05-008 Public Relations Policies and Procedures

Last Update: June 20, 2023

Approved: June 13, 2023 by President Zvi Szafran

Policy Contact: Director of Public Relations



This policy addresses the use of Public Relations (PR) resources, marketing, and communications and applies to all college departments, faculty, staff, and students.


SUNY Canton’s Office of Public Relations will publicize and market the unique qualities of the College to both internal and external audiences and also notify the campus of cancellations or emergencies. The office promotes the College through strategic marketing, news releases, photography, web development, publications, videos, and social media posts.


The Public Relations Office (PR) coordinates all official internal and external communications, college publications, and the College’s website for a consistent message and appearance. It is the operational authority on all external communications related to televised, web, and print media in the effort of maintaining a consistent voice or message.

  1. Advertising/Marketing
    Advertising by the College falls into three general categories: classified, display, and electronic (radio, TV, website, mobile, etc…). Display and electronic advertising for student recruiting purposes is coordinated by the Office of Public Relations. Classified advertising used for employee recruitment is coordinated by the Office of Human Resources.

    Marketing priority is dependent on funding and resources and follows the hierarchy:
    1. SUNY Canton – general awareness, promotion, student recruitment
    2. Admissions and special events
    3. Individual academic programs/departments
  2. Branding and Logo Management
    PR manages and oversees the SUNY Canton brand and logo usage. The SUNY Canton Style Guide outlines the proper usage of campus logos and helps to maintain brand consistency. There shall be no unauthorized use of SUNY Canton's logos or marks or intent to distribute the text or graphics for commercial use without express written consent by the Director of Public Relations.
  3. Ethical Guidelines
    All campus media (including, but not limited to, publications, admissions materials, announcements, advertisements, marketing materials, and social media posts) are reviewed by the Director of Public Relations for accuracy and honesty prior to release to external media and marketing vendors. Relevant facts (i.e., enrollment numbers, graduation rates, retention rates, etc.) are verified by the Office of Institutional Research. Subject-matter related items are reviewed by relevant campus departments/experts preceding release.

    Departmental publications shall be reviewed by the department head and/or subject matter expert. The Director of Public Relations will then review and approve before finalized items are sent to the press. For example, recruiting and admissions publications are reviewed for clarity and accuracy by a team of Public Relations, Admissions, and Institutional Research personnel prior to production. The President's Office team reviews the Annual Report prior to dissemination to the campus and SUNY.

    Internal communications are developed and reviewed by a team consisting of the Director of Public Relations, Senior Media Manager, and relevant parties (i.e. President, Provost, VPs, Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives and Legislative Affairs/Chief Communications Officer, Directors) prior to campus distribution.
  4. Media Inquiries
    All outside media or news-related inquiries are to be directed by, reported to, cleared, and managed by the Public Relations Office, except for routine matters involving Athletics. Reporters sometimes call individual faculty or staff members directly, who are neither obligated to nor advised to speak with the media about any topic without consulting with Public Relations representatives. The department will provide guidance and supervision on all interviews as necessary. PR representatives may reach out to faculty and staff for their expertise and to speak about their experiences on the behalf of the media.
  5. Media Announcements
    The Public Relations Office strives to deliver public information and disseminate news from the College in a timely manner through news releases, which are archived as web updates and typically also used as social media posts. All official announcements from the College are to be issued from the Public Relations Office.

    Class modifications due to weather are announced to select local media and relayed via Rave Alert to the entire campus via email and SMS (as available). They are also posted on the College’s Facebook and Twitter social media accounts. See Inclement Weather Policy (#05-011) for further details on the process.
  6. Social Media
    Public Relations oversees all SUNY Canton official social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. PR is also the primary content creator and distributor for these platforms. The department may share content from internal and external sources to market the College or disseminate news. Established social media channels are also used to relay emergency notifications, including class modifications. Most content is designed to fit within the Public Relations’ and College’s goals as outlined.

    Departmental social media accounts may be created after consultation with Public Relations. Public Relations reserves the right to request deactivation of accounts that violate College, State, or Federal policies and/or have been inactive for more than six months.
  7. Publications
    Major Admissions, Presidential, marketing, and SUNY Canton College Foundation publications are produced by the Public Relations Office and are scheduled for production and release by the Director of Public Relations in consultation with the Publications Project Coordinator and other staff. Additional requests for publications will be accommodated based on time availability and budget.

    The Public Relations staff will evaluate proposed publications, determine the printing option which best suits the needs, and provide time and cost estimates for production. Individual departments are responsible for any costs associated with printing a publication, unless previously approved and funded by the Office of Public Relations.
  8. Photography
    Photography for college public information, publication, website, and social media purposes should be scheduled with the Director of Public Relations or a designated Public Relations staff photographer. Photography may be provided for events, marketing, news outreach, academic, and Alumni and College Foundation needs as it fits within the major goals of the Office of Public Relations. Public Relations may use provided photos for publications and social media if they meet size and quality requirements. The Publications Coordinator will determine if the photographs or graphics submitted are of acceptable quality for printing.
  9. Videography
    >All official College videos used on the website and social media are produced under the supervision of the Public Relations Office by the College Videographer or through outside vendors. The resources needed to produce a video require carefully managed time allocations with priority given for marketing and Admissions-related initiatives. The College Videographer is typically not available as a campus resource unless directly assigned by the Director of Public Relations.
  10. Web Policy
    SUNY Canton’s web pages will be used to promote the brand and mission of the institution. The website should communicate information about the College to current and future students, alumni, businesses, employees, and the community. The quality and accuracy of the information published by the College is important in promoting the reputation and positive image of SUNY Canton. Please see Web Policy #05-009 for full details on SUNY Canton website standards.






  1. Publication Requests
    Departments wishing to have a publication produced should initiate a request with the Director of Public Relations or the Publications Project Coordinator at least three weeks before delivery is needed to discuss the publication audience, deadline, budget, quantity, photographic needs, and printing. The originator should provide draft copy in an electronic format, which has been edited and proofread for completeness, accuracy, and timeliness. If necessary, the Director of Public Relations or the Publications Project Coordinator arranges photography for the publication. Content may be edited to fit within the SUNY Canton Style Guide. A proof copy will be sent to the originator of the publication, who will provide final authorization for printing.

    Considerations for Publications:
    1. The Public Relations Office provides some editorial support for publication production as time allows.
    2. The originator is responsible for preparing draft copy, which may be edited for content, tone, style, and wording.
    3. When necessary, an experienced graphic artist will be selected to design a publication which will effectively communicate the intended message while maintaining the College’s publications standards.
    4. The Office of Public Relations staff is involved in planning publications and printing. Consulting with them as soon as you know that a publication is needed will save time, energy, and money.
  2. News Releases/Web Updates
    To request a news release or web update, contact pr@canton.edu.

  3. Corrections/Retractions
    The Office of Public Relations will quickly correct errors and/or issue retractions as necessary. Any potential errors should be submitted to the Office of Public Relations at pr@canton.edu.




The Director of Public Relations reports to the Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives and Legislative Affairs/Chief Communications Officer and the SUNY Canton President.






Policies will have a normal review period of every five (5) years unless required otherwise.