MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
The University of Mobile Office for Marketing and Public Relations staff serves as a liaison between the university and the public and is responsible for a broad range of university communications functions, including marketing, media relations, photography, videography, production of publications and distribution of information about the university to internal and external audiences.
Policies regarding university communications are designed to keep UM internal and external audiences informed while promoting and safeguarding the image and identity of the university. To accomplish these primary goals, information about UM and its programs, events, initiatives and community must be released in a manner that is consistent, efficient, accurate, engaging and in keeping with the university’s mission, values and goals. Policies governing communications also are intended to ensure messages about the university are delivered with the level of professionalism and quality that today’s modern media and its consumers demand.
The purposes of the advertising policy are a) to ensure a consistent public image for the University of Mobile that promotes its mission and key marketing messages and b) to maximize the impact of UM advertising resources. The Marketing and PR Office has the responsibility to ensure that consistent university design and copy standards are met, and that the university’s mission and marketing messages are appropriately conveyed.
All advertising desired by all schools, departments, and offices of the University of Mobile must be coordinated with the Marketing and PR Office. This includes all forms of paid and free advertising, including print, broadcast, web and outdoor. No advertising commitment may be executed without consulting the Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations. Advertising space reservations and delivery of ads are handled by the Marketing and PR Office.
The Marketing and PR Office offers writing, editing, photography, videography, design and strategic consultation at no cost to schools or departments. All advertisements must be produced by UM’s Marketing and PR Office, either using in-house staff or the services of an approved outside designer or freelance professional, at the discretion of the Marketing and PR Office.
* Employment advertising placed by UM’s Office for Human Resources is exempt from this policy. However, advertisements must comply with university brand standards.
* Posters, signs, notices, flyers and banners intended exclusively for on-campus audiences by the Office for Student Life are also excluded from this policy, but must comply with university brand standards.
* Free advertising because of in-kind trades is not exempt from this policy. Contact the Marketing & PR Office for a copy of the university’s brand standards.
Publication & Digital Media Services
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that UM publications that reach the external community (and publications produced for internal purposes that require a high level of quality) are produced in a cost-effective and professional manner, and consistently promote the university brand and meet the university marketing objectives.
Definition: Publications include printed materials such as viewbooks, annual reports, brochures, booklets, flyers, postcards, posters, letterhead/business cards, etc. Digital media includes web, video, social media, and other internet-related content.
UM print and digital media going to an external audience must be produced and/or managed (directed) by the Marketing and PR Office. The same applies to high-end publications and digital media targeted at an internal audience. See the Social Media Policy for additional information on creating pages for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Design services are provided at no cost to university departments. University departments must submit a Marketing Request Form (located at umobile.edu/marketing) within a reasonable time frame for services to be completed. As a general rule, allow at least four weeks lead time for digital and items that will be printed in-house. For large quantities and other items going to a commercial printer, please allow an additional 2 weeks printing time.
The cost of printing, mailing and any other products or services (other than layout and design) are always the responsibility of the requesting department. The Marketing & PR Office will coordinate and obtain quotes for printing in order to assure the best rates and quality.
This policy is intended to define the approved channels and process for delivering information, news and publicity materials to the media.
University communications with the news media are managed by the Marketing and PR Office, which services as a liaison between the university and the public and is responsible for a broad range of editorial, marketing, publications and other public relations functions, including the creation and distribution of news releases about campus events, research, grants, awards and other milestones. News releases are a key communication tool used by UM media relations staff to promote UM and raise the university’s profile on a local, national and international level.
The Marketing & PR Office is the only office on campus permitted to send out news releases on behalf of the university and its administrative and academic units. The only exception to this is University of Mobile Athletics department which sends out sports-related news releases to sports editorial staff. By channeling the release of information to the media through the Marketing and PR Office, the university is able to maintain a professional, journalistic communication style in news releases and ensure a review policy that allows for a consistent, appropriate public image for the University of Mobile. Having a single distribution point for news releases also gives communications staff the opportunity to integrate key marketing information into the university’s media messages.
The Marketing & PR Office creates and distributes news releases at the discretion of the Assistant Vice President for University Communications. To request a press release, complete the Marketing Request Form at umobile.edu/marketing. After receiving a request to produce a release, the Marketing and PR staff will assess the subject of the release and determine how to proceed based on whether or not the release subject is:
– in keeping with the university’s mission;
– is “newsworthy” enough to appeal to the news media or other intended audiences;
– will produce the desired results; and
– will help meet university communications and marketing goals.
The Marketing & PR Office reserves the right to decline the creation/distribution of news releases if they are deemed inconsistent with any part of this or any other university policy.
Speaking to the News Media
The purpose of this policy is to define who may speak on behalf of UM to the news media, in addition to explaining more about the role faculty can play in promoting the university in the news media by giving interviews about their academic expertise to journalists.
University communications with the news media are managed by the Marketing & PR Office, which serves as a liaison between the university and the public and is responsible for a broad range of editorial, marketing, publications and other public relations functions. The Marketing & PR Office often serves as a primary contact point for media who are looking for faculty experts to comment on issues for news stories. In addition, the Asst. VP for University Communications serves as the official spokesperson for the university.
In the event another member of the campus community would be a more appropriate spokesperson on specific campus matters, the Office of the President or the Asst. VP for University Communications will designate other staff to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis.
Members of the faculty are actively encouraged to provide comment to the news media on their areas of academic expertise. Initial calls should be forwarded to the Asst. VP for University Communications for screening and redirection.
UM staff members who are contacted by the media should always consult with the Asst. VP for University Communications before agreeing to an interview or to provide information if the inquiry is related to university matters.
The Marketing & PR Office can help prepare faculty and staff for a media interview with tips for getting points across, and the “do’s and don’ts” of working with the media.