I. Policy Statement and Purpose
As a public university supported with tax dollars, Florida A&M University strives
to be open and responsive to requests for information.
Faculty and staff may give interviews to the media to provide information on matters
within their field of expertise, as University affiliates, upon notifying and receiving
instruction from the Office of Communications.
The Office of Communications is responsible for generating, distributing and monitoring
FAMU and other news coverage and promoting its outstanding academic programs, initiatives,
important events, and the key achievements of its students, faculty and staff.
The Office of Communications is the official University voice to the media and is
tasked with establishing and cultivating relationships with journalists, publications
and broadcast networks/channels, as well as responding to media inquiries, issuing
official statements and announcements and providing guidance and leadership to the
FAMU community about relevant media guidelines and best practices.
All University leaders, faculty, staff, partners, vendors and contractors must coordinate
with the Office of Communications to develop and distribute news and information about
the University and to participate in solicited and unsolicited media interviews or
The Office of Communications must serve as facilitators and approvers of all media
interviews and outreach in connection with the University in any form. It is responsible
for helping reporters find the best possible source for experts and information about
The Office of Communications also develops key messages for the University, and through
media training, can assist University personnel and stakeholders with anticipating
reporters’ questions and properly preparing information for the media and public.
The Office of Communications manages the University’s official Communicators Network.
Each University entity must appoint a representative to this network, in which individuals
are trained on best practices, policies, procedures and guidelines for promoting their
units and sharing news and information. The network members are responsible for applying
their training and sharing information with their unit leaders and colleagues.
Journalists occasionally request interviews with FAMU leaders, faculty, staff and
students related to specific news developments. If the request is in response to the
Office of Communications contacting the media, it has already identified a University
representative to speak and will arrange the interview for the journalist with that
individual. However, if a request for an interview is unsolicited, the Office of Communications
will need to research the issue and determine who is best to speak effectively about
When contacted by media, University employees are directed to contact the Office of
Communications at 850-599-3413 or at email@example.com prior to further communication
with a media representative. Public records requests should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Conferences/Media Briefings
As a rule and best practice, news conferences and media briefings are reserved for
announcing news concerning the University that will have a significant impact on the
constituents, external community and future direction of FAMU. It is important that
these types of events not be overused or used to announce news that is not significant
or approved by the Office of Communications. The Office of Communications must approve
all news conferences and media briefings prior to these events being scheduled. The
Office must also approve any media actions stemming from any external partnerships,
activities, projects or programs that involve the University and/or use the University’s
name or likeness.
Prior to releasing sensitive information (for example: the termination of an employee,
an ongoing investigation, verifying student information, a legal matter or an allegation
of sexual harassment), administrators, faculty, staff, students, affiliates, vendors
and volunteers are required to contact the Office of Communications and/or the Office
of the General Counsel.
Note: The University does not comment on ongoing investigations, legal or personnel
Occasionally, potentially controversial situations or crises may occur at FAMU. During
these times, it is important to take a proactive approach by contacting or meeting
with the Office of Communications immediately upon learning of the crisis. It is best
to prepare for such instances as early as possible. In instances where there is a
question about the legality of releasing information, the Office of Communications
and all other campus units receiving media and public information requests must consult
with the Office of the General Counsel.
Contact the Office of Communications at 850-599-3413 or email@example.com for additional media-related questions or to request message development and training.
a. University Spokesperson
The Board of Trustees recognizes that the President is the primary spokesperson for
the University, and the chair of the Board of Trustees is the only person authorized
to speak for the Board of Trustees.
