1. Purpose of policy
1.1 Reputation is crucial to USC’s future as it affects the University’s ability to recruit students and staff, and to attract funding for teaching and research. Reputation is influenced by people’s contact with USC, by what others say about USC, and by what they see and hear about USC in various media.
1.2 This policy enables the University to protect and enhance its reputation by adopting a coordinated and consistent approach and creating a coherent, distinctive brand for its representations to external audiences.
1.3 The policy addresses the management of advertising, brand and corporate identity, design, events, marketing materials, media and social media, merchandise, sponsorship, student ambassadors and volunteers, student recruitment and the website, as well as the application of sustainability principles to Marketing activities.
1.4 If staff require clarification regarding any of the above terms they should contact Marketing.
2. Policy scope and application
2.1 This policy applies to all staff, students and other individuals working on behalf of the University where University funds and resources are being used to represent the University to external audiences.
2.2 This policy does not apply to the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, which is a controlled entity of the University.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:
Social media means social networking websites, interactive web technologies, and online media including both official and unofficial pages, groups, individuals, clubs and societies including, but not limited to:
- Networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn
- Visual social networking sites such as Instagram and Snapchat
- Web blogs such as WordPress and Tumblr
- Micro-blogs such as Twitter
- Content communities such as YouTube and Flickr
- Wikis such as Wikipedia
- Blogs, forums, discussions and comments on news sites, articles and groups such as Whirlpool
- Pod-casting including audio and video files such as Apple iTunes
This definition may be updated as social and digital channels evolve and new platforms emerge.
4. Reputation and image
4.1 The University’s reputation is influenced by the conduct of its staff, students and partners. University staff should conduct themselves in accordance with the University’s Staff Code of Conduct - Governing Policy, and students with the Student Conduct - Governing Policy.
4.2 University partners will be guided in their conduct by contracts, agreements or Memoranda of Understanding.
5. Brand and corporate identity, including logos
5.1 The USC brand represents what USC stands for - its promise to the market - and is represented in imagery and words. Corporate (visual) identity is one element of the brand, and is the way in which the University presents itself to the public including but not limited to the registered trademark (the USC logo), market positioning (‘Rise, and shine.’), corporate colours, typefaces and other elements of visual identity.
5.2 There is only one logo and identity for the University. Other logos, slogans or tag lines must not be developed or used to represent sections, units, internal departments, programs, initiatives, research centres, institutes, groups or communities that are wholly owned by the University.
5.3 Special logos shall not be developed or used to represent joint ventures (with the exception of national research centres and Commonwealth Research Centres (CRCs), where these are required by Commonwealth Government grant arrangements to develop a special logo). To brand a joint venture, the name of the joint venture and the recognised and trusted logos of the joint venture partners are to be used.
5.4 Use of the USC logo and corporate identity must follow the Brand Guidelines established and kept by Marketing.
5.5 Students, student clubs or associations, or staff must not use the USC logo for assignments, outside work, or any other purposes not approved by Marketing.
5.6 All applications of the USC name, logo or slogan, whether produced by USC or third parties, must be checked for corporate identity compliance and approved by Marketing.
6. Marketing services
6.1 All design and production work intended for external audiences, including publications and marketing materials (printed, electronic and audio-visual/video content), must be undertaken by designers, producers or other suppliers briefed and managed by Marketing, and approved by Marketing prior to production.
6.2 No area of the University may engage directly with external design, marketing, merchandise or production suppliers, printers, photographers or videographers without prior approval of the Director, Marketing.
7. Media relations
7.1 All media relations activities and contact with any media outlets must be directed through the media team within Marketing. Official USC releases are issued only by this team.
7.2 Media organisations seeking to visit any USC campuses or facilities must be directed first to Marketing.
7.3 Academic staff are encouraged to share their expertise with media on matters of community interest. The Vice-Chancellor and President, however, is the principal spokesperson for USC on matters of policy and corporate issues.
7.4 During a critical incident, all communications with the media must be arranged and managed by the Manager, Media and Messaging. Refer to the Critical Incident Management - Governing Policy.
7.5 All staff who are likely to be required to do media interviews must complete the approved media training program.
8. Student recruitment
8.1 Marketing develops and delivers marketing strategies to recruit domestic students for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Program-specific marketing plans are also developed by Marketing in collaboration with faculties.
8.2 Marketing manages the University’s program of communication and engagement with schools. This includes
- building and maintaining relationships with schools, guidance officers and teachers
- coordinating the representation of USC at a range of school events including school visits, careers expos, subject selection evenings and awards evenings
- communicating to schools and the school community (including parents and guardians)
- developing school engagement/outreach programs for students and teachers.
