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Media/Public Relations

University Marketing and Communications works proactively with the news media in order to maintain positive, mutually beneficial relationships on behalf of the University. University Communications is responsible for garnering local, regional and national media coverage for the University and its divisions, departments and units through the distribution of press releases and media pitches; responding to media and public information requests; and serving as University spokespersons.

Media releases are submitted to appropriate local, regional, state, national media outlets to promote upcoming events, projects, achievements, programs, etc. All media releases are added to our news database for display on our website as well.

News Media Policy

To provide clear, concise and consistent communications, all media inquiries must be channeled through the Office of University Marketing and Communications. This policy was established to describe the University's position with respect to interacting with members of the media, which may include representatives of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online publications, television and radio. Only the Chancellor and the Chief Communications Officer serve as the official University spokesperson to the media and handle all crisis communication.

An employee or department that seeks to publicize a program, event or achievement should contact the Office of University Marketing and Communications, which has access to numerous news media contacts and will work with employees to coordinate publicity or visibility for programs, events or newsworthy issues.

It is the responsibility of the Office of University Marketing and Communications to initiate and/or respond to news media requests and to manage those interactions. When an employee or department is contacted by the news media, he/she should notify University Marketing and Communications immediately, before providing any information or responding to questions.

While on University property, news media representatives should, if necessary and appropriate, be accompanied by a University Communications staff member or a University employee designated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

To gain access to the residence halls, news media representatives must be accompanied by a University Communications staff member or a University employee designated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

USC Upstate adheres to all applicable federal and state laws regarding the retention and release of personal and/or educational records of all current employees and students, and complies with all privacy and security laws including FERPA.

If an event attracts news media interest, all news releases and statements to the news media will be handled through and disseminated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications. It is the responsibility of each department head to implement procedures to comply with this policy, while also ensuring that academic freedom, free inquiry and freedom of expression within the academic community are respected and observed.

Photographs or videography taken with the intent to publicize the University do not need signed consent as long as the individual are in the public domain (classrooms, labs, events, etc.) where there is no expectation of privacy. These images may be incorporated in situations appropriate to the image of an academic institution including release to the news media, publications, website, social media, and in other recruitment or promotional materials including paid advertising.

What is newsworthy? Students, faculty, staff and administrators at the USC Upstate represent a variety of diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, with countless potential stories to be told. University Marketing and Communications strives to identify those stories that will appeal to a variety of media outlets.

Faculty and Staff Experts

As part of our media relations efforts, we are often seeking faculty or staff members to speak as experts on their subjects in response to specific media requests. As a routine procedure when seeking faculty and staff experts, we will contact the appropriate department chair or dean first for recommendations of the best person to speak on a particular subject.

Media Relations Best Practices

In order to effectively maintain professional, open lines of communication with media outlets, University Marketing and Communications recommends that all faculty and staff adhere to the Working with the News Media: Tips and Guidelines.

Please note that this office cannot guarantee that a story will be highlighted by local media on broadcast news or in the newspaper. This office sends media releases regularly to the media, and then they decide what, if anything, will be featured.

Digital and Social Media

Digital and Social Media is charged with the management of the University's public web and social media presence and the EpiServer Content Management System (CMS). In addition, Digital and Social Media develops, manages and initiates on-going training needs, communications and resources for campus web managers, as well as assist campus clients with improved content quality for their websites.

In order to maintain the highest standards for web design, architecture, and development, Digital and Social Media promotes and enforces web governance policies and procedures across campus. They work closely with campus clients to ensure compliance with the established USC Upstate’s brand standards and technical requirements in order to maintain the tone and organization of USC Upstate’s web content in alignment with the institutional image.

ACCESSBILITY COMPLIANCE

Web Accessibility Statement

The University of South Carolina Upstate is committed to campus-wide universal design and accessibility policy and process development.

To ensure that the information and technology provided through our website is inclusive and accessible for the widest possible audience, USC Upstate has adopted the best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) per the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Following these guidelines makes content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents. See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview for an introduction and links to WCAG technical and educational material. In this regard, for all new web development, we use WAVE, an accessibility evaluation tool that facilitates human evaluation by embedding inline accessibility feedback into your web content, to identify potential problems or features

For all new content, we are preparing guidelines and gathering training material to provide to our content creators. 

If you have other accessibility concerns, or need to request accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services at either 864-503-5199. For additional information, visit the Office of Disability Services.

SOCIAL MEDIA

The University of South Carolina Upstate believes that social media is an important vehicle for sharing our stories, events and information with the world. University organizations, departments and divisions are required to register social media channels representing the University with the Office of University Communications. Only registered social media channels will have their content shared on the official University channels. 

Social Media Policy and Procedure Guidelines PDF Document Download

Getting started with social media