While the President is the primary spokesperson of the University, the President has
designated the chief communicators officer (Office of Communications lead) as the
official spokesperson in external matters including weather, safety and health emergencies,
legal matters and other crisis situations. This individual also provides a point of
contact between media and University resources.b. News Releases
The Office of Communications approves all news releases to local, regional, national
and international media, with the exception of sports-related releases (unless requested
by the President), prior to distribution. However, the Department of Athletics should
work with the Office of Communications to ensure consistency with the University’s
messaging and style guidelines prior to releasing pertinent information to the public
The Office of Communications prepares and approves news releases that range from major
stories about achievements by faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni
to unique programs and offerings, in alignment with the University’s mission and strategic
priorities and goals. News releases from all University colleges, schools, centers,
institutes, departments, offices and the Board of Trustees must be submitted to the
Office of Communications for approval before releasing and must align with the University’s
policies, strategic plan, presidential priorities, mission and style guidelines. News
releases and other items for dissemination to the media or public are approved and
distributed by the Office of Communications based on subject and relevance to the
University’s brand, mission, strategic goals and priorities.c. Office of Sports Information
The Office of Sports Information is responsible for publicizing information regarding
FAMU’s intercollegiate varsity athletic teams. On behalf of University Athletics,
the Office of Sports Information is responsible for maintaining and distributing all
publications, news releases, web pages, social media, photography, videography and
statistical data about the University's athletic teams and programs. The Office of
Sports Information also serves as the department’s contact for the NCAA and the Southwestern
Athletic Conference. The Sports Information Director will ensure compliance with FAMU’s
communications policy, style guide and strategic priorities and goals, including athletic
marketing and publications.
d. Public Records
Under the Freedom of Information Act and Florida Statute 119.01, the University, as
a state entity, abides by the following statement as indicated in Florida law.
“It is the policy of this state that all state, county and municipal records shall
be open for personal inspection by any person.”
When University employees are asked to provide documents or information in response
to a public records request or Freedom of Information Act request, they must respond
quickly and efficiently by first providing the requested files to the Office of Communications
or Office of the General Counsel for review and handling in accordance with state
and federal law.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part
99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Employees
must consult with the Office of Communications and/or the Office of General Counsel
before releasing any information or documents that contains student details or private
Employees must collect all information and documents that contain what is being requested
and submit it to the Office of Communications or the Office of the General Counsel
expeditiously for review and processing within three to five (3-5) business days.
If more time is needed, please contact the Office of Communications or the Office
of the General Counsel for consultation. Failure to respond to such requests within
a reasonable time can result in legal repercussions for the University.
Please record and inform the Office of Communications of an estimate of labor (at
the lowest hourly rate in your unit), resources (i.e. copies made) and time required
to complete the request. A template for fee estimates is available upon request by
All University business conducted by electronic correspondence must be conducted via
the FAMU.edu domain to ensure documents and correspondences can easily be accessed
when requested. All emails sent to or from employees’ FAMU.edu accounts are subject
to the Sunshine Laws. Information must also be collected, posted and distributed via
University servers such as using Qualtrics for surveys, polls and assessments and
Blackboard, FAMU Info, FAMUNews.com, FAMU.edu, iStrike or approved University platforms
for internal announcements so that they can be accessed. Use of a private device such
as a personal smart phone, laptop or home computer to conduct University-related business
could subject that device to inspection in search of University-related records.
University-affiliated social media accounts are also subject to public records requests.
Usernames and passwords to these accounts must be provided to the Office of Communications.
Please note that social media accounts connected to the University must also be archived
to ensure they can be retrieved for information requests or legal matters. Deleted
social media content must also be stored in an accessible manner. Contact the Office
of Communications at 850-599-3413 for tips on how to archive social media accounts
as well as University social media guidelines.
Additional information about public records and the Freedom of Information Act requests
can be obtained at http://myfloridalegal.com/
The Office of Communications must approve, in advance, all advertising from all campus
units, which includes but is not limited to print, broadcast, billboard, digital,
social media and radio ads, as well as student-recruitment, marketing, informational
and fund-raising videos.
This also includes banners and promotional items (T-shirts, pens, bags, etc.) and
social media and digital ads and videos (i.e. YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Captiveyes,
etc.). This does not include paid ads for hiring personnel. However, personnel ads
should be reviewed for style and grammar before publication within the Human Resources
All advertisements, publications, digital and visual marketing must only use University-issued
phone numbers, email addresses and Office of Communications/Information Technology
Services-approved website links. Websites must be approved by the University’s web
council in conjunction with the University webmaster and the Office of Communications.
