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KCC > Faculty & Staff > Departments > Marketing and Public Relations > Public Relations

Public Relations

The Office of Marketing and Public Relations coordinates release of all information to the media and other internal and external constituents in the event of a crisis or major emergency situation.

The Office of Marketing and Public Relations staff provides

  • Design assistance
  • Production management services
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Publicity assistance (i.e. posters, press releases, post cards, brochures, catalogs)
  • Website and social networking consultation

All services of the office are available through the guidelines and timelines which follow.

Contact with the Media

It is expected that direct contact between the college and the media will be initiated by or through the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. A reliable one-stop shop fosters media confidence in KCC and ensures that the college speaks with one voice, especially on sensitive issues.

  1. Faculty, staff or administrators who receive a media inquiry are encouraged to make contact with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations, who will in turn determine which faculty, staff or administrators are best suited to serve as spokespersons on non-sensitive issues. Marketing staff are available to assist spokespersons with information needed to best answer the inquiry.
  2. Occasionally, there will be a need for media to contact a member of the administration, faculty or staff at home after regular business hours. The marketing staff will handle these requests with appropriate sensitivity.
  3. In speaking with the media, a representative should answer a reporter's question as fully and openly as possible. If an individual is uncertain about how much information should be provided, it is appropriate to redirect the inquiry to the next administrative level or to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.
  4. It is the Office of Marketing and Public Relations’ practice to respond immediately to reporter inquiries. It’s expected that the response time is within the business day, or as quickly as possible.

When speaking with media representatives, consider the following tips:

  • When possible, prepare your message with three to five key points
  • State important facts first. Be concise and avoid complex explanations. Electronic media will be interested in “sound bites."
  • Tell the truth. Don't guess at the facts and don't exaggerate. If you cannot answer the question, give a reason and/or offer to obtain additional information.
  • Avoid saying "no comment." This gives the impression you have something to hide. Rather, say "It would be inappropriate to comment or speculate on the matter."
  • Never make off the record comments. Assume that your entire conversation with the interviewer is on the record.
  • When communicating by email, be mindful of the difference in tone versus a conversation.

Crisis Communications

The college has established a separate crisis communications policy that is part of the Emergency Crisis Manual.

The director of marketing and public relations is a member of the college's emergency management leadership team and is responsible for working with senior leadership, faculty and staff to assess the situation and prepare the college response(s).

Deadline and priority consideration

Please plan ahead. Lead times for publicity services vary widely depending on your needs and staff availability.

Please keep in mind:

  • The Office of Marketing and Public Relations and media production staffs complete more than 1,000 projects per year. "Rush" publications disrupt the production for your colleagues, the editors and designers. Please initiate your publications as far in advance as possible.
  • Most services are provided free to KCC departments and offices. Grant programs will be charged for materials, labor and other costs which occur.

Which publications have priority?

  1. College mission (catalog, class schedule, annual report, view book)
  2. Special publications for president, vice presidents and deans
  3. College wide (i.e. commencement program)
  4. Institutional marketing (for each semester, new program)
  5. Department publications (brochure for a program or special event)

Since most publications fall into the fifth category, projects are usually assigned deadlines based on submission dates.

Initiating a project/publication

Schedule a meeting as soon as possible and bring all pertinent information. If the final text is not ready, discuss the text and a timeline for when it will be ready, with your marketing contact. Missing details can be filled in later. Delays may mean your deadline will not be met.

We will need sufficient time to create a publication. Even more time is needed when a project involves a number of components and coordination between design, printing and distribution.

To start a project:

  1. Contact your project coordinator. If you don’t know the project coordinator for your area, call the publications coordinator at 815-802-8279 or email eskelly@kcc.edu. You will be put in contact with your project coordinator. Do not call the graphic designers.
  2. Let the project coordinator know what you have in mind. A meeting to discuss the project in more detail may be necessary. Completing this step will help ensure we create promotions that best meet your needs. At this time, you should also share what types of publicity you are requesting for the project.
  3. Work with the project coordinator to create timelines and further define the project scope. The marketing and public relations staff can discuss with you the most effective ways to market your program or special event.
  4. Staff members will develop an effective publication based on your budget, amount of lead time, goals, and target audience. We also can help you determine appropriate publications you will need.

