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Division Brand Guide and Best Practices

The Division of Student Life provides students with an engaging and enlightening atmosphere for living and learning, and we are excited to share our story with the Volunteer community. To maximize our efforts, we ask that you follow the procedures below when working with the media.

Media Inquiries

If a member of the news media, including the Daily Beacon, contacts you to request an interview, please let the reporter or writer know that all requests for interviews with Student Life staff must be coordinated through Media and Internal Relations (utnews@utk.edu).

Initiating News Media Coverage

If you have a story idea about a program or person that you would like to see covered by the news media, please coordinate with Meghan Jagnow and do not contact the media personally. The Office of Communications and Marketing in Student Life works closely with Media and Internal Relations to pitch story ideas and disseminate information to internal and external media.

Media Training

Media training is required for all individuals authorized to provide interviews on behalf of a department and/or center. Media training provides key talking points for the university and the Division of Student Life as well as best practices for participating in an interview.

To schedule a media training session, contact Meghan Jagnow.

Campus-Wide Emails

Messages that need to be distributed to the campus community must be coordinated with the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing to coordinate with other campus-wide messages. If you need to distribute a message to the entire campus, please contact Media and Internal Relations to submit a request (utnews@utk.edu).

Staff Email Signatures

Every email we send reflects on the Division of Student Life and ultimately the university. Using a consistent email signature across our various departments, offices, and centers strengthens our voice and contributes to the visual identity of the university.

We ask that you create a UT standardized signature to use in your email communication.

In addition to the basic email signature guidelines supplied by the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing, we ask that you do not include disclaimer messages, including confidentiality notices, in your signature. It clutters your message and offers no actual value or legal protection.

Branded apparel and merchandise must comply with the university’s trademark licensing program.

If you would like assistance designing and ordering branded apparel or merchandise, you may request a custom project through our project request form. Your assigned information specialist will work with you to develop a product that fits your needs and is compliant with university guidelines.

Photography and videography are important components of our communication pieces, as they help demonstrate the energy of the Student Life experience.

Whenever possible, photos of our students, faculty, and staff should be used. Read UT’s brand guidelines to find out what makes a strong photo.

As with photography, video captures our dynamic and engaging community. Visit UT’s brand guidelines website for video to find best practices, including captioning requirements.

Photography

We encourage the use of photography whenever applicable. Visual content is engaging and is often the thing your audience will remember the most about your message.

Please do not use photos found online unless you are positive that you have the rights to use those images.

Social media: You don’t need expensive equipment to take photos for social media. Just make sure you have good lighting, keep in mind the photographic style guidelines and make sure you have consent from everyone in your photo.

Web and other digital media: We recommend that photography displayed on websites, digital signage, and other digital mediums are 72 dpi at full size. If you need any assistance with capturing your story through photography for digital display, please reach out to your information specialist.

Print: Communication pieces distributed in print should have the highest quality photography available. Images for print should be at least 300 dpi at full size. We recommend that you complete a project request to determine if a custom photo shoot is needed.

Headshots: The Office of Communications and Marketing provides free studio headshots to faculty and staff on Tuesdays from 8–10 a.m. in the studio in 91 Communications Building. We do not provide free headshots for undergraduate/graduate students. Departments and offices who wish to have headshots of their undergraduate/graduate students and/or student workers may request the service and will be charged at the current rate. Headshots are also available by appointment at the current rate. Please call 865-974-0765 for more information.

Videography

Video is becoming increasingly important in our communication efforts. The university has shared best practices when producing video, and we highly recommend working with our team whenever possible to produce a great video for your audience. Complete a project request to have an information specialist work with you on your project.

Social media can be an effective and intentional tool to communicate, engage, and serve our students. Like other communication tools, social media demonstrates the energy of our campus, representing UT and the Division of Student Life. We recognize the value that social media communication brings to your department and will work with you to develop an online presence that reaches your audience.

Account Management and Creation

Creating a New Social Media Account

  1. Review the university’s guide on social media best practices.
  2. Decide if social media is the correct tool for you.
  3. Develop a plan for how this account will be used in the context of your overall marketing strategy.
  4. Discuss your plan with your assigned information specialist for guidance and support.

Profile Pictures and Cover Photos

Use the approved social media icons for your department’s profile picture. This will help students find your official account easily and will help establish the Student Life brand online.

We encourage the use of images, graphics, gifs, and video on your social media accounts, but remember, you are posting and sharing as a representative of UT. Your content should be appropriate for an official university account.

Review the university’s best practices to make sure your visual content is formatted correctly for the platform.

Continuity Plan and Approval Authority

We recommend that all departments and centers develop a continuity plan and establish a review process.

A continuity plan will be a useful transition tool when people who have access to the account(s) leave the area. You want to think about who will take over the account when the primary account manager leaves or how responsibilities are transferred when student staff members graduate.

We also recommend developing a system of reviewing posts to ensure consistency and accuracy. These levels of review will also be helpful when responding to comments and messages. Finally, you will want to determine who has final approval authority in the event that you need to respond to sensitive matters via social media.

In case of an emergency, please do not draft your own response. Instead, either wait for the official university response or contact the manager of communications and marketing in the Division of Student Life.

Social Media Management Systems

The Division of Student Life is working to offer social media management software to individual units. New accounts are added by request during our contract review in November of each year.

To request an account for your unit, please contact Meghan Jagnow, manager of communications and marketing in the Division of Student Life (mjagnow@utk.edu).

In order to create consistency and ensure brand compliance on print publications in the Division of Student Life, we ask that print pieces that contain official university logos be submitted via a project request form for design and/or approval. Your assigned information specialist will contact you shortly after submitting your request.

UT has provided brand guidelines to support the production of all print pieces.

Division of Student Life