All campus units and special committees should establish a marketing budget to cover
the cost of advertising, marketing and associated printing. All marketing material
must be developed in compliance with the University’s mission, strategic plan, style
guide and SACSCOC accreditation standards.f. External Agencies, Businesses and Organizations
External agencies, businesses, organizations, groups, events, etc., who would like
to use or produce an item that contains the University’s name or likeness must submit
a copy of the advertisement to the Office of Communications for approval. University
names, logos and images are the property of the University and may not be altered
in any way. Use of a font or art similar to official University marks in order to
circumvent the requirements is not allowed.
Advertisements must display the office’s expressed approval before being posted on
campus or appearing in University or external/community publications, etc.
Prior to an employee, contractor/vendor, student, volunteer or affiliate shooting
video presented on behalf of the University (except for journalism school productions),
a script and production timeline must be approved by the Office of Communications
before scheduling the shoot. All edited or any raw video must be submitted to and
approved by the office before it is disseminated or posted online.
Office of Communications approval must be provided to the University’s procurement,
controller and foundation offices if a unit or individual seeks to pay a vendor or
individual for communications, media or marketing related work. Violation of these
guidelines will result in non-approval by the University to pay or credit these individuals.
A form and additional documentation may be required to receive this approval. Employees
and others who violate these guidelines may be subject to corrective or cease and
Individuals, groups and agencies producing marketing or media-related content or hosting
marketing or media-related events on behalf of the University or using the University’s
name must first obtain the expressed written approval of the Office of Communications.
Requests for review and approval of advertisements, videos and media content or events
should be submitted via the Office of Communications Service Request Form, which is
available on the “Communications” page at www.famu.edu
g. Photographic Services
The University has a full-time photographer and provides photographic services for
the campus. Photographic assignments for the University’s programs and activities
are also the responsibility of the Office of Communications. University officials
and students who desire photographs for University-related activities must receive
approval from the of Communications. A request for photographic services form must
be completed and returned to the Office of Communications at least three business
days before the planned activity.
PUBLICATIONS & STYLE POLICY
II. Policy Statement and Purpose
Publications that will be disseminated throughout FAMU’s campuses and externally,
as well as promotional documents, must be reviewed by the Office of Communications
to guarantee that all publications representing Florida A&M University demonstrate
a consistent message and image. The of Communications will review materials based
upon the established printing guidelines. These guidelines also apply to official
University websites and social media channels.
All internal and external communications must adhere to the University’s Style, Publication
and Media Guide.
Exceptions include publications edited and produced by students, flyers or posters
for events funded by student activities fees, internal office correspondence, faculty
works, textbooks and materials for classroom use.
Direct Support Organizations using the University’s image, likeness and brand identity
must also comply with these guidelines.
A successful identity program is dependent on the cooperation of all members of the
University community, therefore, resulting in improved communications. Official publications
that offer pertinent information about Florida A&M University, its purpose, objectives,
programs of instruction, public services and information for prospective students,
faculty and staff are published through the Publications Office in the Office of Communications.
These publications include: catalogs, schedules, reports, handbooks, manuals, brochures,
recruitment materials, directories and other general information documents.
The Office of Communications is the starting point for all projects produced in the
University print shop for an external audience. University Communications is charged
with interpretation and control of all institutional publications involving the use
of the name,seal, and/or logos of the University. This responsibility is carried out
primarily through a University Identity Program,which sets editorial style, typography
and graphic standards, including the use of the FAMU shield and seal for all publications.
h. Use of Seal
The official University seal is not to be used for general branding, marketing, communications
and promotional purposes. It is restricted for use on official documents, such as
diplomas, transcripts, legal documents, Board of Trustees reports, resolutions and
proclamations, commencement and convocation documents, and official University stationery
(i.e. letterhead, business cards). The seal is only released by the Office of Communications
and should not be downloaded or copied from the web. The presence of the seal authenticates
publications as an official document from Florida A&M University. The Office of Communications
must approve the use of the University’s logos and seal.
i. Use of Other University Logos
The University shield, "Excellence With Caring" motto, institutional logos, "Rattler"
and "FAMU" may be used in publications requiring a symbol of identity, such as catalogs,
handbooks, brochures, programs, flyers, invitations, bookmarks, posters and paraphernalia.
