[Date changed–posted 4/14/21 (last revision 6/11/15)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 68.01: Communications and News Media Policy and Procedures
DATE: April 14, 2021
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to develop, using mass communications and new media, public understanding of Texas Tech University programs, activities, and events.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in March of odd-numbered years by the Office of Communications & Marketing with substantive revisions presented to the Executive Director of Communications & Marketing and the President.
The Office of Communications & Marketing provides assistance and counsel for all communications, marketing, and news media needs of Texas Tech University to support the teaching, research, and service missions of the university. The Office of Communications & Marketing serves as a liaison between the Texas Tech University community and the media, assisting representatives of print, broadcast, and online media in locating sources of information on campus and providing information of public and media interest in a professionally prepared format. The Office of Communications & Marketing appoints a staff person within the office to serve as the official media spokesperson for the university and coordinates all communications for emergency situations in accordance with the Incident Command System (ICS). The Office of Communications & Marketing will manage all emergency incidents and preplanned (recurring/special) events in accordance with ICS organizational structures, doctrine, and procedures, as defined in the National Incident Management System. The Office of Communications & Marketing manages the Texas Tech University brand through the implementation and oversight of the Visual Identity Guidelines. Within these guidelines, the office produces digital and print media products and provides multi-media design assistance and consultation to colleges and units. The office also is responsible for maintaining the home page of the Texas Tech University website, the Texas Tech Today website, the emergency management page, the Office of Communications & Marketing pages, all Texas Tech social media channels, and the Office of the President pages.
1. Print and Web Publication Guidelines
All Texas Tech University staff and faculty are required to use the Texas Tech University visual identity guidelines, as revised and subsequently approved by the Board of Regents in 2005, for all external or internal publications, including letterhead, reports, magazines, newsletters, presentations, and information published on the Texas Tech University website. If graphical representation is desired on official internal or external publications, staff and faculty must follow the guidelines and use the templates provided, all of which work together to establish the university's comprehensive visual identity. Guidelines are available on the Texas Tech University website. Questions should be directed to the Director of Marketing and Brand Management within the Office of Communications & Marketing.
2. Paid Advertising and Promotional Items
All advertising and promotional items purchased by any unit within the university, excluding personnel classified advertising, must be approved by the Director of Marketing and Brand Management within the Office of Communications & Marketing.
3. News Media
Staff and faculty must contact the Office of Communications & Marketing as a first step in planning all news conferences, special events, or other functions where media coverage is desired. Staff and faculty may prepare first drafts of communications for the media but must collaborate with the Office of Communications & Marketing on final copy before distribution. The Office of Communications & Marketing is responsible for disseminating all news releases, media advisories, and other information about Texas Tech University to media outlets and will otherwise make all media contacts for the university, unless other specific arrangements are made with the Office of Communications & Marketing. Any questions regarding media contacts or coverage should be directed to the college or unit's representative in the Office of Communications & Marketing. Written communications with media must conform to Associated Press style and accepted journalistic standards. Writer's guidelines for Texas Tech University are part of the visual identity guidelines.
4. Emergency Situations
During emergency situations that may affect the health, safety, or welfare of students, faculty, staff, or campus visitors, the Office of Communications & Marketing appoints the official spokesperson for the university. All media inquiries in emergency situations should be forwarded to the Office of Communications & Marketing. The Office of Communications & Marketing has primary responsibility for working with the media and responsibility for maintaining Texas Tech University's public image. Critical incidents require a timely and effective communications response and include situations that:
a. Result or may result in significant damage to facilities;
b. Result or may result in death, injury, or health or safety threats to our students, customers, the public, or our employees;
c. Disrupt operations;
d. Call into question our workplace practices;
e. Call into question the integrity of our organization, its people, or its products and services; and/or
f. Result in the activation of the university's Emergency Management Plan or the Emergency Operations Center.
5. Responding to Media Inquiries
The Office of Communications & Marketing appoints a staff person within the office to serve as the official media spokesperson for the university. However, faculty and staff are encouraged to respond to media inquiries directly when acting in their areas of academic or professional expertise. Faculty and staff who respond to media inquiries are encouraged to send, via email or phone call, a brief report on the media contact to the Office of Communications & Marketing so that a record of media mentions of the university can be recorded. Should the faculty or staff deem a media inquiry to be of a controversial or a questionable nature, faculty and staff should feel free to utilize the services of the Office of Communications & Marketing.
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