CLA Communications Guidelines
CLA Communications Staff:
University Visual and Written Guidelines
As a college, it is important to represent Cal Poly consistently — both visually and through the written word — in order to convey our excellence in a cohesive manner. For official university standards, visit the Cal Poly Marketing and Communications website.
- Cal Poly Graphic Standards
The Cal Poly Style Guide and Identification Standards Manual provides guidelines on visual elements — logos, colors, typefaces and more. The university also provides guidelines on best practices and standards for video production (PDF).
- Cal Poly Editorial Style Guide
The Cal Poly Marketing and Communications Office uses the Associated Press Stylebook as its primary writing style guide. Additionally, the office has developed a customized guide with exceptions to AP rules for use in university publications and documents.
- Document Accessibility (PDF)
When creating communication documents, it is important to create pieces that are accessible to all users. Special care must be taken in order to prepare documents for those with sensory, physical and cognitive disabilities.
- Web Authoring Resource Center
The Web Authoring Resource Center (WARC) provides developers with the information and tools necessary to plan and build a website that meets basic requirements for university identity, Web accessibility, usability and aesthetics. In addition, the WARC provides valuable information on how best to maintain websites.
- Drupal User Guide
The Drupal User Guide is a tool that can lead you through basic changes and updates to your website. The guide can be accessed here.
CLA Communications Best Practices
In order to best serve the departments, all external communication is managed through the CLA Communications Office. Before printing/distribution occurs, the CLA Communications Office must review and approve the communication piece — both visual and written content. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Advancement solicitations
- PolyLink emails
- Press releases
For any communication requests and/or questions, please contact Rachel Schultz, 805-756-1216, 47-36B.
- Announcements/Event Promotion
For event or announcement promotion requests, please fill out the Online Promotion Request Form. In order to best promote your event/announcement, forms must be submitted a minimum of 15 business days prior to the event date.
- Press Kit
For those departments that have the resources and desire to facilitate event promotion on their own, a Press Kit is available. This kit contains timelines, resources and templates for items commonly used in event promotion, such as press releases, social media, posters, PowerPoint and more.
- Logos or Word Marks
Cal Poly created several versions of word marks for each department. Some include the Cal Poly seal, others are just a word treatment. Official Cal Poly variations can be obtained by contacting Rachel Schultz.
All departments are encouraged to produce departmental newsletters. To assist in providing a smooth and efficient process, please review the Newsletter Best Practices and Check List document.
To use photos, artwork, illustrations, audio and/or video of CLA students, alumni or guests in communication pieces, the department/program must have a signed Visual/Audio Release Form (PDF). For events or large crowds, in lieu of individual photo releases, please post a photo/video sign on all event entrances (PDF).
- PolyLink Correspondence
PolyLink is the software used to generate e-communication to external audiences (e.g., alumni and donors). The CLA Communications Office is the designated PolyLink coordinator for the college. All PolyLink communication must be reviewed and approved by the CLA Communications Office. Review the Polylink Check List document to help ensure an efficient process.
- Social Media
Social media is no longer a supplemental or experimental form of communication. When used properly, social media can be a valuable addition to a college’s and/or department's overall communication strategy. Review the Cal Poly Social Media guidelines for developing a social media presence and a helpful guide for brainstorming a strategy for social media (PDF).
Annual magazine distributed to all CLA alumni and friends
Quarterly on-campus update distributed quarterly via print and email to more than 100 campus leaders and CLA faculty and staff
- The Link
Online blog-style news with summary distributed via email to all CLA alumni several times throughout the year
- Weekly Announcements
Each Monday, all CLA faculty and staff receive an email containing departmental and college events for the week. All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on the Thursday prior for inclusion. Please send all submissions to Rachel Schultz.