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Marketing, Communications and Reputation Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University of Newcastle (University) brand and reputation are valuable assets

(2) The University aims to present itself in a cohesive manner that influences respective audiences and enhances the University's reputation, expertise and offerings. Marketing and communication activities by the University play a key role in achieving this aim. 

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) The aim of this policy is to establish the governance requirements of the University's marketing and communications to protect its brand and enhance its reputation by: 

  1. supporting a single, consistent corporate image for the University;
  2. managing the use of the University's brand across its controlled, and associated entities
  3. enabling a coordinated approach across all marketing, communications, platforms and channels managed by the University; and 
  4. identifying the roles and responsibilities of staff and students in the ongoing management of the University's brand and reputation.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(4) In the context of this document:

  1. “advertising” is a collective term that refers to paid communications used to influence an audience to take a specific course of action. For example, to study at, work at, or donate to the University. Advertising includes but is not limited to print, outdoor, indoor, magazines, digital, video, television, cinema and radio;
  2. “brand” is a collective term given to visual, written, video, or audio elements that enable a single and consistent appearance;
  3. “channel” describes the communication platform, technology or method used to communicate to University audiences, eg social media, media outlet, email, website, publication, etc.;
  4. “channel owner” refers to the University role that is responsible for the ongoing management of a specific channel;
  5. “domains” are a distinct subset of the Internet which use addresses that share a common suffix or are under the control of a particular organisation or individual;
  6. “lead generation” is the process of capturing personal information with the aim of increasing a person’s interest through targeted communications, with the end goal of turning that interest into a purchase of a product and/or service;
  7. “media” is a collective term that refers to services and products that publish news and information, including but not limited to: printed publications; television and radio broadcasting services; and online and digital products and services such as websites, email newsletters (e-newsletters), blogs, webcasts, streaming services, podcasts, vodcasts, online magazines and e-publications;
  8. “media agency” refers to an external provider who provides professional services in the planning and execution of paid advertising;
  9. “media outlet” refers to a publication or broadcast entity that provides news and feature stories to the public through distribution channels such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet;
  10. “platform” describes technology utilised to host an application and/or service for marketing and communication purposes;
  11. “remarketing” is a tactic of presenting targeted advertisements to people who have already visited or taken action on a website or digital advertising;
  12. “reputation” defines how the University wishes to be perceived as an entity and encompasses our brand, culture, leadership and the key values we stand for;
  13. “social media” is a collective term that refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share information or ideas with others, or to participate in social networking;
  14. “social media channel owner” refers to the University role that is responsible for the ongoing management of a specific social media channel;
  15. “user-generated content” is a collective term given to original, brand specific content created and published by customers on social media or other channels. User-generated content comes in many forms, including images, videos, reviews, a testimonial, or even a podcast;
  16. “WCMS” refers to web content management system software that provides website authoring, and is an administrational tool that supports the University's web publishers to create and manage website content;
  17. “web approver” refers to a member of University staff who, having completed the required training, have responsibility for reviewing, approving or rejecting content created by a web publisher prior to being published;
  18. “web content community” refers to a group of University staff responsible for creating and maintaining content on; 
  19. “web information architecture” is the logical, strategic and functional capabilities across that ensures all areas of the University present as one coherent offering; and
  20. “web publisher” refers to a member of University staff who, having completed the required training has the ability to create, edit and manage content within WCMS.
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Section 4 - Scope

(5) This policy applies to the:

  1. use of the University's name;
  2. University's brand;
  3. University marketing and communications channels including and not limited to domain names, platforms and University locations;
  4. production of visual, written, video and audio communications relating to the University; and
  5. interactions with media or media outlets.
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Section 5 - Brand

(6) The University's brand must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor (VC).

(7) The Director, Communications & Engagement is responsible for the implementation and management of the University's brand.

(8) Materials produced with the intent to communicate information to audiences relating to the University's reputation, expertise, activities, achievements or offerings must comply with the University's Brand Guidelines.

(9) Creation and distribution of marketing and communication materials without appropriate approval constitutes a breach of the Code of Conduct or Staff Code of Conduct and the delegations of authority (see Delegations Register), and may be subject to disciplinary action.

(10) Staff must use the University's logo, email signature or corporate stationery (including business cards) in their capacity as an employee of the University.