What you provide

Basic details – YES. People receiving a publication about an event, program, etc., want to know the following: What it is, who it's for, what they're going to get out of it, when and where, how much it costs, and how to get more information. You also should state who is the point person -- a single contact for the project.

Artwork and photos – Not usually. It is not necessary for you to draw out any specific ideas or mock up the publication ahead of time. Based on the information you give us, we will work with you to create a design that gets the message across to your audience.

If you have a photo you'd like used in a publication, be sure to get permission for us to reproduce it. Copyright laws apply to all artwork, photos and text used on publications.

Logos – Most of the time. If you have a specific logo for an outside agency to use in the publication, you need to provide it. Feel free to ask and will see if it has been used before. Given that companies change their logos, it is best to communicate with your contact to get a logo. This will also avoid later delays in production. The provided logos should be either (1) CMYK or grayscale TIFF or JPG files, with resolution of 300 dpi or higher or (2) EPS files for CMYK and spot color. For logos which will be used on the web, provide RGB JPG, GIF or PNG files, with resolution of 72 dpi.

Types of publicity

Some requests which are re-orders can go directly to print. Otherwise, new requests and those with a change must be requested through a marketing project coordinator:

  • Booklet - A publication of more than one sheet, held together by staples or binding at the spine.
  • Brochure - A small pamphlet which folds to create the desired number of pages or panels.
  • Flier - A single- or double-sided sheet of paper that includes information. Can be posted or distributed to target group.
  • Invitation - A publication usually consisting of an envelope and small card with printed text.
  • Miscellaneous (bookmark, form, certificate, ticket, folder, cover) - Various specialty publications can be created for your marketing needs.
  • NCR form - "NCR" means "no carbon required." These carbonless forms are available in multiple pages glued at the top edge.
  • Newsletter - An informational publication published on a regular basis (i.e. monthly, every semester).
  • PDF – Electronic image of a single sheet.
  • Poster - A large, single-sided sheet that is intended to be posted. In-house printing is capable of using up to an 11 inch x 17 inch sheet.
  • Program - A publication consisting of one or more sheets, usually folded, and used as an agenda at an event.
  • R25 calendar - Inclusion on the calendar is automatic when room is reserved. See Business Affairs and Human Resources for more information.
  • Sign - Informational in nature, a sign does not promote a specific event. Most signs have no artwork, only type.
  • Sign standard – A sign, usually single-sided, which fits into a 22 x 28 inch metal holders.
  • Social networking post - An event or announcement post on KCC’s Facebook page.
  • Table tent - A small folded item which sits on tables. Has information on all sides.
  • Webpage - One or more pages on the colleges website.

The following requests must always be requested through a marketing project coordinator. For radio and local media requests, on-air and newspaper mentions are not guaranteed. They are based on the timing and newsworthiness of your event or promotion.

  • Ad – A paid promotion in a publication or on a broadcast outlet.
  • Direct mail package – A complete marketing piece that includes an envelope, letter, brochure, and response device.
  • Pitch your story to area media – Tell your story a local newspaper or radio station to let them in on a future event or story.
  • Photographer – Have a photographer come and take pictures to acknowledge an event, or take them during the event.
  • Press release – Send information to local newspapers and radio stations.
  • TV slide – for broadcast on the televisions on KCC’s campus.
  • WKCC radio– Public service announcement or calendar item on WKCC radio.

Timelines

Our goal is for you to be satisfied with what you receive and for you to receive it on time. To know how long it will take to complete a project, it is essential to know the steps it will take. Under normal circumstances, time should be allowed for eight steps in each project (see below). Review and revisions may be repeated.

New projects and complicated projects should have time considerations in case setbacks occur. Examples of other variables include schedules of those involved and whether the item will be printed in-house our out-of-house.

At the initial meeting, the project coordinator will often want to know first when the project should be delivered. Working backward through all of the steps and estimating how long each will take, a timeline can be created.

Typical path of a publication

Some steps may be eliminated or repeated based on the complexity of the publication.