8.3 It is important that USC maintains positive relationships with schools, which account for around half of the University’s undergraduate intake. Communication and engagement with schools is coordinated by Marketing, and USC staff are not permitted to initiate contact with schools for domestic student recruitment purposes without prior written approval from the Manager, Student Recruitment.
8.3.1 If a USC staff member outside Marketing is approached by a school with a request to engage in activities relating to student recruitment, that request must be immediately referred to the Manager, Student Recruitment for further action to ensure a holistic and effective approach in managing schools relationships.
8.4 Domestic student recruitment events including USC information events, open days, career markets, expos, industry evenings, and awards and presentation activities are managed by Marketing. No other area of the University, including faculties and schools, is permitted to have a separate presence at events where USC is already represented unless the Director, Marketing has granted prior written approval.
8.5 Staff requested by Marketing to present or represent USC at domestic student recruitment events and activities must receive a relevant briefing by Marketing.
8.6 Marketing is responsible for developing and maintaining an audience of highly-engaged contacts including schools (primary and secondary), prospective students and community members. The customer relationship management (CRM) system is a tool which facilitates direct, scalable outbound communication with these audiences, ranging from mass content dissemination to one-on-one relationship management. Communications with prospective students and schools must be managed through this CRM environment under the direction of Marketing, and not through other systems.
8.7 International Office is responsible for international student recruitment both directly and via recruitment agents and overseas institutions from which international students are sourced. International Office must:
- ensure that its student recruitment and related marketing activities are consistent with the requirements of the ESOS Act and honour the standards of the associated National Code
- work within the brand parameters developed by Marketing
- ensure that any international student recruitment activities in Queensland schools are consistent with the principles described in 8.3 and 8.4.
9. Student ambassadors and volunteers
9.1 Marketing is responsible for the recruitment of USC student ambassadors. Student ambassadors are current students who are trained and paid to deliver various activities on behalf of the University. They provide a link between the community and USC by using their own experiences to convey and share their knowledge. No other area of the University is permitted to recruit ambassadors for promotion and marketing purposes.
9.2 All paid work that a USC student ambassador undertakes for the University must be approved in writing by Marketing.
9.3 Marketing is responsible for the management and rostering of USC student ambassadors.
9.4 USC students who are not official student ambassadors are deemed to be volunteers. They may be used to communicate with prospective students at recruitment events or engagement activities provided Marketing approves their use in writing and briefs them on University priorities and messages prior to them attending.
10.1 Marketing is responsible for the approval and management of outgoing sponsorship arrangements on behalf of the University. Outgoing sponsorship involves USC seeking out and paying for some or all of the costs associated with a project, program, event or activity in exchange for recognition. Refer to Outgoing Sponsorship - Operational Policy.
10.2 The Development Office is responsible for the management of incoming sponsorship. Incoming sponsorship involves an external party approaching USC to pay for some or all of the costs associated with a project, program, event or activity in exchange for recognition. Refer to the Incoming Sponsorship - Operational Policy.
10.3 No area across the University is permitted to agree to any outgoing sponsorship arrangements without written approval from the Manager, Experiential Marketing.
10.4 Areas which agree to sponsor an event or activity that incurs a cost for catering, venue or other costs are required to pay for those costs.
10.5 Marketing will only pay for costs of activities that have received written approval in advance by the Manager, Experiential Marketing.
11. Advertising and campaigns
11.1 Marketing appoints and manages advertising agencies to provide professional advice, media and creative services for corporate branding and program marketing campaigns and other key projects. All agency briefs are managed through Marketing.
11.2 The only exception to 11.1 is employment advertising, which is coordinated through People and Culture.
11.3 The Director, Marketing or delegate must approve all advertisements for editorial, brand and legal compliance prior to dispatch and the CRICOS provider number must appear on all advertising both locally and internationally.
11.4 Advertisements that are not paid for by USC or are partially paid for by USC (for example, in conjunction with TAFE or international partners) and which carry the USC logo, are subject to approval by the Director of Marketing. This requirement should be stipulated in any agreement negotiated with third parties.
11.5 USC does not permit advertising by external organisations in USC print, online and web communications.
12.1 There is one USC website. Other websites must not be developed or used to represent sections or activities within the University, including the establishment of non-USC domains or URLs.
