Policy on Public Relations Responsibility and Authority
Dated: January 20, 2023
Supersedes: PR.102 Responsibility and Authority, dated July 28, 2021
References: Use of College Authorized Social Media Accounts, dated August 30, 2011; Filming, Videotaping, Photography and Visual or Audio Recording, dated February 26, 2013
To provide information and guidelines regarding the role, responsibility and authority, of the Office of Public Relations regarding communications and marketing to ensure that such matters are professionally and appropriately handled and referred. Nothing in this policy is intended to affect the responsibility of faculty members for their scholarly publications and personal involvement in community activities, nor is it intended to affect individual employees' rights to express personal views as long as they make it clear that they do so as individuals and do not represent the official position of the College either directly or indirectly. The College’s Style Guidelines can be found on the website.
This policy applies to all members of the College community including clinical affiliates.
It is the policy of the College that all official external and campus-wide internal communications and marketing representing NYMC be conducted, coordinated, and approved by the Office of Public Relations in accordance with the provisions of this Policy.
Unless otherwise specified, members of the College community are expected to provide at least seven (7) business days for the Office of Public Relations staff to review information intended for distribution or publication.
A. Media Relations
- To ensure that information about the College and its members is accurately, consistently and optimally disseminated to the public through the media, the Office of Public Relations is the only office authorized through which official announcements, activities and statements, including press releases of the College, may be communicated to the general public. The Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives serves as the official College spokesperson on matters of institutional policy or position, solicits leadership’s participation as warranted and is charged to respond to all general inquiries and to proactively engage the media to report on items of interest. When members of the College community are contacted by the media on any matter (including one relevant to their particular area of expertise), they must immediately refer the media to the Office of Public Relations who will work with faculty and senior administrators in formulating appropriate responses. Because of the Public Relations staff’s functional range of knowledge, they may call upon other members of the academic community to expand or contain a news item. All offices seeking press coverage for events and activities must contact the Office of Public Relations prior to initiating media contact. The Office of Public Relations will review each request and define the strategy it believes will be most effective in achieving the desired goal on behalf of the College. Requests for routine coverage should reach the office at least two (2) weeks before the date on which initial media contact or release might be made.
- The Office of Public Relations will assist faculty experts in placing editorials in the media that address a multitude of health care, social and ethical challenges facing our society. In order to manage the requests for editing and placement, as well as ensure all members of the public relations team are kept abreast on all submissions, we require all submissions and communications regarding editorials be sent to our centralized email the Office of Public Relations. A minimum of two (2) business days is required to review the request(s) and determine the best plan to proceed with each piece. Faculty can place editorials independently; however, if they use their NYMC title, they must notify the Office of Public Relations prior to publication and they must add a disclaimer that the views and opinions expressed in the piece are those of the author and not New York Medical College.
The prior approval of the Office of Public Relations is required for all advertisements, brochures and other communications, including written, video, audio, electronic or other formats, to external audiences for purposes other than recruiting personnel (handled by the Office of Human Resources). This ensures that information about the College is current, accurate and that brand and design standards are consistently applied.
The Office of Public Relations produces the College’s primary publications including the Chironian magazine, the In Touch e-newsletter, the Alumni Connections e-newsletter, strategic plans, brochures, programs, booklets, postcards, posters, etc. Any department that chooses to produce a newsletter must work with the Office of Public Relations to create an approved template and obtain a license for a college-approved email marketing software. All departments are responsible for creating their own newsletters but must obtain approval on branding and content from the Public Relations Office before distributing each issue. College schools and departments must consult with the Office of Public Relations to produce printed or digital publications displaying the logo and receive approval before publication. The Office of Public Relations will assist with selecting approved vendors, proofing copy, as well as ensuring brand guidelines and design standards are met.
- The layout, design, information architecture, brand identity, as well as messaging of the College’s website are under the purview of the Office of Public Relations. The hardware and servers for the Web are under the purview of the Office of Information Technology. All schools/departments/divisions/offices are responsible for reviewing and updating the content in their section of the NYMC website to ensure their content is current and accurate. They must also assign a web coordinator to make edits and update to their section(s) of the website. The website is a communications vehicle that provides College information in a consistent All activity on the website is monitored and recorded. It is strictly forbidden for any member of the College community to gain access to any portion of the College website without prior authorization from the Office of Public Relations. All edits to the website must be reviewed for best practices/accessibility and subsequently approved by the Office of Public Relations before being published.