  1. Initial meeting with project coordinator
  2. Writing and/or editing by marketing staff
  3. Client review of text
  4. Design concept by designer
  5. Client review of design
  6. Revisions
  7. Printing and finishing
  8. Delivery of finished item

Approximate timelines

Changes to KCC’s website submitted through the website content management system - One work day. Note: If you do not know what the “Website content management system” means, contact the web coordinator. More time will be needed because a media employee will need to do the page editing. The time to complete the web change will vary with the complexity of the request and other workload constraints. Please plan for at least one week to complete this task.

Photo at an event - The Office of Marketing and Public Relations will loan a digital camera to those who would like photos taken of college events and program activities. The camera will be loaned out after being reserved and on a first-come, first-served basis. A card reader to download the photos also is available and instructions can be provided upon request. Note: Complete a camera sign-out form—including the date and time when it will be returned. Those who would like prints of the photos they take should speak to a marketing coordinator before the event regarding the procedure and timelines for requesting prints. Also, see the note regarding photo releases.

Photos for press releases, news articles and college wide marketing materials - Arrange a minimum of two weeks before the photo will be taken. Allow additional time after the photos are taken for them to be prepared to distribute to news media. Photos will be taken by media personnel or by the college’s contracted photographer. The photographer must be scheduled in advance. Though you should make arrangements a minimum of two weeks before the photo will be taken, arrangements will depend on availability of a photographer. See note regarding photo releases.

Other photos – The digital camera can be loaned for other college-related purposes. See “photo at an event” above.

Press release – Two weeks minimum. Press releases are sent to area newspapers and radio stations. They also are posted to the newsroom page​.

Design and writing– Design and copywriting are components of brochures, fliers, invitations, posters and other printed projects. Time to print and finish the project must also be considered. The amount of time to complete these projects will vary with the project complexity and workload.

Table tent – In addition to usual design and writing considerations, table tents must be reserved ahead. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be displayed for a maximum of seven business days.

Update staff newsletter - Thursday at noon before Monday publication.

PDF – Two work days after the document is completed.

Print ad - More than two weeks before it will be published.

Printing and finishing – Printing is when the item is produced on a high speed copier, digital press or out-of-house on a larger press. Finishing includes stapling, folding, collating, cutting, adding NCR paper and other actions to take a raw print-off and make it “finished.” As a starting point, allow a week—depending on the quantity and number of pages—for in-house printing and finishing. For out-of-house printing, allow two weeks.

These are general time lines and adjustments may be needed based on the marketing and public information department workload. We try to avoid this occurrence, but sometimes other items take priority. In addition, client delays, major changes to the original material, and/or supplier delays may hold up receipt of the printed publication.

The project coordinator is your contact person throughout production—call anytime to find out about the progress of your publication or to see if it has been printed.

Note regarding photo releases: It is strongly suggested that a photo release be obtained of anyone who appears in a photo which will be used by the college. Photo release forms are available in the office of marketing and public information. Anyone who does not want a photo used has the right to make that request. Those who do not want their photos used can file a written request with the office of marketing and public information.

Editing

The role of editing is to communicate your message effectively, as well as to present a professional and consistent image of the college in print. The overall quality of one publication from one department reflects on the entire college.

Keeping in mind the audience, we try to eliminate jargon and wordy passages. Every reader appreciates an idea conveyed as simply as possible.

While some wording is a matter of taste, our editors use Associated Press style to resolve general questions.

Proofreading

The editor will let you know when your publication is ready to be proofread. You are responsible for ensuring that all factual information is correct.

When you proofread, make sure the edited information was typeset correctly. Please avoid changing the wording of sentences or order of the sections, or adding or deleting copy when you proofread. We understand that course numbers, dates, etc., may change, but we need to know of these changes before you proofread. Making major changes or many changes can cause your publication to be delayed.

You also will be asked to approve the design, artwork and photos selected. Any concerns should be addressed at this point.

Your approval will be necessary before we proceed with printing. Your promptness in proofreading will help ensure that your publication will be delivered by the established due date.

Printing, finishing and delivery

If no major changes are made during proofreading, it will be a short time before a project goes to the next step of printing and finishing. Many items are delivered using intercampus mail. Times for delivery can vary. If you prefer to pick up your project, just let your project coordinator know ahead of time.