Generally,one logo per publication is sufficient. The Office of Communications must
be consulted when a University entity decides to design a publication for a particular
j. Request for University Logos
Requests for access or use of the official and other university logos should be made
through the Office of Communications. Scanned or modified versions of Florida A&M
University logos are in direct violation of University policy.
k. Official FAMU Colors
The official colors of Florida A&M University are orange and green. More specifically,
the official orange to use on any material is Pantone Matching System number 158 (PMS
158C). The University uses Pantone Matching System number 357 (PMS 357 C) as its official
The specifications above are the standards for all print, video and electronic materials
and media. Please see the design and brand guidelines for instructions on the updated
official colors and other styles for use on the University’s websites.
l. University Listing
The acceptable listings for Florida A&M University are in keeping with the national
trend of reference to entities or institutions by acronym, which should not be confused
1. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (formal, used for invitations, letterhead,
2. Florida A&M University (used with no spaces between A&M)
1. Florida A and M University
2. Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
3. Florida A. and M. University
5. A. & M.
6. A & M
(Additional University Style Guidelines found online at FAMU.edu)
m. Off-Campus Printing Jobs
Some larger jobs require that printing be done off-campus. The Office of Communications
is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all publications are in line with the
guidelines. Therefore, it is wise to consult with the Office of Communications before
seeking outside printing advice.
Outside printing jobs require a completed publication request form, specifications
form, cost computation worksheet and statement of cost and purpose —and other supporting
documents from the Office of Communications.
These forms must be submitted prior to clearance for printing/production. It is suggested
that a minimum of three price quotes from selected vendors be requested. The vendor
with the lowest bid for the job is normally selected for the contract. To proceed
with printing/production, a completed and signed requisition should be submitted to
the Office of Communications for clearance and approval.
n. Letterhead, Envelopes and Business Cards
All Florida A&M University letterhead, envelopes and business cards are standardized
to provide consistent institutional identity. Once that identity has been established,
the Office of Communications is responsible for enforcing the visual identity. A standard
format has been established for University letterhead and envelopes. All units of
the University must use only the standard format. The Office of Communications will
help prepare specifications upon request.
Letterhead is not to be personalized. Business cards are the appropriate place for
such personalized information. The names of departments as they appear on stationery
are strictly controlled by the University. Prior approval for changes or additions
must be requested through the Office of Communications.
ii. Business Cards
The card includes the individual’s name, title, position, business address, telephone
and fax numbers and e-mail address. University personnel who would like to purchase
business cards should consult with staff in the Office of Communications for assistance.
o. Required Statements
All publications produced by FAMU, costing in excess of $15,000, which are not working
documents (documents used in the normal routine of work including test papers, office
forms, general correspondence, etc.) must contain the following statement of cost
This public document was promulgated at a total cost of$_________, or $_________ per
copy, to (state purpose of the document).
This statement should be displayed in a conspicuous manner, enclosed in a two-point
box and should be the same size as the body type of the publication. Suggestions:
inside front cover, inside back cover, first page. Also the document should display
on either the inside front cover, the first page, the inside back cover or the back
cover the following: "FAMU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University."p. Restrictive Printing
Devices for use in lotteries, raffles or other regulated games of chance will be produced
only after appropriate written authorization has been granted and presented. Copyrighted
materials need permission from the copyright holder. Clearance is granted through
the Office of Communications.q. Event Planning And Announcement Guidelinesr. Web Style Guide/Policys. Editorial Style Guidet. Licensing And Sales Guide
The President shall establish all necessary policies and procedures to implement this
policy in an efficient and effective manner.