Guidelines

The vice president for the Division of Media and University Relations serves as the official University spokesperson and conveys the official university position on issues of general university-wide impact or significance, or situations that are of a particularly controversial or sensitive nature. Inquiries from the media about such issues should be referred to the vice president for Media and University Relations via phone or online submission of the News Media Contact Form.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the president or the vice president for the Division of Media and University Relations may designate another university administrator to serve as spokesperson on a particular issue.

The Division of Media and University Relations coordinates marketing and communications at Alcorn, working with stakeholders across the university. The Office ensures that all Alcorn communications serve the university's mission and goals.

Media and University Relations helps build Alcorn's positive image by highlighting university achievements, communicating important messages and connecting journalists to Alcorn experts. The Division of Media and University Relations is the point of contact for print, broadcast and online media outlets reporting on the university.

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News Media Relations Policy Statement

This policy was established to describe Alcorn's position with respect to interacting with news media representatives. For the purpose of this policy, news media shall refer to representatives of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online publications, television, and radio.

University Practice: The Division of Media and University Relations  trains all employees approved to interact with media and develops guidelines to assist designees. 

Scope of Policy: An employee or department that seeks to publicize a program, event, or achievement should contact the Division of Media and University Relations. The Media Relations Office has access to numerous news media contacts and will work with employees to coordinate publicity or visibility for programs, events, or newsworthy issues covered by this policy.

It is the responsibility of the  Division of Media and University Relations to initiate and/or respond to news media requests and to manage those interactions. When an employee or department is contacted by the news media, he/she is to notify the Media Relations Office immediately.

While on university property, news media representatives should, if necessary and appropriate, be accompanied by a Media Relations staff member or a university employee designated by the Division of Media and University Relations.

To gain access to the residence halls, news media representatives must be accompanied by a Media Relations staff member or a university employee designated by the  Division of Media and University Relations.

Alcorn State University complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding the retention and release of personal and/or educational records of all current employees and students.

If an event attracts news media interest, all press releases and statements to the news media will be routed through and disseminated by the Division of Media and University Relations. It is the responsibility of each department head to implement procedures to comply with this policy.

Alcorn obtains authorization from those whose photographs are taken with the intent to publicize the university. Their consent allows the university to incorporate these photographs in situations appropriate to the image of an academic institution including release to the news media, to publish likenesses in Alcorn's publications, on its Website, in videos, on CDs, or in other recruitment or promotional materials including paid advertising.

Trademark and Licensing Policy Statement

5.2 TRADEMARK AND LICENSING ADMINISTRATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

The Trademarks and Licensing Program is administered by the Division of Administration and Finance’s Licensing Unit (DAFLU). One of the most important functions of DAFLU is to work with the Division of Media and University Relations to protect and promote the exclusive intellectual property rights to its name, logos, slogans, colors, mascot name, trademarks, service marks and other indicia related to Alcorn, its programs and services, and its athletic teams (collectively, the “marks”).

The University owns all rights in the marks, and the marks may not be used for any purpose without the advance written permission of Alcorn. Such uses may include, but are not limited to, commercial use, advertising and promotion, marketing, product manufacture and sales, fund-raising, sponsorship, and services.

The vice president for Media and University Relations and the coordinator of Trademark and Licensing and an athletic representative work closely and in partnership with Strategic Marketing Affiliate Licensing Company (SMA) to monitor commercial and internal use of the marks.

Individuals, groups and organizations, both on and off campus, seeking to use any version of the marks must have prior approval and the item must be purchased from an official SMA licensee. In addition, all vendors and groups must have their artwork approved prior to production. This also includes sale to University departments, campus organizations and recognized student organizations. Promotions and advertising are included as well. All vendors who manufacture items imprinted with Alcorn State University marks (to the public or to Alcorn retail outlets) must be licensed. See http://www.smaworks.com.

Whenever individuals or entities contract with Alcorn for goods or services request permission to use the marks to imply or explicitly state a relationship or partnership with the University, that request should be in writing to the Division of Media and University Relations (marks@alcorn.edu) for approval. Approval is granted based upon each situation and the University’s marks may not be used in any way that could state or imply an endorsement.

In summary, the Trademark and Licensing program exists to:

  • Ensure proper use and application of the marks associated with Alcorn;
  • Initiate the development of new marks and/or eliminate old ones as it deems 
necessary or desirable, subject to approval;
  • Strengthen the marks through relationships with retailers, licensees, campus departments, student organizations, alumni and fans;
  • Enhance Alcorn’s marketing and brand recognition efforts by allowing licensed companies to use its marks on merchandise;
  • Generate revenue; and authorize the use of the marks on high quality and tasteful merchandise.