(11) Staff or students of the University must not use the University's brand in ways that may bring the University's reputation into disrepute.

(12) Staff and students must not reproduce the University's brand identity, logo or crest with the intent to be on-sold.

(13) Staff are encouraged to utilise templates and tools hosted on the Marketing and Communications Resources Hub.

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Section 6 - Channels

(14) All University-managed communication channels must comply with the University's Brand Guidelines.

(15) Staff wishing to create a channel with the intent to enhance the University's reputation, expertise and/or offerings, must seek approval from Future Students, Communications & Engagement via the Marketing & Communications Policy Enquiry Form.

(16) The use of a channel (including social media) to harass, vilify, bully or discriminate against another person is strictly prohibited and constitutes a breach of the Code of Conduct or Staff Code of Conduct.

(17) Staff wishing to share third party user-generated content from any public platform on a University-managed channel, with the intent to promote the University, must obtain consent in writing from the content owner, before use.

(18) Any collection of personal information including lead generation, through any University-managed communication channel must comply with the Privacy Management Plan.

(19) All communications via University channels must comply with all relevant:

  1. University policies including the Staff Code of ConductCode of Conduct and the Code for the Protection Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom; and
  2. legislation, including but not limited to the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth), Trade Marks Act 1995 (Commonwealth) and Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth).

Social media

(20) All University-managed social media channels must be reviewed at a minimum, annually. The responsibility for reviewing social media channels will be determined at the time the channel is approved. Any non-performing social media channels, or channels that are not reviewed at least annually may be made inactive by Future Students, Communications & Engagement, in consultation with the social media channel owner.


(21) All University-owned websites must be hosted on No University website can be hosted outside of this domain unless approved in accordance with the University's delegations of authority (see Delegations Register).

(22) Future Students, Communications & Engagement is responsible for the implementation, continual improvement and governance of the web information architecture, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, user interface, and user experience across

(23) The content of web pages hosted on University resources must relate to the strategic objectives, activities, functions or role of the University.

(24) Web Publishers, Web Approvers and members of the Web Content Community cannot access the WCMS without completing relevant training delivered by Future Students, Communications & Engagement.

(25) Web publishing is the responsibility of the Web Publisher and the Web Content Community and must comply with the following standards:

  1. currency and accuracy of information on owned pages - if information is or becomes out of date, is misleading or inaccurate, the information should not be published, or should be removed;
  2. language - web pages must use language that is in accordance with the University's Inclusive Language Policy, Brand Guidelines, Staff Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct;
  3. appearance - web pages must be constructed utilising the templates provided with the platform and in accordance with the University's Brand Guidelines;
  4. content approval – to follow web approval procedures and meet web accessibility standards;
  5. unacceptable content – web pages must not contain or link to offensive, illegal, obscene, defamatory or threatening material; breach confidentiality or the privacy of personal information or health information; and must comply with the Staff Code of ConductCode of Conduct and Privacy Policy; and
  6. 'copyrighted' material - images, text, video, or software must not be published without the written consent of the copyright owner; such consent must be included on the web page.

(26) Costs associated with purchasing and ongoing management of external domain names must be approved in accordance with the University's delegations of authority (see Delegations Register).

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Section 7 - Advertising

(27) All paid advertising (including remarketing) on behalf of the University must be booked by Future Students, Communications & Engagement, with the following exemptions:

  1. Human Resource Services is permitted to book and coordinate all staff recruitment advertising, using templates approved by Future Students, Communications & Engagement; and
  2. sponsored social media may be placed by social media channel owners, subject to prior consultation with Future Students, Communications & Engagement.

(28) All advertising on behalf of the University must:

  1. comply with the University's Brand Guidelines;
  2. include the University's CRICOS provider code;
  3. comply with all relevant legislation;
  4. be approved in accordance with the delegations of authority (see Delegations Register); and
  5. not place the University's reputation at risk.

External Media Agencies

(29) Future Students, Communications & Engagement may appoint an external media agency to provide professional advice and purchasing of University advertising.

(30) Requests to use an external media agency must be directed to Future Students, Communications & Engagement.

