Our logos and trademarks serve as a strong visual identity, establishing standards for consistency and ensuring the integrity of Georgia College & State University's graphic identity. Likewise, the words which we use to refer to our institution help to define who we are for ourselves and our constituencies. We therefore have set up institutional standards for both our visual identification and for our language about the college.
OUR OFFICIAL NAME
Our full name is Georgia College & State University. Note the use of the ampersand; the word "and" is never part of the written name of the university. In body text, the full name should always be used on first reference and followed by the acronym on each subsequent reference.
Georgia College & State University (written/preferred)
Georgia College (in conversation)
GCSU (when using the acronym)
Georgia College and State University, GC&SU, GC & SU, G.C.S.U., Ga. College, Georgia College & State, Ga. College and St. Univ., GC (in written from)
Georgia College & State University has a protocol on how to style e-newsletters.
Graphic Identity Standards
VEHICLE GRAPHIC IDENTITY GUIDELINES
Our logos and trademarks serve as a strong visual identity, establish standards for consistency and ensure the integrity of Georgia College's graphic identity. All vehicles procured by the university are required to utilize the proper Georgia College marks and placement in order to ensure they adhere to the university’s style standards. These marks are property of Georgia College & State University and may only be used with the university's consent. Adherence to this procedure is mandatory, as the university has the responsibility to monitor every use of its registered marks in order to protect its graphic identity (under federal trademark law and Board of Regents policy).
If you have any questions about the Vehicle Graphic Identity Program, please contact University Communications at 478-445-6541.
WHAT VEHICLES FALL UNDER THIS PROCEDURE
Vehicles included are cars, trucks, vans, busses, sport-utility vehicles, golf carts and other motorized utility vehicles that are owned by the university or operated for university purposes. All vehicles with existing graphics as of Oct. 1, 2014, are exempt from these guidelines. If these vehicles are subsequently re-decaled, they must adhere to these guidelines.
GUIDELINES FOR THE VEHICLE GRAPHIC IDENTITY:
- Logos or wordmarks used on any university-owned vehicle will use the marks according to the usage that the vehicle body-style can accommodate. Vehicles must include the vehicle identification number assigned to the vehicle by the university, as well as any state or federal law-mandated marks in accordance to the law.
- For vehicles with white or light colored paint, a black, green or blue logo will be used. For vehicles with dark colored paint, a white logo will be used.
- The official primary university logo will be used (pergola logo) which a department can customize with its approved department extension logo if desired. University Communications will provide these logos for use upon request, to ensure proper style and formatting.
- Cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles and vans should have one logo placed on the driver-side door and on the front passenger-side door. The top of the logo should be placed approximately 5 inches below the door window and should be centered on the width of the door. Golf carts and utility vehicles should have one logo centered on the front panel of the vehicle. If, in the event that any vehicle’s body style cannot accommodate these placements, please consult University Communications for accommodation instruction.
- The logo may never have any graphic, text, photo or other image obscure or run over any portion of the logo (use as a stationary watermark is the one exception to this rule). The logo may never be cropped or altered. No additional logos or graphics may appear on any vehicles without prior permission from University Communications.
- Exceptions to these standards (including vehicle wraps) must be approved in advance by the Office of University Communications, in collaboration with a panel of marketing communications professionals from the Georgia College campus. The Office of University Communications reserves the right to approve all usage of any of the University’s official marks to ensure that they properly align with the university’s mission and brand identity.
STANDARDS FOR PUBLICATIONS: PRINT, WEB, TV
"Publications" include traditional printed materials, electronic communications (web and mass distribution HTML emails) and video. All communications to external audiences (including students) must be approved by University Communications prior to distribution.
Examples of print publications include: advertisements, announcements, annual reports (for public distribution), banners, business cards, billboards, brochures, catalogs, fact sheets, flyers, forms, envelopes, event programs, informational booklets, letterhead, magazines, newsletters, postcards, posters, promotional or recruitment materials, and reports (for public distribution).
Official video productions related to promotion, education or archiving and are designed for public broadcast on cable, satellite, webcasts, iTunes, YouTube and/or other web or on-line distribution, should use the standard Georgia College & State University logo in their credits.
Georgia College has an official licensing program, administered by CLC. This means that Georgia College requires that all commercial products bearing university logos and marks must display the official Collegiate Licensed Product label. The label signifies that the item is officially licensed by the university, and that a portion of the sale price is returned to the university for the benefit of its students and programs. The label also serves as an assurance to customers that the products meet quality standards and have been approved by the university.
