DATE: April 2018

Last update: December 2020: Reference added to the University's Statement of Academic Freedom

REFERENCE AUTHORITY:  Vice Chancellor and President.




The University of South Australia (UniSA) operates in a competitive market where reputation, name and image are valuable assets. Effective communications and marketing is essential to the protection and maintenance of the University’s reputation, and the ongoing development and profile of its various teaching and learning, research, and community activities.
UniSA is a global brand. About a third of the University’s students are citizens of another country and they access information from a variety of sources around the world. Some of this information is provided or made accessible by partners of the University. In this context, and with the objective of being Australia’s University of Enterprise, UniSA must present a consistent, distinctive and appropriate view of itself to its range of clients, customers, partners, end-users and stakeholders.
Additionally, as a major public institution the University is subject to the legislative requirements regarding the proper conduct of its operations. Management of the communications and marketing of its services and intent to the broad community is a significant organisational responsibility.
This Code of Practice should be read in conjunction with the University’s Statement on Academic Freedom.


1.1. The objective of this Code of Practice is to provide a set of agreed principles for those managing, and those engaged in the practice of, the University’s communications and marketing.

1.2. This Code recognises that communications and marketing involve both a technical and objective dimension, for example in reproduction of such things as the University logo, and a creative and subjective dimension arising from development of marketing messages, concepts and visual imagery. This Code provides guidance on both these dimensions.


2.1. It is expected that at any one time a collection of UniSA communications and marketing materials and activity will:

  • visually appear to be of the same ‘family’ or suite in an organised and integrated fashion that promotes the University brand
  • reproduce faithfully and accurately the University’s logo and images of its learning and research
  • environmentconvey a consistent and accurate statement about the services, activities, attributes and values of the University
  • be produced with efficiency, professionalism and relevance for a particular audience.


3.1. Communications and marketing refers to the range of processes that facilitate communication between the University and prospective clients, customers and stakeholders. Communications and marketing is a set of processes that support the ‘telling of the UniSA story’. At its broadest, communications and marketing are also considered a customer-focused and informed orientation that contributes to University planning and is comprised of a number of processes. It is not only concerned with operational functions such as marketing communications and recruitment activities but is also deeply involved with strategy and planning functions.

3.2. Communication and marketing materials refer to advertising; public relations; publications; sponsorship; digital communications; media liaison; presentation materials such as displays; events; merchandise and signage; and any other published promotional communications designed to generate interest in and engagement with the University.

3.3. Logo refers to the unique combination of the name(s) of the University and its crest, and variations under the naming convention that include the names of academic schools, research institutes and administrative units. There are detailed rules within the Branding and Style Guide which outline its reproduction that must be followed.

3.4. Secondary logo refers to a specifically designed emblem for an externally focused UniSA organisational entity that is attached to the university logo to aid in communicating key messages for target audiences. Examples include Hawke Centre, Samstag Museum, MOD and unijam.

3.5. Tag line refers to a slogan used in marketing materials and associated with pre-determined initiatives, to portray a concise message that supports brand positioning. All tag lines are managed and developed by the Communications and Marketing Unit. Examples of University tag lines include ‘University of Enterprise’ or ‘Educating Professionals, Creating and Applying Knowledge and Engaging with our Communities’.

3.6. Naming convention refers to a logo iteration that includes the name of a University functional area, e.g. Research Institute, Research Centre, School, Division, and Operational Unit, in the University standard logo format.

3.7. Division refers to the University’s four academic Divisions, University College, UniSA Online and UniSA Regional Campuses.


The following principles set the framework for the University’s communications and marketing activities. The University of South Australia requires:

4.1. Brand integration and consistency across cultures, countries and markets.

UniSA’s primary brand attributes and achievements are described and presented in a consistent manner across audiences and markets.

4.2. Production of materials that are culturally appropriate, sensitive and relevant to local communities.

UniSA’s materials reflect the diversity of its student population and its secondary messages and attributes may also reflect regional, cultural or social specifics.

4.3. Accurate representation of UniSA’s demonstrated strengths in teaching, learning and research, and conformity with consumer protection law obligations, education services and privacy legislation and the relevant laws of host countries.

UniSA’s materials do not mislead or misrepresent and will conform to specific legislative requirements.

4.4. That the dominant brand of the University is its name and the University may adopt, where appropriate, a co-branding or partner branding strategy.

