Guideline UL-ADG14 Marketing Communications

Main Policy Content


  • Objective
  • Procedures 
  • Public Bulletin Boards (Pattee and Paterno Library)
  • Related Links
  • Cross Reference


The University Libraries Marketing Communications Policy (UL-AD29 Marketing Communications) establishes the lines of responsibility for the Libraries’ branding, marketing, and strategic communications efforts, and the following guidelines are intended to clarify the process for accurate, timely, and strategic promotion of collections, resources, programs, events, services, and personnel. The Libraries’ Public Relations and Marketing Department (PRaM) is responsible for adherence to this University Policy, and PRaM’s department head serves as the University Editor Representative for the University Libraries.  


Marketing communications can take many forms and PRaM fulfills many of these needs for the Libraries. Requests for promotion to PRaM are considered a collaborative and consultative effort between the requester and PRaM employees. Deliverables also can take many forms. PRaM’s strategic approach to its work takes cues from the University’s Office of Strategic Communications best practices, keeping in mind identified University Libraries primary audiences.  

PRaM’s deliverables take a student-centered, “digital first” approach to uphold these best practices and to support Penn State and the University Libraries’ values, including sustainability and organizational excellence. Projects can range from simple, one-time deliverables of content to a complex media campaign that includes a combination of digital and physical materials according to audience segments’ interests and needs, internal Penn State and external communication channels, and more, as time available allows for planning and project execution.  

Marketing communication does not include teaching materials, such as instructional guides. For permanent signage (affixed to the walls), contact the Facilities Department

Projects Appropriate for PRaM—Initiatives to interest and engage library users in Libraries resources, services, events, or programs should be considered for marketing communications project needs. Rather than thinking about the promotional deliverables needed, it is more effective for project requesters to first consider, “Who should hear the message, what is the message, and why would they be interested.” Identifying the audience and the desired action at the beginning of the project will influence the success of the initiative. Using this approach, PRaM will discuss the project request with the requester and oftentimes will find unexpected ideas and outlets to gain audience attention. 

Please note: PRaM does not provide support services for groups external to the Libraries that may request use of Libraries space for sponsorship purposes only but not involve the Libraries actively in their events. Promotion for these events should be addressed by the primary sponsoring unit, and that promotional content needs to be approved by Libraries’ Public Relations and Marketing (PRaM) department (  ( )) no less than two weeks in advance of the event. 

How to Initiate a Project Request—Contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department (PRaM) to discuss any promotional initiative or request an introductory consultation by submitting a “Start a Marketing Project” form on the University Libraries Staff Site (login required). 

A member of PRaM will respond to the request within two working days. (If the requester does not hear back, they are encouraged to email for follow-up.) This request sets in motion a fuller discussion of the project—an email, phone call or a consultative meeting—that defines a plan of action. 

Timeline for Success—Requesters are encouraged to initiate a job request as soon as they know the basic details of their program, event, resource, or service. More lead time for PRaM employees enables more opportunities for cross-promotion and expanded reach of the project’s message, including to audiences external to the University. 

Requesters are asked to allow a minimum of two weeks for small-audience and simple/turnkey requests and, preferably, two or more months for complex, mass-audience, and design- and writing-intensive requests that may require a communications plan. 

U.Ed. Numbers—All printed items, excluding University stationery and instructional materials, are required by the University to have a U.Ed. number that is assigned by the University Editor Representative, PRaM’s department head. The number functions as an inventory system to identify the unit and year a publication is printed, and it signifies review for adherence to the University’s editorial and visual standards. Formerly called the University Editor Representative system, the name is now the MarCom Network, and it is charged with ensuring the integrity of the University’s brand strategy. (See the section “University Editor Numbers” on the Penn State’s Editorial Standards web page.) 

Budget Development—Each March, PRaM solicits input from all Libraries departments to develop the following year’s projected marketing needs and budget. (This includes giveaway items branded with the University Libraries mark following best practices and supporting the Libraries and University value of sustainability.) In May and June, materials are purchased from the preceding year’s budget for the upcoming fall and spring school year needs. 


Public Bulletin Boards (Pattee Library and Paterno Library): 

  • Within Pattee Library and Paterno Library, public bulletin boards in Paterno Library, floor one hallway, and the Knowledge Commons, Pattee Library, are available public promotion spaces. Size of flyers permitted is no bigger than 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper. Flyers are removed weekly by custodial staff.  

NOTE—Per the Facilities Administration Department, signs found taped on doors or elsewhere are not permitted, as they may damage surfaces, and will be immediately removed. 



Effective Date: February 16, 2015

Date Approved: February 16, 2015 (Dean's Library Council and Library Management Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 13, 2022 - Revised policy

Last Review Date:  June 2022