to platform specific terms of service.


6.    Social Media

MarCom oversees the social media accounts that represent Western Oregon University as a whole, known as “flagship accounts.”   

MarCom maintains the list of officially recognized social media accounts across departments as well as the guidelines for social media use on behalf of the university.

Any social media account created to represent a campus department, program, club, group, or other entity is part of the university brand and must support official university messaging and visual identity standards.

Social media users must adhere to the terms of service set forth by each social media platform.


7.    Video

Videos submitted for posting on WOU TV must be produced in high definition with broadcast-quality audio and include a separate .srt file for closed captioning.

Any music used in official WOU videos must be clear of copyrights.

Video production must also adhere to section 5 guidelines for photography.

Any official WOU video must identify the sponsor of the message, either in text that appears during the video or in the descriptive text that accompanies the video.


8.    Websites

The Western Oregon University website (www.wou.edu) is the university’s biggest publication. As such, messaging and visual branding included on official WOU websites, including mobile-friendly formats, must comply with the standards established by MarCom.

The official WOU website framework is established by MarCom. University Computing Services provides technical support to build website infrastructure.

Information on official WOU websites is considered public record. No official WOU website will contain confidential information.

WOU websites must be managed through approved content management systems and must adhere to accessibility standards as required by law. Websites must use the approved design template and follow the Web Design Guidelines established by MarCom. The only exceptions are websites established by The Research Institute and fulfil the needs and requirements of grants and the Wolves Athletics website www.wouwolves.com.

Official student organization’s websites are housed on software managed by Student Affairs, not wou.edu.

Faculty members’ websites housed on Moodle or any employee website using wou.edu/ are governed by the Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources policy.

MarCom is responsible for the official WOU Calendar, found on the website. Colleges, divisions, departments and programs are required to enter all events into the calendar to be eligible for promotion. MarCom may create a sub-calendar to be placed on department-specific subsites.

WOU is the sole owner of the wou.edu top-level domain and governs the use of the domain. Standard addressing for WOU subsites is wou.edu/(subsite). In the case that a specialized domain or non-standard addressing is needed, MarCom or UCS will coordinate the specialty site.

Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources
Copyright Policy
Campus Posting Guidelines
Campus Emergency Plan
Western Oregon University Style Guide
Website Design Guidelines
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA)
Western Oregon University Visual Identity Guide
Accessibility Standards Guidelines
APPROVAL DATE: 10/02/2017
EFFECTIVE DATE: 10/02/2017
LAST UPDATED: 10/02/2017


FOR POLICY WEBSITE INPUT (public audience keyword search)