The University’s name and representation is the primary brand. As per the University’s Branding and Style Guide, materials produced in partnership with another provider or supplier are expected to convey parity between UniSA and the partner, if not prominence of UniSA.

4.5. Acknowledgement that the communications and marketing of one UniSA program or service impacts on the communications and marketing of all programs and services.

All UniSA’s materials reflect on the total brand of the University. Communications and marketing materials must be integrated and consistent with the Branding and Style Guide. This ensures that the overall presentation of the University is positive, complementary and integrated.

4.6. No negative comparative competitive marketing with the brands of other Australian education providers or University partners.

UniSA is committed to the positive reflection of Australian higher education and does not support success by direct negative comparison with other providers.

4.7. Administrative production and approval processes that are efficient, cost effective and professional responses to competitive marketing situations.

Those responsible for production of UniSA materials should have access to resources that facilitate best professional practice. Approval of marketing materials will involve a collaborative approach among relevant senior managers.


5.1. Communication and marketing materials will conform to relevant University branding and style guidelines as outlined in this Code and in the related policies and reference documents listed in this Code. University design standards take precedence over any local variation or application.

5.2. It is required that communications and marketing materials produced by the University will have been through a professional production and approval process at both University and Divisional level. The Communications and Marketing Unit maintains protocols that outline the procedures for major communication and marketing processes. The Communications and Marketing Unit have a number of preferred marketing suppliers, such as the appointed advertising and media agencies, and these preferred suppliers are recommended.

5.3. University wide communications and marketing materials are approved by the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, as delegated by the Vice Chancellor and President, or nominee from the Communications and Marketing Unit. It is the role of the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer or nominee to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.4. Division materials, including those produced by Schools, Research Centres and Research Groups are approved for the accuracy and appropriateness of academic and research content by the appropriate Divisional Pro Vice Chancellor or nominee. It is the role of the Communications and Marketing Unit, facilitated by Division marketing managers, to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.5. Research Institute materials are approved for the accuracy and appropriateness of academic content by the Research Institute Director or leader. The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research approves university wide research materials. It is the role of the Communications and Marketing Unit to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.6. Administrative Unit materials are approved for the accuracy and appropriateness of technical content by the relevant Manager/Director. It is the role of the Communications and Marketing Unit to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.7. Staff involved in the development or approval of communications and marketing materials must receive adequate induction and training in relevant legislative compliance issues. The responsibility for ensuring this lies with the process owners and those officers with delegated legislative responsibilities, who will generally be supported by University-wide compliance program resources or advice. Communications and marketing staff who are aware of relevant legislation and training should be identified by Units/Divisions as part of performance development.

5.8. As per legislative requirements, UniSA’s full name and CRICOS Provider Number must be reproduced on all promotional material that is intended for or might be relied upon by international students to inform their decision to study with UniSA. The University name and CRICOS Provider Number should be shown as “University of South Australia, CRICOS Provider Number 00121B’. The guidelines for print and digital publications for international students referenced above should be followed when producing material for promotion.

5.9. Sample copies of marketing materials produced should be provided to the Communications and Marketing Unit wherever possible. UniSA International maintains copies of all international materials for ESOS audit processes.

5.10. Materials translated into foreign languages should be professionally prepared and independently back-translated to test comprehension and accuracy.

5.11. All third-party contracts with partners must outline responsibilities and approval mechanisms for preparation of marketing materials.

5.12. The Communications and Marketing Unit will maintain a panel of preferred marketing suppliers.


6.1. The Vice Chancellor and President has responsibility for the brand positioning and marketing of the University.

6.2. The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer has the delegated authority on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and President to order the destruction and removal from circulation of communications and marketing materials that do not conform to University communications and marketing directions or style guidelines. Appropriate consultation must be undertaken in the exercise of this delegation.

6.3. The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer has delegated authority for approving use of the University’s logo on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and President.

6.4. The Executive Director: UniSA International has delegated responsibility for Education Agent contracts and University administration of its obligations under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act and protocols.


7.1. The University’s University-wide communications and marketing plan, based on the University Strategic Action Plan Crossing the Horizon, and approved by the Vice Chancellor and President, outlines the University’s long-term communications and marketing targets, objectives and activities.

7.2. Operating within the University’s marketing plan and brand guidelines, CMK based Division marketing teams case manage the activities of Divisions with specific focus on academic programs, discipline and research promotion and University priorities (e.g. capital works) according to agreed annual activity plans.

