HB. College Relations

 OVERVIEW

South Plains College recognizes its responsibility to keep the community adequately informed about the operations, educational programs and services of the institution. To fulfill the college’s vision and mission, South Plains College is also obligated to inform the community and its prospective students about the comprehensive community college concept and the educational opportunities afforded by the college.

The Office of College Relations is responsible for institutional public relations, marketing, communications, and special recruiting activities which enable the college to meet its responsibilities to its constituents. The office draws upon the skills, expertise and experience of its staff to communicate to constituents a positive, progressive image consistent with the aims and philosophy of the college. To this end, the Office of College Relations functions to foster greater public awareness of South Plains College and thus generates goodwill and support of the college through its communications activities.

The Office of College Relations is directed by the Associate Dean of College Relations who is responsible for the public relations, marketing and communications functions of the college as described in this section. The Associate Dean of College Relations reports to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

In meeting its responsibilities, the Office of College Relations administers specific services for the Board of Regents, employees and students of South Plains College. These services and areas of general responsibility include, but are not limited to, public information, college publicity, news reporting, photography service, promotions, special events, advertising, marketing and student recruitment, campus ambassadors, college message center, employee publicity files, publications, printing, college website, college intranet, internal employee communications and employee relations. These areas of responsibility are described as follows.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

The Office of College Relations functions as a primary source and clearinghouse for public information about the college. All requests for general information about the college and inquiries from prospective students or other individuals and organizations should be directed to the Office of College Relations.

COLLEGE PUBLICITY AND NEWS REPORTING

The Office of College Relations is responsible for disseminating college information to the news media for the purpose of publicizing and promoting the business of the college. All college news releases are prepared and distributed through the Office of College Relations, which is responsible for accuracy, acceptable style, and uniformity of message.

The College Relations staff actively solicits suggestions from departmental chairpersons, faculty, administrators and staff members for designing outreach information about college programs or services. When new courses or services are planned, when activities of interest to the community are scheduled, when courses or services are altered, when interesting students or projects are noted, when faculty or staff deserve promotion, or when any happening of possible news or promotional value occurs, a call to the Office of College Relations will help inform the public about the college.

For most news releases, a three-week advance notice is necessary to assure publication. To request publicity through news articles to local newspapers, contact the Coordinator of News and Information, ext. 2212.

The College Relations staff also writes and requests public service announcements (PSA) from area television and radio stations. All PSA requests involving area media must be placed through the Office of College Relations, which coordinates the college’s coverage and serves as a liaison with the media. PSA requests must be received in the College Relations Office four weeks prior to the promoted date. To request a schedule of PSAs, contact the Coordinator of News and Information, ext. 2212.

The College Relations Office coordinates publicity for the college’s athletic teams and intramurals program and services sports publications needs. The Sports Information Coordinator, ext. 2209, is responsible for publicizing and marketing the intercollegiate athletic program at the college.
The Office of College Relations should be informed as soon as possible of inquiries made directly by the news media to administrators, faculty, staff or students regarding college business. See section GA, "Media Relations," for specific policy and procedures.

EMPLOYEE PUBLICITY FILES

The Office of College Relations maintains basic information files on each employee of the college. The files include biographical information, directory information and current photographs where available. Photographs are used for college information and internal communications purposes. To keep files current, employees, especially faculty and professional staff, are requested periodically to complete a new data sheet to update information. The information is used in preparing news releases and other promotional activities.

PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE

The Office of College Relations maintains a photography service that provides photographic support for the college news service, publications, advertising, exhibits and other visual communications projects. The service also works to maintain a photographic history of the college and its events. Like news suggestions, the office is interested in learning about special photo opportunities that may arise in a particular program or college service area. Office staff is available to take photos of special groups, scholarship or award presentations, new equipment acquisitions, and other college-related activities that would be deemed newsworthy in promotional efforts.

Faculty and professional staff who need a personal photograph for professional reasons may submit a request to the Office of College Relations. For more information, contact the Associate Dean of College Relations, ext. 2210.

PROMOTIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

Every program and service of South Plains College needs to be known and understood by the general public in the college’s service area. To accomplish this, various forms of promotion can be utilized. Such promotional activities may involve news releases, advertising, bumper strips, exhibits, multimedia presentations, special displays, posters, talk shows, billboards, folders, direct mail, give-away and other communications tools. Special events can also be organized to promote a program or service. An individual approach is used in designing a package of promotion and information for each unique project at the College. Contact the Associate Dean of College Relations for information and details.

