General University Reference Utility
The purpose of this policy is to establish the responsibility for oversight and the procedures for producing marketing and promotional videos. It applies to all colleges, campuses, and budgetary units of the University. This policy is intended to ensure that video productions coordinate with existing University-wide marketing efforts; contribute positively to the University's brand image; prevent duplication of materials already in existence; and meet the highest production standards in the most cost-effective manner. This policy does not apply to student projects or to educational or documentary videos produced for use by faculty or for broadcast on the University's public broadcasting station, WPSU. It also does not include traditional network, cable, or local television news crews covering stories on campus.
“Promotional videos” as used in this policy refer to television and social media commercials and videos that are used to recruit students or donors, or to generally highlight the accomplishments of the University and any of its colleges, campuses, or budgetary units.
The production of promotional videos will be coordinated through and approved by the Office of the Vice President for Strategic Communications. This includes video productions intended for broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Videos must be compatible with the University’s overall strategic message and must adhere to the highest standards of quality as defined by Strategic Communications. Use of an external vendor to produce such videos must be approved in advance by the Office of the Vice President for Strategic Communications. Videos also must meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandating that public universities provide effective communications to those with disabilities. Universities that use the Internet for communication regarding their programs, goods, and services must make that information accessible. Every effort should be made to provide (or make available upon request) a transcript for audio files (to include podcasts) posted on websites. For videos, synchronized audio must be closed-captioned (including those videos posted by units to Internet-based services like YouTube).
Any unit planning a promotional video should contact the Office of the Vice President for Strategic Communications or its Department of University Marketing. Staff will review the goals and script of the video, and will later screen the video rough cut before granting final approval. When appropriate, the marketing staff will refer units to the video production unit of Penn State Public Broadcasting, or they will assist units in finding outside vendors to produce the video.
The Vice President for Strategic Communications is the officer designated for coordinating the University programming on the Big Ten Network. All television shows produced for the Network, or desired to be aired, will be reviewed and approved by the Vice President or his/her designee.
Any request by an outside movie or video production company to film on University property shall be referred to the Penn State Film Office, which is part of the Office of Strategic Communications.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications.
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