7.3. UniSA International and Advancement Services Units lead international marketing and alumni and fundraising planning and activities.

7.4. Crisis Communications

7.4.1.The CMK maintains a crisis communications plan and leads the university communication in the event of a significant crisis or incident impacting on business operations.

7.4.2.The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer is the Director Communications for the purposes of crisis communications, reporting to the University’s Strategic Crisis Management Team. The Vice Chancellor is university spokesperson.


8.1. University name, logo and parchment.

8.1.1. The University’s Branding and Style Guide outlines approved rules for the reproduction of the University’s name and logo. The guide also outlines design rules for publication and advertising materials that are used for audiences external to the University.

8.1.2. The University’s formal name, the University of South Australia, or its approved short form, UniSA, should not be used in any third-party marketing activities without the prior consent of the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer or nominee.

8.1.3. The University’s formal name, the University of South Australia, and full logo should be used internationally at all times.

8.1.4. The University’s logo is a registered trademark and it is not possible for the logo to be used without the permission of the University.

8.1.5. The University’s parchment is an official document of the University approved by the University Council. The parchment’s design and reproduction is managed by the Student and Academic Services Unit in consultation with the Communications and Marketing Unit.

8.1.6. Students may reproduce the University logo on their work, with appropriate disclaimers or explanation, with the approval of relevant academic staff where the work is used in an individual educational context and is not part of any commercial activity or representation of a wider university partnership or project.

8.2. Presentation of University organisational entities

8.2.1. University Divisions, Schools, Institutes, and Research Centres do not have secondary logos. Their names are produced in a naming convention, as per the Branding and Style Guide. Permission to produce a naming convention in the standard University logo format is required from the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

8.3. Secondary brand names, logos and slogans

8.3.1. The creation of secondary logos is expected to be rare and will not be created for areas involved in ongoing core University teaching and research. Secondary logos are approved by the Vice Chancellor and President on the recommendation of the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer as per the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

8.3.2. The University’s name constitutes its primary brand, but secondary logos and brand names (e.g. Hawke Centre) may be developed for externally focused services and special projects to aid communication, access and engagement in accordance with the University’s Brand and Style Guide. The development of brand names is an important process and must involve the relevant marketing staff from the Communications and Marketing Unit. Brand names are approved by the Vice Chancellor and President.

8.3.3. For communications and marketing purposes tag lines will not be used unless approved by the Vice Chancellor and President.

8.4. Publications

8.4.1. The University’s Branding and Style Guide outlines rules for production of printed materials. The Communications and Marketing Unit and other relevant staff are available to assist with the creation, design and production of printed materials in line with these rules.

8.4.2. Publications produced by an area of the University should be produced with a clear production process involving editing, proofing, professional graphic design and approval processes.

8.5. Advertising and campaign coordination

8.5.1. The production and placement of paid advertising is a centrally managed function in the University. All advertisements must be booked with the assistance of the Communications and Marketing Unit, or in the case of staff recruitment advertisements, with the assistance of the Human Resources Unit and in the case of international placement, University International.

8.5.2. Given the broad exposure of communications and marketing campaigns and the impact that the marketing of one program or service has on all programs and services, marketing campaign materials must be agreed upon by the Communications and Marketing Unit prior to their printing and public release.

8.5.3. Details on University advertising style are included in the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

8.5.4. Individual advertisements are approved for technical accuracy by the area generating the advertisement and for University positioning, appropriateness of design, style, message and use of media by the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer or nominee.

8.6. Signage

8.6.1. The Facilities Management Unit of the University maintains the University Signage Manual. The manual outlines procedures for the design and production of University signage that conforms to University approved style.

8.7. Digital and Social Media Marketing

8.7.1. Current guidelines and policies relevant to the creation and development of digital and social media pages, sites and marketing materials are included in:

o UniSA Web Author Guidelines
o Guidelines on Electronic Communications with Students
o Web Authoring Guide
o University Social Media Guidelines.

8.7.2. It is expected that digital marketing material conform to the University Branding and Style Guide and the specific digital marketing guidelines listed above.

8.7.3. Digital marketing uses approved University technology and suppliers as supported by the Information Strategy and Technology Services Unit.

8.7.4. The Communications and Marketing Unit manages the University’s main social media channels. UniSA International maintains the University’s foreign language social media activity and post internationally relevant content across all channels.

8.8. Events and Presentations

8.8.1. The University encourages staff to speak about their expertise and the University in public forums, such as professional organisations and associations, international education exhibitions and secondary schools, in accordance with the principles prescribed within this Code.