Vendors who are not licensed are not permitted to use Georgia College & State University logos and marks.
It is an infringement on Georgia College's registered names, logos and trademarks to produce GCSU merchandise without written authorization. Vendors who fail to follow this policy may not be allowed to do business with Georgia College. Uses of the names, logos and trademarks are approved and monitored through the Office of University Communications to ensure that the marks are used according to design standards and to protect ownership of the marks.
HOW DO I BECOME A LICENSED VENDOR?
For specific questions regarding GCSU’s trademark licensing program you can reach out to CLC at (770) 956-0520 or contact:
1075 Peachtree Street, Suite 3300
Atlanta, GA 30309
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of the trademark licensing program?
The trademark licensing program was established to protect and control all uses of the university’s brand marks and graphic identity.
Who must be licensed?
Anyone or any business/organization wishing to use GCSU's trademarks or verbiage on a product must have a license before offering the product/goods for sale.
Becoming a Licensee
The university and CLC strive to make obtaining a license to produce Georgia College products obtainable and user friendly.
For specific questions regarding the process, please contact CLC or visit their website at https://clc.com/
You can submit an application for licensing here: https://clc.com/home/get-licensed/
What companies are currently licensed with Georgia College?
For a list of current licensees, please visit: https://clc.com/license-search/
How do I know if a product is licensed?
All licensed products should feature the Collegiate Licensing Properties Association logo. This tag signifies that manufacturer of this product has gone through the correct process with CLC and holds a license with the university.
Photo and Video Release
As a student at Georgia College, from time to time you will be on campus, in class or at a university designated activity where our campus photographer and/or videographers are present and working to capture visual images. These videos and photos will be used across multiple platforms (i.e. social media, university websites, university print materials, etc.) to help tell the Georgia College story. If you do not want to be a part of these photos or videos, let the videographer or photographer know, and they will exclude you from the shots. If you do not say that you wish to be excluded, you consent to being a part of the photos or video to be used by Georgia College.
If you have any questions about the photo and video procedure at Georgia College, please contact University Communications at 478-445-6803.
Social Media Guidelines
- Social media has given Georgia College the opportunity to engage in ‘conversations’ about the university with current and prospective students, faculty, alumni, friends of the university and other stakeholders to find out what is important to the Bobcat nation and to share that information with others.
- We created these guidelines to provide some best practices on how to use social media. Since the Internet is always evolving, some guidelines and recommendations may need to change from time to time to reflect current needs. Our hope is that you will be able to use these tips to effectively execute your social media plan and grow your audience.
Before You Start
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
- The first step to creating a social media profile is to define your goals. Clearly defining your goals can help you choose what social media channel is best suited for your primary objective. Think about your organization’s overall marketing goals and determine how you can utilize social media to achieve those goals. Some common goals include increasing brand awareness, influencing audience behavior, monitoring sentiment about the brand and creating brand advocates.
- Be sure to pay attention to the amount of resources you have to devote to social media. Although it is free to create a social media account, social media requires time and energy to effectively manage. An inactive account that does not have a continuous stream of new and relevant content will begin to lose attention from its followers and fail. If you find you don’t have the necessary resources to devote to another account, consider investing the time you do have to revamp your current account or even getting an existing account to assist you. For example, if a professor wants to post about stories and events happening in a science lab but doesn’t have enough time and content to support a social media account, then maybe the official account of the department of science could post for you. Once you determine your audience and message, you are able to brainstorm the best social media network to meet your needs.
DETERMINE A COORDINATOR
- By designating someone in your department as a social media coordinator, you ensure that you will maintain a focus on your social media goals. Maintenance doesn’t require a lot of time; however, your social media coordinator should update content frequently, converse with engaged viewers, and respond to relevant events or problems as they arise. You should try to post to your site at least three-to-five times a week. Assigning a backup coordinator will help ensure accounts are managed while the primary social media coordinator is away. While the social media effort can be collaborative, a social media coordinator will allow you to have a consistent message and tone online.
LISTEN AND ANALYZE
- Before making a plan, it is important to listen and analyze how your brand is being portrayed online. Do you know what your potential audience’s opinion about your brand is? Take time to listen to different channels and other accounts similar to yours before launching in order to have a clear understanding of your audience.