- The Office of Public Relations manages all content of webpages within the domain of www.nymc.edu. All official websites must be housed within the official College web servers. Any website and/or pages housed outside of College web servers, such as but not limited to, vendor-created websites or websites created independently of the main College are not supported and are not authorized by the Office of Public Relations. No website outside the College Web servers may be created with the NYMC logo and brand so that they appear to be official NYMC sites. Any vendor or outside site that wishes to display the NYMC logo must obtain written approval by the Office of Public Relations. The Office of Public Relations reserves the right to have any website housed outside of College web servers—displaying inaccurate and/or out-of-date information about the College and its programs and/or violating this policy—be taken down.
- Webpage design
a. Comply with ADA Guidelines for Internet Design by (i) not setting body text in color; (ii) not using italicized text and (iii) not bolding body text.
b. Do not use disclaimers such as "Under Construction" and do not add a link to webpages that is incomplete. Pages that are incomplete/in draft mode should not be submitted for approval or they will be rejected.
c. Minimize scrolling and display time by trying to limit information to one or two pages. If information is lengthy, it should be divided into smaller, more manageable sections. Pages cannot contain less than a paragraph of content.
d. The use of photos and images is encouraged to enhance the visual appeal of the website. These images should be in jpg or png format and less than 1MB in size. All photos and images used must have the express written permission of not only the person or organization that owns the image, but also that of any person or persons included within the image. Please note that photos taken through the Office of Public Relations already have releases as per College policy on photography. Release forms are not needed for photos taken of the College faculty or staff, but it may be a courtesy to notify the person(s) that you intend to use a specific image.
e. Gratuitous web graphics that add little or no content value, such as animated gifs, Java applets, and image backgrounds are not permitted.
f. When using copyrighted material and trademarks, all copyrighted material must have the express written permission of the person or organization that owns the copyright. The Office of the Chief Counsel must be consulted when publishing copyrighted material of a complex or questionable nature. All trademarks used must have the express written permission of the person or organization that owns the trademark. As a rule, avoid reproducing copyrighted material on the Web and use your own materials.
E. Social Media Platforms
- The Office of Public Relations is responsible for the College’s official social media presence on platforms such as, but not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, TikTok, etc. These platforms provide another opportunity to reach out to various audiences, such as prospective students, current students, and alumni, and have the potential to create a significant impact on the reputation of the College. Public relations staff members ensure that social media accounts, created with the approval of the Office of Public Relations, portray, and promote the College in a way that is consistent with its mission and reputation. The development of a social media site that displays the College logo is strictly prohibited without the permission of the Office of Public Relations.
- The Office of Public Relations does not approve or deny requests for student clubs/organizations social media accounts. If campus-approved student clubs/organizations create a social media, the club name must be used as the profile/account name along with ‘at NYMC’ as the suffix. The profile must be clearly stated as a student club/organization of NYMC. Profile photo or pictures must not use the official NYMC logo. For continuity purposes, it is recommended that any student club/organizations social media login and/password information be shared with the Office of Student Services.
F. Digital Advertising
In order to enhance the College’s digital advertising strategy, each school/department/office will work with the Public Relations Office to develop an outreach strategy and will work with a college-approved outside vendor to manage all digital advertising. All advertising dollars must come from the school/department/office’s approved budget. The Public Relations office will review and approve all ads and ad landing pages before they go live. As part of ad services, a monthly report and/or call will be conducted with the vendor to review and track ad performance.
G. Community Relations
The Office of Public Relations seeks to increase awareness of the College through participation in community events. Individuals who become aware of any activity in which the College’s representation would be important are asked to bring it to the attention of the office.
H. Photography and Videography
- All photography and videography is copyrighted by New York Medical College and proper permissions must be obtained. If permission for using of NYMC-owned image or video is granted, credit must be given to New York Medical College.
- The Office of Public Relations maintains an electronic image library of photography and videography that is representative of the College's campus, students, faculty, alumni, events, and overall brand. Departments or offices requiring photography or videography for marketing and communications purposes should contact the Office of Public Relations to access the image library. If a department/office requires new photography or videography they must have approved funds in their budget and the Office of Public Relations will provide a list of approved vendors to work with. Once the shoot is complete, the department/office must provide the Office of Public Relations with the photos/videos to add to the NYMC shared images directory.
- The Office of Public Relations does not have an in-house photographer or videographer. If available, public relations staff can take photos at events that the Office of Public Relations chooses to cover for College publications. A department/office hosting an event may contact the Office of Public Relations two weeks prior to the event to request photography coverage using the online Public Relations Project Request Form. If the Office of Public Relations cannot fulfill a request or if a department/office requires photos for their own purposes, a camera may be signed-out on loan.
