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Public Relations - Policies and Procedures

SUNY Canton’s Office of Public Relations will publicize and market the unique qualities of the College to both internal and external audiences and 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 coordinates all official internal and external communications, college publications, and the website to ensure truthfulness, accuracy, and appearance. It is the final authority on all external communications related to televised, web and print media in the effort of maintaining a consistent voice or message.


Advertising by the College falls into three general categories: classified, display, and electronic (radio, TV, website, mobile, etc…). Standard formats are available. Display and electronic advertising for student recruiting purposes is coordinated by the Office of Public Relations. Classified advertising is used mostly for staff recruitment and 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

Ethical Guidelines

All campus media consisting of announcements, advertisements, and marketing materials is reviewed by the Director of Public Relations for ethical and honesty issues 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 experts preceding release. Errors are quickly corrected and/or retracted.

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 of University Relations, Directors) prior to campus distribution.

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 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.

Media Announcements

The office strives deliver public information and disseminate news from the college in a timely manner through news releases, which are archived as web updates and typically function as social media posts. All official announcements from the College are to be issued from the Public Relations Office. To request a news release or web update, contact pr@canton.edu.

Class cancellations 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 Class Cancellation policy for further details on the process.

Social Media

Public Relations oversees all SUNY Canton official social media platforms including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. It is 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 cancellations. 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 6 months.


Major Admissions, Presidential, marketing, and SUNY Canton College Foundation publications are produced by the Public Relations Office and are scheduled by the Director of Public Relations in consultation with the Publications Coordinator and other staff. Additional requests for publications will be accommodated on a time-available and funds-available basis.

Those wishing to have a publication made should initiate a request with the Director of Public Relations or the Publications Coordinator at least three weeks before delivery is needed to discuss the publication audience, deadline, budget, quantity, photographic needs, and printing. The originator provides 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 Graphic Artist 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 requestor 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. An experienced graphic artist will 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.

Time and Cost Estimates for Publications

The staff will evaluate the 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.


Photography for college public information, publication, web publication and social media purposes can 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 Department’s major goals. The Department may use provided photos for publications and social media if they meet the size and quality requirements. If an originator has photographs or graphics to be included in a publication, please remember they must be of high quality. The Publications Coordinator will determine if the photographs or graphics submitted are of acceptable quality for printing.


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 requires 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.

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 for full details on SUNY Canton website standards.

Office of Public Relations
34 Cornell Drive
MacArthur Hall 214
Canton, NY 13617
Phone: 315-386-7300