Let's face it: your role as an Account Manager can be a tough one! You are responsible for ensuring a consistent, appropriate message and brand is conveyed through your client's marketing pieces. Below are some common questions you may have about our general guidelines and procedures.     
When can clients design their own materials?


In a nutshell: all communication targeted to external audiences must be created and approved by UCM to ensure that the OU brand/style is properly represented. If a communication is exclusively for internal use, it does not need a logo and therefore, can be produced by individual departments for internal use. On a case-by-case basis, departments may work with you if they have a specific, compelling reason to use an external vendor. However, the external vendor must demonstrate that they are a more economical alternative, can adhere to OU brand identity standards and can work within our guidelines. The university leadership, via Policy 488, has required that all university communications be reviewed/approved/produced by UCM. If a client tries to use time and money as an excuse to go around UCM, remind them of our design formats.  

Why can't clients have their projects completed within a week?


Just like an ad agency, we have numerous jobs going on at the same time (an average of 800 projects each year!) All projects follow a standard agency process that includes writing, art direction, design, proofreading, client review/approval, printing and delivery. When a client requests a job at the last minute, it disrupts all the other projects in the system (not fair!) Our turnaround time is actually very quick considering all the steps involved in each project: 6 weeks for a new brochure, 4 weeks for a flier, and 5-10 days for web graphics. See more timelines here. We will, of course, try to accommodate any rush client requests (though they may include a printer's rush fees). Meeting with clients at least twice a year for strategic communication plans is a good way to avoid last-minute requests.

Can departments have their own logos/graphic identities?


Clients often have tunnel vision and only want to promote their department. You must remind them that we can do that -- but within the overall context of promoting Oakland University. Therefore it is in everyone's best interest to follow the graphic standards of the overall university brand campaign. Since 1957, about $30 million has been spent on branding OU. Why wouldn't departments want to capitalize on that investment?

That said, it is okay for some d
epartments/entities that provide services to the community (exclusive of OU students) to have a graphic identity. Example: A graphic package was created for OU CARES since they provide services to the community and their primary purpose is not to support our student population.

Clients can learn all about our logo guidelines on the Logos, Marks and Fonts pages of the UCM website. 

Can we hand over a design format so clients can customize it themselves?


No. Design formats were created as a quick alternative to custom-designed jobs. They must still go through our department for production. All our formats are created and maintained in the professional graphic design software InDesign. The majority of our clients do not have this software and would not be able to manipulate the file (or even open it!) Clients just need to select a design, send you the content and any picture direction. Then the job is opened and carried out like all our other jobs. It does take less design time since the layout is already done. 

Why do we need a fund number to begin a job?


We need that number for billing and tracking purposes and if it's not included in initial paperwork, it can get missed. Also, it reminds our clients that they're about to spend the university's money, which is a good thing for all of us to remember! We cannot order any printing without a PO, and Bonnie can’t get a PO without a fund number. When printing bids come back, Bonnie sends out the release paperwork (with fund number) to get the PO process rolling. If she gets a fund number just before we send to print – even though the project is ready to print -- the printer needs to wait (sometimes days) to start the job, for that PO.  

Why can't clients send emails to the entire campus?


In general, emails should be used carefully and conservatively to maximize the impact of important messages (see policy #420). This goal would be compromised if faculty, staff and student inboxes were receiving an influx of emails from every university unit regarding each of their various activities and news items at any given time. Hence, broadcast email has been restricted to:

  • Sharing vital university information that affects a large number of employees and/or students when timing is a concern. Examples include emergency power outages, mechanical systems failures, storm and other emergency closings, road closings, last minute or urgent changes to the academic calendar, etc.
  • Communicating official university news and information of interest to a broad range of employees and/or students. Examples include the "state of the university" messages from the president and special visitors to campus.
Why can't departments use random vendors for giveaway orders?