University-owned channels

(31) Advertising of third party services on University-owned channels must relate to the strategic objectives, activities or functions of the University and comply with the University's Brand Guidelines

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Section 8 - Media and Public Comment

(32) The University regularly engages with media outlets. Future Students, Communications & Engagement is solely responsible for managing relationships with all local, national and international media outlets. Staff who have been directly contacted by a media outlet should advise Future Students, Communications & Engagement via the Marketing & Communications Policy Enquiry Form

(33) Comments made on behalf of the University (such as but not limited to University operations, finances, achievements, announcements and offerings) can only be made by an authorised delegate in consultation with Future Students, Communications & Engagement. Persons making such comments are required to identify themselves as a representative of the University, including their role.

(34) Staff are encouraged to communicate the outcomes and implications of their research work. If a staff member wishes to reach out proactively to media outlets or engage third party services they must contact Future Students, Communications & Engagement via Marketing & Communications Policy Enquiry Form prior to comment, commencement of any communications work and expediture of University funds. 

(35) Media requests requiring an immediate response should phone +61 2 4921 5577 or email

(36) All media representations must comply with all relevant University policies, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct and the Code for the Protection Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

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Section 9 - Third Parties

Third Party Services

(37) Engagement of third parties to produce materials designed to enhance reputation, expertise, and/or offerings of the University must be undertaken in consultation with Future Students, Communications & Engagement, prior to commencement of any work and expenditure of University funds.

(38) Third-party suppliers, providing services defined in Clause 37 of this policy must be onboarded by Future Students, Communications & Engagement. Onboarding must be completed prior to commencement of any work and expenditure of University funds. Onboarding requests can be submitted via the Marketing & Communications Policy Enquiry Form.


(39) Sponsorship (in-kind or financial) of third parties by the University or sponsorship (in-kind or financial) of the University by a third party must be approved in accordance with the University delegations of authority (see Delegations Register) and Brand Guidelines.


(40) Partnerships between the University and third parties must be in accordance with the University delegations of authority (see Delegations Register) and Brand Guidelines.

Outreach activities

(41) Activities by the University with the purpose of recruiting prospective students should be undertaken in consultation with Future Students, Communications & Engagement and must be delivered in accordance with the University Brand Guidelines.


(42) Testimonials by the University to endorse a third party may be issued where:

  1. the service engagement with the third party is based on a formal contract;
  2. there is no conflict of interest (as per Conflict of Interest Policy); and
  3. the third party does not present any risk to the University's reputation.

(43) Testimonials by the University must:

  1. accurately reflect the University's satisfaction with the third party;
  2. not misrepresent the University, the third party, or the mutual relationship; and
  3. not breach any relevant University policy, legislation or regulation. 

(44) The testimonial must be approved in accordance with the University's delegations of authority (see Delegations Register).

University website and sub domains

(45) Logos other than the University logo cannot be placed on the website or sub domain unless approved by the Director, Future Students or an authorised nominee. Written authorisation must be provided by the third party before use.

(46) Inclusion of links to the website of companies sponsoring or partnering official University conferences or projects is permitted.

(47) Mention of a sponsor's contribution is permissible where the sponsorship is approved by an authorised delegate (see Delegations Register) and is for an activity relevant to the mission and goals of the University, and relevant to the content of the web page. The sponsor must give written consent.

(48) Advertisements by entities not owned or controlled by the University are not permitted on the University website or sub domains, with the following exception:

  1. the University's Employability and Enterprise team is permitted to place internal and external recruitment advertising on the University's Career Hub sub domain exclusively.
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Section 10 - Non-Compliance

(49) Failure to comply with legislation and regulations applicable to marketing and communication activities (including Australian Consumer Law) is a serious matter and may result in criminal or civil penalties and corrective orders as well as subsequent reputational damage.

(50) Non-compliance with the provisions of this Policy is a serious matter. Depending on the severity and implications of the breach, action may be taken to:

  1. remove the offending material;
  2. invoke the misconduct provisions of any relevant agreement; 
  3. commence student disciplinary proceedings; or
  4. impose sanctions which may include a warning or counselling.

(51) Breaches of this Policy may also result in referral to, and action being taken by, a statutory authority and/or agency.

(52) The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 establishes penalties relating to the exclusion of CRICOS provider code on materials, which includes infringements, and 6 months imprisonment and may result in the University being unable to recruit overseas students.