Kelly Colvin-Smith—Senior Alumni Relations Officer
Said Business School, University of Oxford—Oxford
United Kingdom
Samples, Research & Tools
Management Checklist for Communications and Marketing

The CASE Management Checklist for Communications and Marketing was created in 2007 and updated in 2010 and 2013 by the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing. It is intended to help managers conduct internal self-assessments of information and programs and is not intended for use by external regulators or auditors. The checklist may be useful to both new and experienced managers as they assess their programs and may also be helpful in staff training and orientation. The checklist is intended to be inclusive but not exhaustive, and not all items may apply to every institution. This is a living document that will be revisited regularly by the commission.


Institutional Background and Overview

Check boxYour program maintains the following for reference and appropriate use:

Check boxA brief history of your institution

Check boxA list of members on your institution's board of trustees or principal governing body as well as lists of members of advisory boards

Check boxYour institution's internal organizational chart, including a brief profile of your president, head of school or CEO and the names of administrative and academic leaders

Check boxYour institution's mission statement

Check boxA current academic catalog

Check boxA list of the top five schools your institution competes against for students as well as a list of the top aspirational schools

Check boxAn academic profile of the institution, including admissions criteria and statistics

Check boxThe name of your institution's athletic conference and schools in the conference as well as a list of varsity sports

Check boxThe last five institutional or presidential annual reports

Check boxSummary of current financials and costs (tuition, fees, operating and capital budgets , etc.)

Check boxList of accrediting agencies and reaccreditation schedule

Check boxYour institution's most recent published long-range or strategic plan

Check boxYour institution's student, faculty, and staff handbooks, including disciplinary procedures

Check boxA complete set of relevant institutional policies (human resources, IT, etc.)

Check boxList of major institutional affiliations

Check boxA fact sheet or FAQ that includes institutional facts and figures

Check boxCompilation of pride points

Check boxFor U.S. schools, the Common Data set and other relevant data that may be gathered by your institutional research office

Check boxList of faculty by expertise

Check boxData or statements on the economic impact of the institution in its region


Constituency Demographics

Check boxYour program maintains the following for reference and appropriate use:

Check boxDemographic data on students, alumni, parents and other relevant constituencies, including total number and by gender, by decade, by geography, by income, by age, by level of preparation of applicants, and, when appropriate, by race and ethnicity

Check boxTop five concentrations geographically (students, alumni, donors)

Check boxTop five undergraduate academic majors

Check boxTop five graduate or professional programs in terms of enrollment

Check boxStudent outcomes, such as graduation rates, employment rates, graduate and professional school acceptance rates, scores on graduate and professional school qualifying exams, etc

Check boxList of major gifts and donors, historical and current

Check boxNumber of faculty and staff and related, relevant demographic information

Check boxInformation about institutional research initiatives, technology transfer and intellectual property


Communications and Marketing Overview

Check boxYour program maintains the following for reference and appropriate use:

Check boxProof points for institutional distinction; campus "elevator speech"

Check boxKey messages and positioning statement

Check boxFamous and notable alumni

Check boxRecent awards

Check boxMarket research from last five years

Check boxMarketing strategies/brand plan

Check boxExperts and speakers bureau lists

Check boxList of and background on recent issues at your institution, including commonly asked questions and answers

Check boxPast press releases and recent media coverage

Check boxKey web pages and viewership

Check boxList of rankings, surveys, and benchmarking data, including competitors' data

Check boxList of all active official and unofficial social media platforms, regardless of where they are managed, that focus on the institution or institutional groups

Check boxComplete set of current publications for all audiences (marketing communications, fundraising programs) that call for action

Check boxOffice and institutional protocols for customer service

Check boxBoiler-plate language for institutional press releases


Policies and Procedures

Check boxYour program has a strategic plan tied to your institution's mission and goals that incorporates the following plans within it: financial, human resources, academic, strategic enrollment management, marketing and communications

Check boxThat plan is tied to budget and human resources

Check boxThat plan includes a collaborative process for working with academic leaders to conduct market analysis of current and potential programs and majors and acknowledges that there may be other factors such as institutional mission that contribute to decisions regarding academic programs

Check boxThat plan includes procedures for coordinating communications across the institution regardless of centralized or decentralized structure

Check boxYour program has a crisis communications plan that is reviewed and rehearsed annually

Check boxIt identifies who has authority to declare a crisis, who has the authority to enact the communications plan, and the processes for doing so

Check boxIt includes the identification of a spokesperson and a backup

Check boxIt includes a list of key contacts and emergency contact information within the institution

Check boxIt includes a list of key contacts and tools for communicating outside of the institution, including media contacts, the campus website, social media sites and other vehicles

Check boxIt includes a list of key contacts within the institution’s local jurisdiction, including police, fire, etc.

