Congratulations to all the new directors of communications who are about to take their positions in July. This is a fabulously fun and varied job that will keep you hoping. It can also be very gratifying as the fruits of your labor will be clearly evident if you are performing well.
As a little welcome gift, I’ve prepared a checklist of things you’ll need to get you going. While it’s just a beginning, it should give you a jumpstart.
You veterans out there: Please feel free to leave a comment if you want to add to the list.
- Your school’s brand
- Graphic identity: school logo and usage, athletic logo and usage, school colors, secondary color palette, fonts, preferred stock, computer fonts
- Brand messages
- Styleguide that outlines your school’s graphic identity as well as editorial guidelines. See examples from colleges and universities.
- Editorial styleguide your school uses as your Bible. Two popular ones:
- Proper spelling of frequently used words:
- Indicia not indesha, indesia, et al
- Stationery (as in letterhead) not stationary (as in a fixed position)
- Online dictionary and thesaurus
- Marketing plan
- A thorough review of your existing website for optimal visitor experience. (Shameless self-promotion: Consider a web assessment from Turnaround.)
- RSS feeds for social media gurus like edSocialMedia, Brendan Schneider, Andy Shaindlin, and William Stites, to name a few.
- Pantone color books
- 18-24 inch ruler, preferably metal
- Envelope size chart & corresponding insert size chart
- Fractions to decimals conversion chart
- Knowledge of current postal regulations (or a great mail house on call)
- Current bulk mail permit/indicia
- Current business reply envelope or card (BRE or BRC) permit, if needed, usually for annual giving
- Production schedule for active projects
- Time tracking software (to help budget for production and turnaround time in the future)
- Knowledge of proof reading marks
- Graphic design software: Adobe CS (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
- Automatic backup protection like Retrospect
- 11 x 17 inch (or larger) printer, if your office can afford it
- Good quality digital camera. This Canon has been a workhorse for me for many years and does everything well except sports. My pride and joy for higher end stuff is the Olympus Pen 2.
- A few good type and stock image sources like iStockphoto, Veer, and Shutterstock.