CSU Policy: Central Communications

Policy Title: Central Communications Category: Administration
Owner: Division of External Relations Policy ID#: 5-0150-001
Division of External Relations
Web: http://externalrelations.colostate.edu/
Phone: (970) 491-6621
Original Effective Date: 9/28/2007
Last Revision: 5/12/2018
Print Version: Click Here to Print


The University requires a central communications model in order to ensure quality and adherence to our brand and graphic standards. The purpose of this policy is to support the Division of External Relations’ charge to provide and approve certain communications and materials so that they reflect the enduring character and sophistication of a university with over 140 years of history and achievement.


This policy applies to all University business units, agencies, and employees who produce or purchase services for communication and marketing materials, advertising, environmental graphics, photography, video, websites, electronic media, social media, and strategic communications and consultation pertaining to branding, marketing, and advertising related services.  It also applies to the purchase or lease of photocopiers, and printers (other than desktop or office printers).


Colorado State University has a central communications model to ensure quality and adherence to its brand and graphic standards across the University. The Division of External Relations (DER) is responsible for creating publications, websites, social media, video, photography and other communication vehicles that reflect the character of the University. DER administers the University brand and graphic standards program, and is further charged with providing quality branding, marketing, and communications services for the best possible value whether produced on campus or through a pre-qualified vendor.

In addition, DER is responsible for assisting Procurement Services in seeking efficiencies and cost savings for the campus with respect to the purchase of photocopiers and printing equipment (not including office printers).


Central Communications

  1. All communication and marketing materials produced by campus units and departments must be reviewed and approved by the DER at the onset of a project and again prior to its production and/or installation, publication or distribution.
  2. The Division of External Relations must be consulted at the beginning of all branding, marketing, and communications initiatives. This includes and is not limited to: print, advertising, environmental graphics, photography, video, websites, electronic media, social media, and strategic communications and marketing consultation services. Engaging in the purchase of these services without the prior approval of the Division of External Relations is a violation of this policy.
  3. The purchase of consulting and production services from off-campus vendors must be approved by the DER team in advance. The DER will continue to review and approve all communication materials from campus units and departments to ensure that they meet university graphic standards.
  4. Purchases and leases of large-scale or commercial style photocopiers and printing equipment (not desktop or office printers) must be reviewed by DER before submitting a requisition to Procurement Services for final determination. Contact DER at 970-491-3354 for assistance.

Visual Style Guide

The Visual Style Guide is campus’ online resource for branded visual communication. The style guide includes a description of CSU’s brand and advertising campaigns, as well as practical recommendations when developing print, web, and promotional items.

Social Media

Colorado State University supports the need for a strong presence in the social media realm. The University encourages colleges, departments, programs, groups, and entities to be active in the social space and create social media accounts to build enriching relationships.

CSU has developed a Social Media Policy and application process to ensure that any and all interactions on behalf of CSU represent the University’s best interests.


Approved September 28, 2007 by Larry E. Penley, President

Revision 1.01 approved December 19, 2014 by Amy Parsons, Vice President for University Operations

Revision 1.02 approved April 27, 2015 by Amy Parsons, Vice President for University Operations

Revision 1.03 approved May 12, 2018 by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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