5.2.1 RESTRICTIONS

  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia;
  • Alcohol, alcohol consumption and/or abuse;
  • Tobacco products and usage;
  • Sexual conduct, imagery, or inferences;
  • Profanity or inappropriate insensitive language;
  • Gambling;
  • Firearms and weapons;
  • Political and religious endorsement; and
  • Any other merchandise or use of the marks judged by the 
University’s Trademark and Licensing Program to be inappropriate, unacceptable or inconsistent with standard licensing practices of the University.

5.2.2 STRATEGIC MARKETING AFFILIATES (SMA)

Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) is the licensing representative for the University. SMA is responsible for administering Alcorn’s licensing program, including processing applications, collecting royalties, enforcing trademarks and pursuing new market opportunities for the University.

5.2.3 VIOLATION REPORTS

To report a violation of licensing or trademark use, please contact the Division of Media and University Relations at (601) 877-6130 or marks@alcorn.edu.

5.2.4 PERMISSION PROCESS

Before an individual or business may use Alcorn State University's marks, formal permission must be granted through a license agreement with Strategic Marketing Affiliates. A step-by-step guide for this purpose is located on SMA’s website at http://smaworks.com/Getting-a- License.aspx.

If you should have any questions concerning the vendor license application, submit your questions to Strategic Marketing Affiliates by using the email address questions@smaworks.com or calling (317) 669-0808 for assistance. 
A license must be obtained for use of any Alcorn marks, image or photograph used on any product sold to the general public or to campus departments and organizations.

5.2.5 STUDENT AND CAMPUS USE

Prior to production and sale on campus of any merchandise that includes Alcorn marks, written approval by the Division of Media and University Relations must be obtained. Use of a University mark with an organization name implies association with the University. Therefore, only those student organizations that are officially recognized as student organizations by Alcorn and official campus departments are allowed to use marks in conjunction with their organization's name. Student groups may not sell on game days as the University Bookstore Contract governs licensed merchandise sales made on game days.

Any product bearing Alcorn’s marks or a specific departmental logo must be purchased from licensed manufacturers. Using an officially licensed company to manufacture a product ensures that the company has provided the correct product liability insurance and other documents. The University has many nationwide licensees and numerous in-state and locally licensed companies.

University departments and official student organizations may create or purchase items for internal use bearing the marks of Alcorn State University. Registered student organizations, student sports teams, residence hall organizations and University departments may use Alcorn marks. Such use must reflect positively on the Alcorn, be produced by a licensed vendor of the University and be pre-approved by the Division of Media and University Relations.

The following guidelines apply to campus departments, groups, individuals, or student organizations:

  • Items for Resale: Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks that are purchased by any department, group, organization, or individual for resale to a general audience will be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be pre-approved in writing by the Division of Media and University Relations and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
  • Items for Use by Group Members Only: Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks that are purchased or produced by any department, campus organization or student group for use by its own members will not be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be pre- approved in writing by the Division of Media and University Relations and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
  • Giveaway Items: Merchandise, products or items bearing Alcorn’s marks that are purchased or produced by any department, group, or individual for giveaway purposes will not be subject to a royalty payment. All such items must be approved in writing in advance by the Division of Media and University Relations and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.
  • Class Projects: Items produced as part of a class project will not require a license or payment of royalties. All such items, however, must have written approval for their production from the Division of Media and University Relations and any items purchased must come from a licensed supplier.

The University is not required to pay royalties to itself for purchases of services or products that are a necessity for faculty and staff to perform their jobs (i.e., equipment, services, uniforms, educational tools). However, the University attempts to avoid unfair competition with other retailers and service providers and therefore may not exempt itself from paying royalties on the purchase of goods that are to be resold to members or to the general public, regardless of the purpose of the sale. Contact DAFLU Trademark and Licensing coordinator to determine if royalty fees will apply.

5.2.6 INTERNAL APPROVAL PROCESS

Student organizations and University departments who wish to use Alcorn State University’s marks on apparel (such as t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, etc.); gift items (such as mugs, key chains, jewelry, etc.) and miscellaneous items (such as flags, signs, etc.) must follow these steps:

