The following steps outline the key components and timelines of a project, from the initiation of a project through key approval stages (such as design and content).
To start a project with the Office of Marketing and Communications, please fill out the top portion of our Work Order Form. All Work Order Forms must have signoff approval from a department head or department chair, dean (if applicable), and the vice president who has oversight of the area prior to the Office of Marketing and Communications beginning work on a project.
- Initiate a Project—Work Order Form
- Print a copy of the Work Order Form or request a Work Order Form from the Office of Marketing and Communications. The “General Information” portion of this form must be filled out prior to the start of any work on the project.
- Schedule a Meeting with the Office of Marketing and Communications
- After you have filled out the “General Information” section of the Work Order Form, please contact the Director of Marketing and Communications to schedule a meeting. The Office of Marketing and Communications is committed to many projects throughout the year, some of which have established publication schedules. Therefore, the Director will determine staff availability for your project. It may be difficult to accommodate last-minute requests. Please refer to the following recommended lead times for your project.
RECOMMENDED PROJECT LEAD TIMES:
Three weeks before event and/or advertising deadline.
- Print Publications:
Six weeks before deadline (minimum).
- Event Promotion:
Four weeks prior to event, or as early as possible.
- Press Releases/Media Contact:
Two weeks in advance of an event (minimum). Six to eight weeks for coverage of high-visibility events, so information can be submitted to monthly and national publications.
All media contacts must be made through the Office of Marketing and Communications. If you are contacted directly by the media, please inform the Office of Marketing and Communications.
- Web Updates/Request for Changes:
Varies, depending on request.
- General Web Maintenance:
Even if changes/updates you are requesting on your pages seem minor or relatively simple to make, please keep in mind that the Webmaster handles many general maintenance requests as well as more comprehensive and complex projects.
- Major Web Updates/New Initiatives:
Major site updates include the creation of new pages (content and design), refreshed design/navigation, and/or enhanced content with photography. New initiatives include assisting on powerpoint presentations, the creation of flash animation or online forms, building surveys, and so forth.
Major Web site updates and/or new initiatives require following the steps outlined in this memorandum. Major site updates and/or new initiatives will be prioritized by the Director.
Two weeks prior to event.
- Banners, Posters, Flyers:
Two weeks (minimum).
When you work with the Office of Marketing and Communications, you will receive professional guidance in the creation of your project, including writing, editing, design, and production. You should be prepared to discuss the following in order to achieve the greatest impact for your project.
What is the purpose of your project?An accurate appreciation of your project's purpose will lead to better plans and better results.
Who is your audience?Many people fail to focus on the audience when they initiate a project. The Office of Marketing and Communications can provide guidance in determining the appropriate ways to reach your audience.
What do you want your audience to do as a result of this communication?Do you want your audience to enroll? Do you want your audience to attend an event? Do you want your audience to learn about a new program or an award? Knowing what you want your audience to do will help determine the content and visuals used to communicate your message.
How will your communication be distributed?Will this be a self-mailer, or will you be inserting it into envelopes? The answers to these and other questions will influence graphic design as well as help the Office of Marketing and Communications anticipate the distribution method and printing decisions.
What is your budget?Please have a budget number ready when you meet with the Office of Marketing and Communications and confirm that funds are in your budget once you receive an estimate for your project.
When is it due?The complexity of your project will greatly influence the production schedule. When planning your project, please keep in mind editing, design, and production time in order to receive your material when needed.
What are the content and visual needs?Before you meet with the Office of Marketing and Communications, you should know who will be providing the content for your piece. New communications always benefit from a planning session. The development of new, complex communications sometimes requires research and a marketing plan. You are encouraged to bring samples of communications materials that appeal to you to your planning session with the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Consultation with Marketing and Communications
During this meeting, the Work Order Form will be completed with your input. Writing, photography, and design needs will be assessed.
- After the start-up meeting, the Office of Marketing and Communications will obtain cost estimates from appropriate vendors. You will be informed of the estimated cost for your project and must approve the cost before work can begin. It should not be assumed that the Office of Marketing and Communications will pay for your project. If we are unable to provide in-house graphic design for your project, cost estimates will include those of an outside vendor.
Please be aware that once a project is initiated, changes requested by the client that deviate from the original Work Order Form or extensive changes made in the Design Proof/Print Approval stages may increase the final cost of your project.
Production ScheduleThe Office of Marketing and Communications will establish a production schedule for your project, from initiation to final approval. You will be furnished with a copy of the timetable, which will be attached to the Design Proof/Print Approval Form.
NOTE: Travel schedules and hectic calendars can affect production schedule for projects when there are delays in the ability to obtain approvals. It is therefore advisable to review your schedule prior to submitting a work order and/or to appoint a designated approval contact in your absence.
Work requests that support the primary clients and objectives of the Office of Marketing and Communications are given top priority.
Requests for services will be done via a Work Order Form, which must be submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications. All requests must be approved by a supervising vice president. The top portion of the form “General Information” must be completed prior to a start-up meeting with the Director of Marketing and Communications.
Most projects involve the following considerations:
Time: While the complexity of jobs varies, most publications require four to six weeks from the time the Office of Marketing and Communications receives the first notification of a project to the time when printed copies are delivered.
Cost: Planning, editing, design, and, in some cases, photography, are typically provided by the Office of Marketing and Communications, depending on staff workload and the project in question. However, freelance writing, freelance design, and/or professional photography may be needed. These costs must be covered by the client. In addition, printing costs, binding, and other production services (professional photography) must be paid by the client who originated the request.
Copy: The client is responsible for providing at least rough draft content for a print publication, unless it is an exact reprint. The Office of Marketing and Communications will edit a draft copy and/or produce draft copy for review. Major changes made after the initial draft approval stage are costly and can cause delays to the production schedule.
Approval: Final approval will be required by the client and the vice president who supervises the respective area. All print material must be approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications before going to press.