Check boxIt includes a plan to maintain the institution’s web presence through a redundant website or other means and the incorporation of social media into the overall crisis communication strategy

Check boxIt includes a protocol for making emergency announcements (such as school closings), including strategies to manage communication when there is a catastrophic loss of infrastructure

Check boxIt articulates the relationship of the crisis communications plan to the institution's overall crisis management plan

Check boxIt includes the definition of the roles and goals of the institution's crisis team

Check boxIt includes lists of resources and information related to crisis communications response, including alternative locations for communications management, key media and other contacts, and applicable policies and procedures; these lists are regularly updated and easily accessible to all staff members with responsibilities for crisis communications and response (e.g., on a USB key)

Check boxIt includes a post-crisis review and assessment

Check boxIt includes fact sheets/”how tos” on predictable public health and campus emergency issues

Check boxIt includes templated scripts needed in immediate response to predictable public health and campus emergency issues

Check boxIt includes a strategy for on-going risk assessment of issues and crises that might affect the institution

Check boxYour program has a protocol for the management of media relations

Check boxIt identifies who is eligible to speak officially on behalf of the institution

Check boxIt includes a process for the approval of press releases

Check boxIt includes training or resources for faculty and staff who may interact with reporters

Check boxIt includes a review of media relationships and preferred method of contact

Check boxIt includes orientation of new employees who are likely to engage with the media

Check boxIt includes a process for monitoring information reported about the institution through the traditional news media as well as through other venues (e.g., social media)

Check boxYour program has graphic identity standards that apply to print and electronic communication

Check boxThese standards include print and electronic templates, including web templates and templates for multiple formats, including mobile and digital formats and email

Check boxThe institution has an office designated to oversee the use of the standards

Check boxThese standards address licensed products

Check boxThese standards include guidelines for internal, external and commercial use of institutional logos

Check boxThese standards include a process for review and compliance across campus and with affiliated units

Check boxYour program has standards, policies or guidelines that apply to the content and organization of your website

Check boxThese standards address accessibility and mobile formats

Check boxYour program has standards, policies or guidelines that apply to the use of photo and video images

Check boxThese standards address usage in multiple formats and through multiple venues

Check boxYour program has standards, policies or guidelines that apply to the development and management of the institution’s official presence on social media platforms, regardless of where they are managed within the institution

Check boxThese standards address the handling of negative comments and privacy issues

Check boxThese standards also address best practices for official engagement in sites that are not overseen by the institution

Check boxYour program has adopted an editorial style guide and preferred dictionary

Check boxYour program has a process for review and approval of internal and external marketing materials

Check boxYour program abides by the CASE Statement of Ethics, the CASE Principles of Practice for Communications and Marketing Professionals and the CASE Principles of Practice for University and College Periodicals Editors

Check boxYour program also incorporates all of CASE's ethical standards, including those for development and alumni relations offices

Check boxYour program incorporates institutional policies for release of information about students, employees and others associated with your institution in compliance with state, regional and federal laws (for example, FOIA, FERPA, HIPAA)


Program and Personnel

Check boxYou maintain a current organizational chart for communications and marketing

Check boxYour organizational chart was developed in consultation with institutional human relations

Check boxYou have a process for communications and marketing professionals to communicate with each other across the institution through, for example, a communications council or discussion list

Check boxYou have job descriptions for all exempt and non-exempt employees

Check boxThese job descriptions comply with institutional guidelines

Check boxAll communications and marketing programs have a written set of annual performance goals and objectives, including professional development goals

Check boxYou have an orientation program for all new communications and marketing employees

Check boxYour orientation includes discussion of mission, key talking points, editorial style, branding, logo usage and other institutional goals

Check boxThe orientation includes an introduction to the benefits and services of CASE, including ethical Principles of Practice and the CASE Management Checklists

Check boxYou conduct annual performance reviews

Check boxThese reviews outline goals for the coming year, including new skill development and cross-training

Check boxThese reviews convey the relevance of institutional goals to individual goals

Check boxThese reviews provide an opportunity for self-assessment

Check boxThe format follows institutional guidelines.

Check boxThe format includes reference to annual performance goals and objectives, their attainment or non-attainment

Check boxYou have a common understanding of when people report to work and when they depart.

Check boxYou have a common understanding about filing itineraries for business trips

Check boxYou have a common understanding about the handling and filing of correspondence; this understanding addresses the matter of timeliness

Check boxYou have a common understanding of appropriate attire


Reference Material

Check boxThe URLs for the following websites:

Check boxCASE

Check boxNational Association of Independent Schools

Check boxU.S. higher education associations

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