  • Download the Internal Licensing Approval Form from the DAFLU Trademark and Licensing webpage, http://www.alcorn.edu/offices/BusinessAffairs/Li/Default.aspx;
  • Contact the vendor you wish to use and create a proof of the artwork/product to be approved. All items with an Alcorn State University trademark (name, logo, etc.) must be manufactured by an Alcorn State University licensed vendor. The list can be downloaded from the DAFLU Trademark & Licensing webpage, http://www.alcorn.edu/offices/BusinessAffairs/Li/Default.aspx;
  • Complete the Internal Licensing Approval Form and email the form and a copy of the artwork/product proof to marks@alcorn.edu;
  • Once the artwork/product proof and approval form is received, the Division of Media and University Relations will review the submission. After the review has been completed, you will be contacted confirming if you are approved with no changes, if any changes are required or if the request has been denied along with an explanation. Typically, the review process is 2-5 University business days. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with Alcorn policies;
  • If the artwork/product proof is approved, the vendor will be notified to finalize the design for submission on Strategic Marketing Affiliates’ “Approvals on Demand” website. If your artwork/product proof is not approved but need corrective changes, you will receive an email clarifying the changes needed for approval. Should this occur, you have the option to redesign the artwork/product proof and start the approval process over. It is your responsibility to ensure the vendor makes the corrective changes and submits the design on Strategic Marketing Affiliates’ "Approvals on Demand" website;
  • If you are using University funds to purchase merchandise, utilize the established University procurement process to obtain a purchase order;
  • If you are using a grant account to purchase merchandise, obtain approval from the Office of Grants and Contracts prior to submitting the request.

Approval to use Alcorn’s marks for any project does not constitute approval to use the marks again, or in connection with any other item, or to change the design in any way. Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit and subject to all available legal remedies.

The University will actively enforce its intellectual property rights against unauthorized uses of the marks that misappropriate or leverage the Alcorn’s reputation and goodwill, including in any manner that is likely to cause confusion as to the University’s affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, approval, or otherwise.

Should you have any questions about the process, contact the Division of Media and University Relations, (601) 877-6130 or marks@alcorn.edu.

University Marketing Policy Statement

To insure that all communications representing the university are of high quality, present Alcorn State University consistently and accurately, conform to policy approved by the president and adhere to style and standards guidelines, it is university policy that all communications be reviewed and approved by the Division of Media and University Relations unless otherwise specified by the president or the vice president for Media and University Relations.

University Practice: The Division of Media and University Relations develops and maintains comprehensive style and standards guidelines, and reviews and approves material covered by this policy.

Scope of Policy Coverage: This policy applies to all Alcorn employees, students and any party requesting use of Alcorn's name, logos, slogans, colors, mascot name, trademarks, service marks and other indicia related to the institution, its programs and services (collectively, the "marks") in any manner. Communications that utilize the marks, are paid for by University funds or funds administered through a University account and are intended for distribution are subject to this policy. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Publications, including those requiring no or partial editorial or design services, reprints or revisions of previously produced publications; publications produced by means of desktop publishing; and initial formats and editorial style and design for newsletters directed toward any publics.
  • Promotional print and broadcast advertising
  • Letterhead and business cards representing Alcorn State University must be approved regardless of where they are printed or who pays for them
  • Videos, CD-ROMs or DVDs representing Alcorn
  • Websites/new media
  • Press releases

The following are exempt from this policy:

  • Materials produced for classroom or educational use
  • Advertisements for employment positions 

Marketing Projects: The Division of Media and University Relations works to bring your projects in on time and at the lowest possible cost. Because we strive for top-quality production and great service, it is important that you understand and adhere to the policies outlined below:

Review Departmental Budgets/Approvals: Design, printing, and a portion of photography expenses charged by external vendors are the department’s responsibility, so check departmental budgets to determine how much can be spent on  projects. Prior to submitting any project requests to the Division of Media and University Relations for review, production or approval for release, written authorization from the department's vice president must be obtained. 

Requisition Form: Services provided by the  Division of Media and University Relations are initiated via project requisition(s) signed by the person(s) responsible for the project (the client). A project requisition form is available by clicking here.

All information required to complete a project must be submitted prior to the start of the project, which receives three design/editing revisions. Being specific helps. Do not just request a student photo for a project; specify the type of student photo. Requesting a student in a lab or students in a classroom learning from a professor is specific and will help with the timely production of the project.

The client must sign-off on design and copy before projects are sent to the printer.  Although the Division of Media and University Relations will check your production proofs, you as the client have the final responsibility. Please don’t skip this essential step due to deadline pressures.  Revisions by a printer to correct errors inevitably entail additional expenses and will probably push back the delivery date as well. 

Timeline Requirements   

Type of Project  Business Days for Completion 
 Ad – newspaper/magazine 10
 Posters/Banners 12
 Brochure 20
 Certificates 7
 Flyers 7
 Invitations
15
 Newsletter 20
 Postcards
12
 High-end pieces (viewbooks, annual reports, etc.) 30 minimum; 60 maximum
 Photography: Events
5
 Press Release    
5
 Professional Photo Shoot     
Arrange with photographer

Please note that these timelines do not include writing, which always should be completed prior to the beginning of graphic design. It is important to note that the  Division of Media and University Relations normally has a large number of projects in the queue. Because most projects are time-intensive and consist of numerous details, the Office may not be able to assist with projects that are requested at the last minute.