The university contracted with LRG to handle ALL merchandise orders, which includes those for resale and not for resale (see policy #450). There are more than 100 vendors who are approved to produce university merchandise -- clients are sure to find one who carries the item they seek. If a client insists on using a particular vendor, you can explain the licensing process and then refer the vendor to LRG (our representative is Tim Klassan: (616) 395-0676 (extension 120)) so they can become licensed. The process is easy and Tim works directly with the vendor -- you are done! Vendors may see an increase in business since they will be added to the approved vendor list. You should review the information on our Merchandising page so you are familiar with the process.    

Why can't clients create their own friendly URLs for their websites?


Clients must contact their Account Manager if they want friendly URLs (ex: oakland.edu/kellyisawesome) for a new page or site. If a client tries to create their own friendly URL, they will receive a message asking them to contact their Account Manager for assistance. You have access to all your client websites and may create the URL for them. This process allows us to manage URLs which aren't really friendly (ex: oakland.edu/macschedaf) or should not be assigned to a specific department (ex: oakland.edu/undergrad should not be specific to the SBA; oakland.edu/business/undergrad makes more sense). Talk to the Web team if you have questions about creating friendly URLs.  

Can clients monitor traffic on their websites?


Yes! This can be done via Google Analytics. Clients will need an @gmail.com email account. Some departments have a department-wide account (ex: Alumni has oualumnidept@gmail.com). Clients can set one up too, or use a personal @gmail.com. Here are instructions you can pass to your clients for filtering for a specific website: 

  • Log into analytics.google.com
  • Click the + signs next to Oakland University (All) 
  • Click on www.oakland.edu (Internal & External)
  • On the left navigation click on Content -> Site Content -> Pages
  • You should now be looking at the page statistics for the entire university
  • Now to filter these statistics for just your site, click on "Page Title", located at the center of the screen
  • Now type in your sites name ("SEHS - Professional Development" {without the quotes}) in the center search box and hit enter or click on the little magnifying glass 
  • Now you should see the statistics for the entire site  
What is the process for uploading a web job that included design?


All web graphics -- banners, buttons, evites, enewsletters -- should be designed by our graphic designers. After you open and complete the web job according to one of these processes (which includes remembering to change the status code in C&P to "approved" so the designer who worked on your web art knows that the job is complete), you will be given the final artwork from the designer (make sure to request all buttons and banners as transparent PNG files). From here, you have three choices:


  • Upload the web art yourself (if it's a department website)
  • Forward the web art to your client for them to upload (only do this if they are semi-CMS savvy and comfortable uploading graphics)
  • Forward the web art to ucmhelp@oakland.edu. If you do this option, the Footprints ticket system is triggered and someone from the web team will handle the upload for you. You should always send OU homepage banners to ucmhelp, and be sure to include the date you want the banner to start running. 
How can I help my client with their social media needs?


Many clients are very excited to venture into social media. They often think that they NEED a presence on all social platforms. But having a presence isn't enough! If they aren't responding to questions/comments or otherwise engaging their audience, they will never gain a following and their venture will be a failure. There is no need to waste resources on social media -- UCM can provide all sorts of support and advice. Typically, it is best to have individual departments align themselves with the main OU accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr rather than creating their own accounts. We have spent a lot of time building a large audience for these platforms -- clients can benefit from these efforts! Review these social media guidelines for more information and then talk to Colleen for specific questions and advice.   

Why can't clients purchase their own advertising?


Because all paid advertising for Oakland University is contracted through our media buyer, Jewell Media Services. Jewell negotiates competitive rates and a variety of value-added media services on behalf of OU -- she can negotiate rates better than ANY client! Even if it's a small print ad in Metro Times, it MUST go through Jewell. She is aware of all media that the university is placing and ensures there isn't overlap/gaps with our large undergraduate recruitment campaigns. If your client still tries to purchase media themselves, it will get flagged in the Purchasing Department and will come back to UCM for review/approval. We have the right to deny approval of advertising not placed by Jewell, which will make for a very unhappy client.

You are still the main point of contact for your client. He/She should not work directly with Jewell; rather, you will work with Jewell on advertising needs for a client.