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SUPERCEDED - Development and Planning Policy and Procedure

31.001:  External Communications

SUPERCEDED on July 9, 2013

Current Version

Status:Approved on August 12, 2011Signatures and dates
on archival copy
Effective:when approved 
Initiated by:Renea Morris
Executive Director of University Communications and Marketing
Endorsed by:Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost
Approved by:Roderick J. McDavis

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I.   Overview

University Communications and Marketing (UCM), a division of the Office of the President, is the organization within Ohio University responsible for all official administration interactions with the news media — broadcast, Internet, and print — including coordination of information relating to general University news or topics requiring an institutional response.

II.   Questions from the News Media

Questions from news media that require an institutional response and relate to a University policy, position, or stance should be forwarded to UCM. In turn, UCM will work with the appropriate senior administrator to frame the response and determine who would be the most appropriate and effective spokesperson in a manner that avoids disruption of university activities and protects student privacy. In matters related to an individual's area of expertise or specialty, UCM should be made aware of the interview for tracking purposes.

III.   News Releases

All news releases must be coordinated through UCM to assure accurate, consistent and timely delivery of the institution's communication, and to avoid undue competition for media attention.

IV.   News Conferences

UCM will take the lead role in arranging a news conference, including making the decision as to whether or not a news conference is warranted. This will help ensure that news media are contacted and that the time and place of the news conference will encourage the best possible news coverage.

V.   Crisis Communications

At the time of any University emergency, all official statements, announcements, or interviews relating to that emergency should be coordinated through UCM. A person will be designated as the spokesperson for media inquiries. For imminent threats, the Ohio University Police Department will activate the appropriate notifications to the campus community. Approval will be obtained, in advance, for those messages concerning campus emergencies that do not require urgent or immediate notification. UCM is responsible for deploying additional notifications to the campus community as rapidly as possible following initial notifications.

VI.   Marketing Communications

All marketing and promotional materials, including web-based communications must adhere to University brand standards. UCM will provide assistance in developing and reviewing materials as needed.

VII.   Campus Communicators

Campus Communicators, assigned to College or regional campuses, will serve as the initial point of contact for the local news media and will represent that College or campus to the surrounding community, in consultation with UCM. Campus Communicators shall be responsible for handling day-to-day public relations matters, including calls from the media as well as unsolicited media inquiries for research experts. Campus Communicators should report all media contacts that have potentially negative or adverse implications for the University to their supervisors and UCM.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Vice Presidents

  2. General Counsel

  3. Chief Information Officer

  4. All Assistant, Associate, and Vice Provosts

  5. All Deans and Executive Deans

  6. University Registrar

  7. Executive Director of Lifelong and Distance Learning

  8. Senior Associate Vice President for University Outreach

  9. Director of Center for International Studies

  10. Director of the Voinovich School

  11. Executive Director of Institutional Equity

  12. Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

  13. Director of Admissions

  14. Ombudsman

  15. Chief of Staff to the President

  16. Budget Manager and Analyst

Forms, References, and History

A.   Forms

There are no forms that are specific to this policy.

B.   References

The following items are relevant to this policy:

  1. Policy 40.007, "Public Records Requests."

  2. Policy 44.100, "Critical Incidents."

C.   History

Draft versions of this policy that were circulated for review, their cover memos, their forms, and Reviewers' comments on them are available on the password-protected Review site, at https://www.ohio.edu/policy2/31-001/.

Prior versions of this policy were approved on:

  • March 31, 2003

  • March 20, 1992

  • July 1, 1987

  • July 13, 1970

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Administrative Policy Manual

Dick Piccard revised this page
on July 16, 2013.

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