Public Relations FAQs
- What is Public Relations? Public relations is a two-way communication between Casper College and its public with a goal of creating goodwill. Ultimately, we want to close the gap between how we view ourselves as an organization with how others outside our organization view us. The Public Relations Department is here to ensure Casper College is always represented in a professional, consistent and favorable manner. Essentially, PR manages the relationships of the college in a manner that strengthens those relationships and enhances the college’s image.
- When should I contact Public Relations? Public relations’ scope covers all written, verbal and visual elements to our communications. Public relations attempts to make this easier to understand and more functional by approaching projects from the perspective of internal versus external communications. Generally, internal communications and class projects are not concerns of public relations. If you need to use the logo or visual elements of the Casper College brand for internal projects, templates are provided to you on this website. There are also templates for most business communications such as letters, memos, presentations and reports that can be used for external communications. Beyond this, you will want to contact Public Relations for help in communicating with external audiences. Public Relations will work with you to identify the best tools and methods to meet your communication goals.
- How do I request a project or assistance from the Public Relations Department? Start a project by visiting our Project Center page. Complete the form and a PR representative will contact you for further information and scheduling.
- Can I just do it myself or hire someone to do it for me? Public Relations coordinates all external communications and items involving the Casper College brand, including its logos. Employees may use the self-service templates for their professional communications.
- Will someone contact me once I submit a project request? Yes. Once your request is assigned, a representative will contact you to discuss the production schedule and details about your request.
- How do I submit changes once my project is started? Just contact the PR professional that has been assigned to your particular project.
- How can I find out the status of my project request? Contact the PR professional that is assigned to your project or call the main Public Relations phone number at 307-268-2456.
- Who will cover the cost of my project? Generally, departments budget for their own advertising and printing needs for the year unless they’ve submitted a request to the Public Relations Department that is included in the current budget. Public Relations will assist departments by providing reasonable cost estimates prior to production and a copy of the final invoice once that is received from the vendor.
Timelines, Deadlines and Workbacks
- What is the timeline for a project / Why does it take so long? Each project is unique. Ultimately, the timeline is a factor of the time estimate for the project and the current project workload. Please allow time for proofing your project, production/printing and distribution.Lead times include the time it takes to plan, create, design, edit, proof, order, produce, ship and receive a deliverable. It is easy to underestimate the time involved in producing a high quality product to our brand and style standards, so the following lead times have been established to better guide you in planning your requests.
Two weeks lead time needed:
- Publicity requests
- Digital Media/LCDs/Cable TV
- Email promotions
Three weeks lead time needed:
Four weeks lead time needed:
- Multiple page publications
- Custom artwork and design
Promotional items have varying production schedules. Please allow 4 to 8 week lead times.
Special events also vary in their needs. Please include us in your initial planning, preferably six months prior to your event.
- When should I tell Public Relations that I am ready to start a project? Each project should have a goal and desired outcome in mind. Therefore, planning can take as much time as production. Generally, give at least two weeks for any project. For complex projects such as programs, new brochures, video or photography, you will want to plan further ahead.
- I need a project rushed. How fast can you finish my project? Any project that is not currently on the production schedule will be evaluated for its priority in relation to those projects already scheduled since inserting a last-minute request more than likely will delay another project.
- What happens if I miss a deadline? What happens if Public Relations misses a deadline? Deadlines are very important to maintaining a smooth production schedule. Public Relations will share expectations of when they need to hear back from you in order to keep a project on track. A significant delay in a project will cause the project to be removed from the production schedule and a new production schedule assigned when you are ready to move forward. Public Relations will make every attempt to maintain the production schedule so that you can be comfortable that your project is being addressed on the agreed upon timeline.
- Who provides the content, or copy, for a project? It is always best if you have thought through and drafted the content or copy before submitting your request. Public Relations can help you edit content and format it in a way that is applicable to the audience you intend to reach. Should you rely solely on Public Relations for content, the department will still require your assistance and expertise in helping them to understand your particular area of expertise.
- What if the designer needs the copy but we don’t have all of the details? It is always best to have all copy and content finalized prior to initiating the design process.
- How do I submit copy? You may email it to your project lead. Contact the PR team.
- How does the editing process work? A proof deadline will be set before we begin work on your project. A proof will be emailed to you by the proof deadline along with instructions on when to submit your feedback. Typically only one proof is scheduled. Additional proofs are not considered in the production process, so they in turn could delay your project. Prior to finalizing the project, Public Relations may request a second proof if there are any questions about your initial feedback.
- Why did you change the copy instead of just fixing errors I pointed out? The Casper College brand is based on “one voice,” meaning the way in which the college communicates through official communication methods is consistent, including the style and voice used. This is an important component of the brand.
- Who provides photos? What about video? Public Relations can be requested for photo or video projects. The department has high standards for the quality and style of photos and videos, as mentioned in the Casper College Brand Standards Manual and Style Guide. Model release forms are also necessary for all Casper College promotional photos or videos.
- Can I provide my own photos? Yes, as long as they meet the resolution requirement and the proper releases are signed and on file with Public Relations. They must also meet the requirements found in the Casper College Brand Standards Manual.
- I would like to make a video – is that different? There are many different complexities to video so it is best to include Public Relations at the beginning of your project. The equipment and experience of Casper College videographers is such to ensure only high quality video products are released for promotional purposes.
- Can I contact the media myself? No. Please coordinate all media activities through the Public Relations Department. It is important that the department know about all media activities to ensure the quality of stories reaching the media. Contact the Media Relations Coordinator.
- Why didn’t they run my story? The media evaluate the day’s stories collectively and many times stories are delayed or appear in the newspaper the next day. Public Relations assists in coordinating stories that they know the media are more likely to be interested in including other options that may not have been considered.
Planning a Printed Piece
- For the benefit of the college and all campus areas, print materials should:
- Be needed and necessary
- Adhere to a consistent style
- Clearly reflect that they are part of the Casper College family of publications
- Carefully consider your department’s needs and:
- Avoid producing too large a quantity
- Avoid having too many publications by combining materials when possible
- Adhere to a consistent standard of design instead of producing multiple types of materials that seem disconnected from each other
- Answers to the following questions will aid you in effectively and efficiently reaching your goal for a publication. By establishing targets and appropriate messages, communications become more effective. Ask:
- Is there a better way to reach our audience?
- What is the available budget?
- How many people do we need to reach (quantity)?
- Who is or who are my target audience(s)?
- What is the most important thing I want our audience to know after reviewing my publication?
- What response or action do I want from the audience?
To Print or Not to Print?
- Increasingly, with the advent of electronic communications, alternative solutions to traditional print publications are available. Casper College is obligated by its status as a public college to curtail such printing costs whenever possible.
- To ensure the best stewardship of college funds, the following questions should always be asked prior to designing and printing a publication:
- Is this publication absolutely necessary?
- Is there an alternative to a print publication?