12.2 Marketing is responsible for the management, development and maintenance of the University’s website including its structure, content (written and visual), development and design. All architecture of the website is managed by Marketing with due consideration of relevant Queensland and Commonwealth legislation, accessibility guidelines, national university benchmarking, website search trends, and assessment of USC website user needs.
12.3 Marketing must approve all content (written and visual) before it is published on the website.
12.4 Specific links on the University homepage are approved by the Director, Marketing and are reserved for high-level corporate branding, major events and major student recruitment activities.
12.5 Staff producing content (written and visual) must follow the University’s relevant guidelines and where relevant utilise Marketing preferred suppliers to deliver content-related projects. Accuracy of academic program information is the responsibility of the faculties, and must comply with Marketing’s style guides.
12.6 All content on the corporate website must be original or sanctioned USC copy, or appropriately acknowledged. The corporate website may display or link to content sourced from other University corporate information systems, such as course descriptions in PeopleSoft or research papers in the USC Research Bank. It must not display content simply duplicated from external websites, however links to external websites may be included with the approval of Marketing.
12.7 Web authors and coordinators must be nominated by their cost centre managers, and delegated the responsibility to deliver quality content via the corporate website on behalf of their host units. Web author and coordinator nominations are approved by Marketing. Web authors and coordinators must satisfactorily complete training in the use of the corporate website’s content management system and its compliance requirements prior to being given editing rights.
12.8 Where areas of USC supply information for placement on external websites, they must retain responsibility for accuracy of this content over time. The provision of links to academic program information on the USC corporate website is preferred.
12.9 Where a joint venture is established with an external organisation, an external website may be developed but the developer must take responsibility for legislative compliance and regular updating of information. Content on the external website should not simply duplicate information contained on the USC website but may link to the USC website. The joint venture website may also appear as part of the USC website (that is, via the www.usc.edu.au domain).
13. Social media
13.1 Marketing manages all corporate social media platforms and the curation and moderation of content for these channels on behalf of the University.
13.2 Only official USC social media accounts and public groups may use the USC logo or branding, or purport to represent USC. Advice and approval of this use of social media is provided through Marketing.
13.3 As custodians of the USC brand and the University’s corporate identity, Marketing must approve any social media account or site that seeks to represent USC as a whole or in part. This includes any account or site that is established for promotional purposes, including (but not limited to) promoting USC initiatives, research or events.
13.4 Content (written and visual) for social media must follow the University’s Social Media Guidelines, available through Marketing.
13.5 Marketing may deactivate, delete or report any account that contravenes this policy and/or the Social Media Guidelines.
13.6 Staff and students on social media platforms are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the University’s Social Media - Operational Policy, the Staff Code of Conduct - Governing Policy and/or the Student Conduct - Governing Policy and with reference to the USC Student Charter and other relevant policies and procedures.
13.7 Social media activities undertaken by student groups, associations or individual students are considered to be independent of the University.
13.8 Copyright-protected materials, from USC’s platforms or from other sites, must not be used or duplicated without express written permission from the holders of the copyright.
14.1 Marketing coordinates production of all official USC merchandise and promotional materials.
14.2 All USC merchandise is available for purchase through Print Services. Where cost centres wish to order their own USC-branded merchandise for giveaway or sale to staff, students or external stakeholders, this can also be ordered through Print Services. Final artwork for promotional items must be checked for compliance with corporate identity standards and approved by the Director, Marketing, or delegate.
14.3 Approved corporate gifts can also be purchased through the Co-Op bookshop.
15. Major events and corporate functions
15.1 Marketing is responsible for the planning and delivery of major University events including graduation ceremonies and open days.
15.2 Corporate functions hosted by any organisational unit of USC are those which involve representation at senior USC level with dignitaries and other community members. They include events such as industry networking events, building openings, centre launches and ministerial visits.
15.3 Planning for corporate functions is undertaken by the host cost centre with advice from Marketing. The host cost centre is responsible for obtaining approval for the function and for the full implementation of the function, including costs. Marketing assists in appropriate pre-promotion and media coverage of corporate events. If media representatives are to be invited to corporate functions, as guests or in anticipation of the event receiving media coverage, this invitation must be made in consultation with the Manager, Media and Messaging.
16. Sustainability in Marketing
16.1 Marketing monitors the sustainability of Marketing activities it undertakes for the University in accordance with the University’s Sustainability - Governing Policy.
16.2 Recommendations regarding University marketing activities in all instances apply sustainability principles including minimising consumption of resources, protection of biodiversity, management of carbon footprint, reuse and recycling of resources, and responsible waste management.