I. Digital Signage
Digital Signage monitors are located in all main College buildings. The monitors are an internal communication vehicle for promoting news, events, and announcements. The content on these signs is under the purview of the Office of Public Relations. The hardware and software for the digital signage is under the purview of the Office of Information Technology.
To order letterhead, business cards, envelopes, and/or memo pads in accordance with the Policy on Stationery Standards, please visit the Purchasing Ordering Stationery webpage.
K. PowerPoint templates
Faculty or staff members can contact the Office of Public Relations to obtain the College branded PowerPoint slides for their presentations.
L. Zoom Backgrounds
Faculty or staff members can contact the Office of Public Relations to obtain College branded Zoom backgrounds.
M. Merchandise and Giveaways
All branded merchandise and giveaways must follow the College’s Style Guide and be approved by the Office of Public Relations prior to purchase. Any student club/organization intending to produce merchandise must obtain prior approval from the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Public Relations for use of the official College logo.
The most visual representation of the College's brand is our logo. All communication vehicles must display the correct trademarked logo of the College as outlined in the NYMC Style Guideline. The logo must not be altered in any way, including using only portions of the entire logo or combining with other logos and graphic elements. The Office of Public Relations is responsible for the design and usage of the logo. Any communication displaying the NYMC logo created by a department/office or individual must obtain approval by the Office of Public Relations before publishing. The use of the College seal is solely reserved for communications from the Chancellor or the NYMC Board of Trustees and is only used for ceremonial awards, diplomas, policies and formal invitations. The seal cannot be used for merchandise or other communications that do not fall under these criteria.
- Departments, Institutes, Offices and Centers
Individual school, departments, institutes, offices and centers are not permitted to use individual logos or any graphic treatment that gives the impression that they “stand alone,” rather than exist as a part of the overall NYMC brand. While it is acceptable to use the NYMC logo without including the department, institute, office, center or school, do not use the school, department, institute, office or center, as a logo without the NYMC identifying information. As outlined in the NYMC Style Guideline, there is a specific hierarchy to the way identity must be conveyed. Do not rearrange the hierarchy so that a school, department, institute, office or center, supersedes the College’s name.
- Logo Configuration
At no time may the shape, configuration or proportions be altered. Consistent use of the logo helps maintain the integrity of the brand and ensures greater brand recognition.
- Clear Space
Clear Space is used to preserve the integrity of the logo and ensure maximum impact in environments where it appears with other elements. Clear space must be maintained on all sides of the logo. The minimum clear space required is relative to the size of the logo. It is equal to the X height of the type as indicated in the College's Style Guideline.
- Minimum Size
When the logo is reduced, there is a point at which it becomes ineffective. Establishing a minimum size for the logo ensures it is always prominent and readable. The logo should never be reproduced smaller than 1.5 inches in width.
- Logo States
a. The College's logo has three states. These states can be used interchangeably across all applications. When using the logo, use only the artwork supplied with guides.
b. Acceptable College logo versions are available in the College's Style Guideline. College logos are also acceptable as one color. Maroon, black or white (knockout) variations.
- Logo application on a color background
Although the two-color logo on a white background is the preferred usage, there will be instances when the logo must appear on a color background. To maintain the legibility of the logo and brand integrity, there must be sufficient contrast between the logo and the background it appears on. The background color must always provide sufficient contrast with the College's colors.
- Background Control
The College logo may be printed on a color, pattern, or photographic background, if there is adequate contrast with the logo.
- Prohibited Logo Usage
a. Do not use old version(s) of the logo.
b. Do not alter the proportions of the logo component.
c. Do not apply graphic effects.
d. Do not combine with other graphic elements.
e. Do no change color of logo.
f. Do not rotate.
g. Do not attempt to reproduce logo (use only what is supplied).
- Color Hierarchy
a. Maroon is the primary logo color and is preferred for use on all printed materials or promotional items. The logo is also acceptable as one color.
b. Maroon, black and white (knockout), variations are available for one color print applications. Our color system also includes secondary colors - ochre, black and grey. RGB, HEX, CMYK and PMS color are available in the College's Style Guideline.
V. EFFECTIVE DATE
This policy is effective immediately.
VI. POLICY MANAGEMENT
Responsible Executive Stakeholder: Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Policy Oversight Office: Office of Public Relations