The Office of College Relations assists with the planning, promotion and staging of official functions and special events of the college. Departments or offices planning special events at the college should consult with the Office of College Relations in planning the event. The Associate Dean of College Relations is responsible for monitoring all special events to ensure the college’s positive image is maintained and the event achieves its intended purpose and goals.

COLLEGE MESSAGE CENTER

Requests for messages on the college message center (electronic marquee) should be submitted to the Office of College Relations. Messages which promote campus events, services or programs have first priority in being placed on the marquee.

COLLEGE ADVERTISING

Because the Office of College Relations is responsible for the overall institutional image of the college, institutional or program advertising of any type, other than those involving student publications, is to be directed through the College Relations Office for quality control and maximum coordinated impact of information about the college. The office is responsible for the content, design and placement of such advertising. South Plains College makes use of display and classified print advertising, as well as radio, television and specialized advertising to better inform the public of college programs and services.

All advertising representing the college must include the college’s non-discrimination or equal opportunity statements where appropriate.

Legal notices advertising the acceptance of bids are placed through the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Requests for employment classified advertising originate with the Office of Human Resources. Design and placement of such advertising is coordinated by the Office of College Relations in cooperation with the Director of Human Resources.

Advertising sold by students or college employees is governed by policy.

PUBLICATIONS AND PRINTING

The Office of College Relations is responsible for directing the production and printing of all college publications that are used for external purposes, which contribute to the institutional image of the college and which require graphics design, electronic formatting or printing. Among these publications are the general catalog, class schedules, college marketing and recruiting literature, student guidebooks, departmental brochures, sports promotional brochures, newsletters, community reports, promotional materials, college stationary, and other special publications that communicate programs and services of the college to students or the community.

Because the College Relations staff possess skills and expertise in publications editing and design, the office should be consulted in the production and printing of all internal publications, reports, operational forms, handbooks, certificates, official documents and other projects that require graphic design and preparation for printing.

Faculty and staff with ideas concerning the graphics or editing aspects of college publications are invited to submit suggestions to the Associate Dean of College Relations. The first step in planning a new publication is to contact the Office of College Relations. Before a rough copy is typed and submitted for publication, a brief conference with the Associate Dean of College Relations will save many hours of editing time and assure the faculty or staff member involved a more accurate publication.

A printing guide is available in the Office of College Relations in addition to graphic design services that may be called upon for production of in-house duplicated materials. Campus offices and departments with printing needs may contact the Office of College Relations, ext. 2210, 2211, for details.

COLLEGE WEBSITE

South Plains College recognizes the importance of developing and maintaining a website on the World Wide Web. The purpose of the college’s presence on the World Wide Web is to provide online access to the college whereby internal and external constituents may obtain information about the college, its programs and services. To this end, the SPC website is considered an official college publication which communicates the vision, mission, aims and philosophy of the college. The SPC website functions to inform, encourage and persuade individuals to seek higher education in the contest of a comprehensive community college setting. Additionally, the college’s website exists to support the instructional and administrative processes in innovative and creative ways.
The Office of College Relations is responsible for coordinating and organizing the content, design and use of the college’s website. Information, use and content related to instruction will be directed through the appropriate departmental chairperson or instructional dean. Information, use and content related to all other areas will be directed through the Office of College Relations. In addition, the Office of College Relations serves as a primary source for assistance in setting up and maintaining web pages that are appropriate to the college. The office is also responsible for periodically reviewing the site for accuracy, currency and compliance with the college’s Website Guidelines and Policies and Web Publishing Standards and Guidelines. See section HN for specific policies and guidelines related to the college website.

COLLEGE INTRANET AND EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS

The Office of College Relations is responsible for maintaining the college’s intranet site that functions as a central online communications link for SPC employees. The site features "COMMlines," the college’s electronic employee newsletter that is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters and monthly during the summer. Additionally, employees can find information about human resources, professional development opportunities, college events, reports and reference, insurance benefits, personnel directory and other topics of interest on the intranet site.
Employees are invited to submit news items for COMMlines and suggest ways the intranet site can meet the internal communications needs of the college. Contact the Associate Dean of College Relations with ideas and suggestions, ext. 2210.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

South Plains College recognizes that its greatest resource is its employees who work together to accomplish the college’s vision and fulfill its mission in serving students and the community. The college has identified organizational values that contribute to a working environment that fosters productive employee relations. Working with the President of the College, the Associate Dean of College Relations is responsible for monitoring employee morale and internal communications needs and developing communications activities that facilitate the continued development of good employee relations. To this end, the Office of College Relations assists in promoting and publicizing employee achievement, developing employee programs which build a sense of "family," and interpreting and communicating college policy and decision-making as it relates to employee relations.

 


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