MAKE A PLAN
Once you determine your goals and have gathered some information about your brand’s image online, it’s time to make a plan. The purpose of a social media plan is to list out the actual tools and tactics that you will use to accomplish your goals. Once again, it is always important to think about your overall marketing goals as well as your social media goals when making a plan. The idea here is to look for ways the two can work together to enhance your overall marketing efforts. If you need some tips to get started, please reach out to University Communications for assistance.
FIND TOOLS TO HELP YOU MANAGE CONTENT
- Managing social media can seem like a daunting task. However, there are tools available to help you manage your accounts. There are services available that allow you to schedule posts for Facebook and Twitter. This is helpful if you know you are going to be away from your computer or phone so that you can go ahead and make a post and the content manager will take care of the rest.
- Individual social media platforms themselves are also providing some tools for users to help manage content. Facebook allows administrators of pages to schedule posts on the page and to see how it is performing. Twitter and Instagram allow users to see insights into how their accounts are performing. Please contact University Communications if you need help getting started with social media analytics.
DEFINE YOUR IDENTITY
- It may seem unimportant, but taking time to carefully pick usernames and profile pictures are a big deal. These things define what your brand is, so it’s crucial that they reflect your organization effectively. When choosing a username, be as literal as possible. For example, if you were trying to create an account for Georgia College admissions, your username could be gcadmissions or gacolladmissions etc. Try to avoid punctuation if at all possible.
- When deciding on the profile picture, keep in mind that different platforms have different formats for their pictures. Always make sure that your picture or avatar is either a Georgia College official extension logo or a plain photo and that it conforms to the specifications of the social media network. You can find social media specifications here.
LAUNCH AND ADJUST
- Once you have gone through the first six steps, you are ready to launch your social media site. When posting content, be sure to use analytic tools to listen and adjust your plan as needed.
What are some different social media networks to choose from?
- Facebook is a social media network that connects individuals to other people and brands. Organizations can also create pages that they can use to post content to their fans. This network is popular among the masses because it allows users who are interested in multiple areas such as games, applications, photos and status updates to connect and share their material.
Pages vs. Groups
- A page usually works well for most users that are trying to launch a brand on Facebook. By having a page, a user can post content to the page as the page’s administrator, which provides a separate personality between the user and the page.
- Groups on the other hand are designed to be more personalized around common interests that people may share. Groups typically don’t have a single administrator posting content to the page, but instead allow several contributors to post a variety of material that may interest the group. You can create a Facebook page and manage it from your personal account. To setup your page, simply follow the instructions provided on Facebook’s website. Once you have created your page, designate a backup administrator in case there are problems with the account.
- Twitter is a short-dialogue social media platform where people can post about anything, and have conversations back and forth known as tweets. A tweet can be no longer than 280 characters.
- Retweeting is a way to share other user’s comments and thoughts without having to recreate the content or text yourself. Retweeting can be used as a way to differentiate your messaging by including other voices or material outside your organization but that share your organization’s mission.
- The # is used to mark keywords and phrases on Twitter. A hashtag can be used to get a conversation started around a topic or add humor to your tweet. They also group tweets together around a thought or event. It’s a good idea to do some quick research before choosing a hashtag. Hashtagify.me is an online tool that shows what hashtags are trending around a topic. Before using a hashtag for a campaign, email the Social Media Council to ensure the hashtag you want to use is not in use elsewhere on campus.
Creating Your Department’s Account
- The easiest way to set up your Twitter Profile is to first create an email account for your specific department. You don’t want to use your personal account.
- Navigate to http://twitter.com/, and click “log in” at the top right corner of the screen. Then click “signup.” Fill in the fields with the appropriate information and click next. When choosing a password, make sure to document it for later use. It’s advised that your password contains letters, numbers and symbols.
- Search for the Georgia College official Twitter account, and begin following all of the current Twitter accounts affiliated with the university. This will help your account gain followers and help you get familiar with conversations online.
- Instagram is a social application that started in 2010 as a service to share videos and photos for followers to enjoy. Originally known for its square images, the company has grown to offer many services such as stories and direct messaging and it has become a hit with millennials. Instagram is beneficial for showcasing your highly visual pieces such as pictures and videos. If your department has a lot of photos or videos to share, Instagram is a great platform to showcase your content.
Creating Your Department’s Account
- Signing up for Instagram is easy. Navigate to http://instagram.com/, and fill out the appropriate fields on the screen. Then click “signup.”
- Keep in mind when creating a password to make sure to document it for later use. It’s advised that your password contains letters, numbers and symbols.
