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Internal and External Communications Policy Statement


EFFECTIVE: November 1, 1997

SUBJECT:  Internal and External Communications

PURPOSE:  The Public Affairs Office is responsible for communicating the story of Francis Marion University to its various publics—on and off campus—by establishing and increasing awareness of University programs, policies, opportunities, goals, and achievements.  The purpose of this document is to establish policies governing official University publications, communication with the mass media, and public service radio-television programs that reflect on the role, scope, mission, stature, and identity of the Pee Dee region’s major university.

GENERAL POLICY:  The following statements reflect Francis Marion’s policy related to publications; desktop electronic publishing; letterhead, logo and seal; news service; photography; and electronic media.


    To provide service to the divisions of Francis Marion University and to ensure that printed matter for public distribution reflect the goals and image of this institution, it is desirable that uniform practices be followed in planning, editing, designing, purchasing, and producing such materials.

    Therefore, supervision and production of all University publications (catalogs, pamphlets, booklets, brochures, fliers, posters, newsletters and other similar printed matter) shall be centralized in and coordinated by the Public Affairs Office.  This office will determine the need for and purpose of publications and to ensure that they contribute to and reflect favorably on the University.

    The department requesting issuance of a publication shall be responsible for providing the necessary funds for production and distribution of the publication unless such funds are included in the University’s publications budget.

    The department requesting issuance of a publication shall be responsible for determining that the departmental chairperson, the dean or the Office of the Provost has reviewed and approved the publication for academic content, especially statements about educational policy, program offerings, and/or admission to the University.

Desktop Electronic Publishing

    Many campus departments have access to desktop electronic publishing systems that can produce camera-ready documents for printing.  Prior to printing, the Public Affairs Office should review desktop publishing documents planned for distribution to off-campus publics of more than 200.

    The same procedures are to be followed for electronic publishing as for printing documents by conventional means to ensure accurate information, clarity of editing, consistency in style, and pleasing design that projects the University in the best possible light.

University Web Site

    The Public Affairs Office shall be consulted about the content of information to be displayed on the University’s web page.   It is desirable that the editorial content and design of web pages reflect favorably on the University, and the role of Public Affairs will be to assist in that effort.  Public Affairs will not be responsible for the technical set-up of web sites but only with editorial content.

Letterhead, Logo, and Seal

    Design of letterheads (both stationery and envelopes) for any department, division, program, institute, etc., within the University is to follow standard guidelines as determined by the institutional identity program of the University.  Public Affairs must review any proposed letterhead prior to its submission to Printing Services for printing.

    Use of the University logo must follow standard guidelines of the institutional identity program issued by the Public Affairs Office in conjunction with the Office of the President.  The official name of the University is Francis Marion University and should be used where appropriate.

    Words, letters, graphic devices and other indicia associated with Francis Marion University are protected against unauthorized use by means of federal and state trade or service mark registration, and/or state statute.  Questions regarding the use of Francis Marion indicia should be directed to the Public Affairs Office.

    Use of the University seal is restricted to more formal application.  It is appropriate to use the seal on official and legal documents, diplomas, certificates, flags and official University ceremonial paraphernalia.  The seal may never be distorted in any way and should never be used in such a manner that it gives the impression that it is the seal of any division, department or entity within the University.

The Crier

    “The Crier” is the official internal newsletter and should be used by all departments to communicate vital information to the greater FMU community and friends.  Written and edited by the Public Affairs Office staff, “The Crier” is published on the premise that better-informed employees are better citizens of the University.

News Service

    To provide consistent, accurate information to the mass media, it is essential that Francis Marion maintain a centralized effort to coordinate the flow of information.  Uniform procedures must be followed in preparing and releasing statements and news releases so that the media will receive an organized flow of information that is consistent in style, quality and content.

    Therefore, the planning, research, writing, and distribution of news stories, sports stories, University statements, public service announcements, feature articles, and other informational materials (including photographs) released to the media should be centralized in and coordinated by the Public Affairs Office.

    All University-generated news releases about programs, activities, and people of the University shall be approved in advance by the VP for Public and Community Affairs who shall consult with the president and other appropriate administrators when necessary.

    This policy is not intended to handicap or restrict faculty and staff from expressing opinions or providing information to media representatives regarding their research and/or areas of expertise.  It does apply, however, in regard to questions of University policy that should be referred to an appropriate administrator or the Public Affairs Office.

    In instances of direct media contact, faculty and staff members may ask to call the reporter back and contact the Public Affairs Office for advice and counsel prior to consenting to interviews, particularly on sensitive questions.  Employees should always state that views given are personal opinions and not necessarily those of their colleagues or the University. 

    In the event of an emergency, crisis, or controversy, the President may designate a spokesperson for the University.  In that event, all media calls regarding that particular situation shall be referred to the spokesperson through the Public Affairs Office.

Electronic Media

    It is desirable that uniform practices be followed in planning, writing, producing and distributing electronic media programs to uniformly reflect the goals and image of Francis Marion University.  This includes public service radio and television programs promoting the University as well as all recruiting and promotional radio and television products about the University. Therefore, the Public Affairs Office should be involved in the planning and distribution of University produced programs for external audiences.

      The department requesting issuance of such broadcast materials shall be responsible for providing the necessary funds for production and distribution of the materials unless such funds are included in the budget of Public Affairs.

    This policy applies only to news, public service, recruiting and promotional radio and television programs originated by the University for internal and external use.  Exclusions from this policy are scholarly and instructional audio/visual products and those programs produced by student media.


Questions about these policies may be directed to the VP for Public and Community Affairs, telephone 661-1220.




Last Published: April 22, 2010 4:15 PM
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