8.8.2. The Communications and Marketing Unit and other marketing staff of the University maintain support materials, such as banners and display material that assist with public presentations and the staging of public events. UniSA International maintains and produces support material for offshore public presentations and events.

8.8.3. The Communications and Marketing Unit may provide event support for key University events. The level of support will be based on the complexity of the event. Refer to the CMK Event webpage and CMK Events Toolkit for event management guidance.

8.9. Media

8.9.1. University Council policy C-5.0 describes the conduct of public statements by members of University staff. Unless otherwise delegated, the Vice Chancellor and President authorises all statements made on behalf of the University.

8.9.2. Where individual staff members make statements as private citizens they should not make reference to the University.

8.9.3. Where a staff member makes a statement directly related to their academic expertise, the staff member may, in order to establish his or her credentials, give the title of his or her University appointment. It should be explicitly stated that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the University.

8.9.4. Staff members must not publicly endorse any products or advertising unless approved to do so by the Vice Chancellor and President.

8.9.5. The Vice Chancellor and President is the principal spokesperson of the University unless otherwise delegated.

8.9.6. The Communications and Marketing Unit handles media enquiries. Official distribution of news of the University to the media is coordinated by the Communications and Marketing Unit. The Communications and Marketing Unit or other marketing staff are able to assist with University staff engagement with the media.

8.10. Sponsorship

8.10.1. The University may provide sponsorship where the individual event, publication or marketing activity supports existing communications and marketing strategies, increases its profile and reinforces market position.

8.10.2. In considering sponsorship opportunities it is expected that: there is a balance of benefit between parties and the University receives appropriate recognition for its contribution there is no conflict of interest between the sponsorship and any University relationships the sponsorship has the potential to bring added benefits to staff and students of the University, reputational benefit, research income and/or research partnerships the sponsorship aligns with the mission and values of the University there is no unreasonable assumption of risk or liability.

8.10.3. The sponsorship of individual staff and student activity is only considered where the activity involves representing the University or provides a unique communications and marketing opportunity that complements existing strategies.

8.10.4. University-wide sponsorship opportunities are approved by the Vice Chancellor and President on the recommendation of the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer following appropriate consultation.

8.10.5. The relevant Provost, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor Research Institute Director, Centre leader, or Administrative Unit Director approves sponsorship opportunities within relevant professional and discipline areas. There is an expectation that these sponsorships will not conflict with University-wide sponsorships and that appropriate internal consultation will occur. Refer to the Guidelines for the acceptance by the University of South Australia of third-party sponsorship and advertising and University Sponsorship Guidelinesfor more information.

8.11. Customer data

8.11.1. From time to time, areas of the University will acquire individual client information for the purposes of direct communication. Collection of this data must be undertaken with the express permission of the client and in accordance with appropriate privacy legislation.

8.11.2. Distribution of material to people on UniSA databases should only be conducted for the purpose for which the data was collected and should adhere to any other appropriate protocols, such as the SATAC marketing protocol.

8.11.3. Maintenance of client databases must adhere to the University’s privacy policies and guidelines.

8.12. Student Recruitment

8.12.1. Domestic prospective student recruitment data including key influencers (e.g. Principals, Year 10 – 12 students and Career Advisors etc.) is managed and maintained by the Communications and Marketing Unit, which coordinates the timing and approved content of relevant communications in consultation with the authoring area.

8.12.2. Visits to secondary schools for student recruitment purposes are coordinated centrally by the Communications and Marketing Unit and in accordance with SACE and SATAC protocols.

8.12.3. International prospective student data is maintained by UniSA International who also manage arrangements and contact with approved international agents.

8.13. Use of student work

8.13.1. UniSA may use student work for marketing purposes, but only with the agreement of authors. This may be sourced via:

o asking permission to use work that a student has produced as part of their studies – for example, artwork, photography or design – in material such as University publications or websites; or
o commissioning a student to develop a bespoke piece of work for a particular purpose.

8.14. Preferred suppliers

• The Communications and Marketing Unit will provide guidance on preferred suppliers for key marketing and communication services.
• The University’s media booking agreement and creative agency panel contracts will be managed by the Communications and Marketing Unit.
• Before engaging external communication and marketing professional services, e.g. photography, copywriting and videography, previous work of all suppliers will be reviewed and assessed to ensure contracted work is delivered at a high quality.