- Search for the Georgia College official Instagram account, and begin following all of the current Instagram accounts affiliated with the university.
- Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application which shows pictures and messages for a limited amount of time. Currently Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media applications with its focus on representing a new, mobile-first direction for social media, and it places significant emphasis on users interacting with virtual stickers and augmented reality objects.
Creating Your Department’s Account
- Before you can set up a Snapchat account, you must first download the app from either the App Store or Google Play. Once you have downloaded and opened the app, touch the signup tab and fill in the appropriate fields. Make sure you are satisfied with the username you have chosen before proceeding because it cannot be changed later. Finally, verify your account using Snapchat’s Grid system and you are done. Search for the Georgia College official Snapchat account and say hello.
- LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. LinkedIn is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their resumes and CVs. Individuals can contact University Communications for information on how to post to Georgia College’s official Linked In page.
The Georgia College Brand
- Social media coordinators should follow Georgia College’s graphic standards to ensure the university maintains a strong, unified visual identity online. This includes images and/or text for avatars, thumbnails and other photos. Images for backgrounds, avatars and covers should be in good taste and representative of the university.
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTORY
- University-driven social media accounts should be easily identifiable as an official channel of the university. Including this identification in the “About” section, using the university logo when applicable, and including links to the university’s websites will help convey this image.
- University Communications has developed a Social Media Directory – a central directory of official Georgia College social media pages. This directory is for internal and external use, to assist in collaboration among university units and to direct our audiences to university-affiliated social media accounts. See more on our Social Media Directory. Please contact University Communications if you would like to be added to the directory.
- One positive thing about social media is that followers can give you feedback about your brand providing you insight on how to improve your approach. Listen to feedback and make adjustments as necessary.
- Social media sites require constant monitoring and posting. As a rule of thumb, you will want to post once a day or several times per week. Provide accurate information, keeping in mind that content should always be relevant to your audience.
- Being open and honest with your audience is the best policy. More times than not, people just want to know the truth. Always provide the most accurate information and own up to your mistakes.
INTERACT WITH OTHERS
- While it’s important to post on a regular basis, interacting with others online is the best way to grow your brand. By interacting with your audience you not only build rapport but you also build trust, which eventually leads to loyalty towards your brand. Find positive statements or posts about your department online and interact with those followers.
DON’T CONTROL THE CONVERSATION
- You can only control what you say through your social channels – but you cannot control how people interpret your message, how they will react, or what they will communicate to others through these channels about your organization. Focus on telling your story honestly and providing accurate, timely information that is relevant to your audience.
- It’s always a good idea to monitor what is going on online and to have a set of ground rules to handle foreseeable situations. If you have a rule in place internally to delete all spam content, make sure to stick to it. Don’t make the common mistake of deleting all negative comments from your site. Not all comments and reactions will be positive in nature, and it can be hard to determine if responding to a negative post will help your brand’s image online or if it would cause more damage. Therefore, University Communications has developed a decision tree as a tool to help you come up with a response.
- Facebook gives page administrators the ability to hide or delete a comment. When hiding a comment, the user who originally commented can still see their comment on the page but no one else can. If you delete a comment, it is gone from the page. Hiding or deleting a comment can be useful if the conversation has gotten out of hand or if privacy concerns have been compromised but should be done so sparingly and on a case-by-case basis.
ENGAGE VS. NOT ENGAGING
- When you answer in a public setting, many people may read that answer. If the information you are providing is sensitive or valid only for the individual being addressed, you may need to make that clear in your response or provide them with a more direct way to contact you (email or phone). Never engage in an argument via social media. Instead, take each negative situation case-by-case, referring to the Georgia College Social Media Decision Tree before engaging. Always make sure that your responses are respectful.
- Take advantage of free metrics and tracking capabilities that are available. These tools will help you to become more educated on your audience’s interests and how they are responding to your content. Facebook has built-in metrics that page administrators can access, and Twitter and Instagram provide metrics for the past 7 days at any given time.
DON’T OVERDO IT
- Be conscious of the time you spend on your social media site. Limit your time to posting comments, monitoring data, viewing related social media sites and responding to comments. While social media is not an 8-to-5 job, you should give yourself a curfew in order to prevent burnout.
KEEP PRIVATE THINGS PRIVATE
Georgia College follows AP Style with variations in its publications, web site content, and internal and external communication. The university style guide can be viewed here.