DATE: June 2020

Last update: September 2022: Section 8.14 amended.

REFERENCE AUTHORITY:  Vice Chancellor and President.



The University of South Australia (UniSA) operates in a competitive global market where reputation, name and image are valuable assets. Effective communications and marketing are essential to protecting and maintaining the University’s reputation, as well as the ongoing development and profile of its various teaching and learning, research, and community activities.

UniSA is a national and international brand. About a quarter of the University’s students are citizens of another country and they access information from a variety of sources around the world. UniSA draws on students from every mainland Australian state and communicates with its alumni across the globe. Information is also provided or made accessible by formal third-party 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, both externally and internally within the University.

Additionally, as a major public institution, the University’s operations are subject to legislative requirements. Management of the communications and marketing of its services and intent to the broad community is a significant organisational responsibility and must be done in a way that meets legislative requirements and best practice expectations.

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 activities.

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, as well as a creative and subjective dimension arising from development of marketing and communications messages, concepts and visual imagery. This Code provides guidance on both these dimensions.


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

  • reflect the UniSA visual brand and brand personality;
  • 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, along with representation of its learning and research spaces;
  • convey consistent and accurate statements about the policies, services, operations, attributes and values of the University, in a way that meets legal requirements and aligns to strategic directions; and
  • be produced with efficiency, professionalism and relevance for an audience.

3.1. Communications and marketing refers to the range of processes that facilitates communication between the University and prospective clients, staff, customers and stakeholders. These processes support the ‘telling of the UniSA story’ in a way that meets strategic objectives. Communications and marketing are customer-focused and informed, and therefore are deeply integrated into University strategy and planning.

3.2. Communications and marketing materials refer to advertising; public relations; publications; sponsorship; digital advertising and communications; websites; 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. In this context, communications and marketing materials does not refer to ongoing and routine management and operational communications.

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 Units, research institutes and administrative units. There are detailed rules within the Branding and Style Guide which outline how the logo should be reproduced and these must be followed.

3.4. Secondary logo refers to a specifically designed emblem for an externally-focused UniSA organisational entity, that is not involved in teaching and research, which 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 (CMK), with the approval of the Vice Chancellor. Examples of University tag lines include ‘University of Enterprise’ or ‘Educating Professionals, Creating and Applying Knowledge and Engaging with our Communities’ or campaign taglines like ‘unstoppable’.

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

3.7. Academic Unit refers to the University’s seven Academic Units and UniSA Online and UniSA College.

3.8. Campus refers to the physical location from where a program of study is being delivered. The University has six campuses: City West, City East, Mawson Lakes, Magill, Whyalla and Mount Gambier.


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, although they reflect necessary cultural sensitivities as set out in 4.2, below.

4.2. Presentation and production of materials that are culturally appropriate and diverse, accessible, sensitive and relevant to local communities, and reflect the values and mission of the University.

UniSA’s materials reflect the diversity of, and be accessible to, its student population, and the University community, and regional, cultural or social specifics. Communications will be particularly reflective of the University’s recognition and respect for First Nation Peoples and the Australian Aboriginal Community as outlined in its mission and values.

4.3. Accurate and authentic 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 and messages 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, at a minimum, 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. Communications 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, regardless of which area of the University instigates or manages the project. The CMK maintains protocols that outline the procedures for major communications and marketing processes. The CMK has a number of contracted marketing suppliers, including advertising and media agencies, and use of these preferred suppliers is preferred (and, in the case of media buying, is compulsory).

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 a nominee from the CMK. 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. All materials, including those produced by Academic Units, UniSA Online, Research Centres and Concentrations, as well as other groups such as regional campuses, must be approved for accuracy and appropriateness of academic and research content by the appropriate Executive Dean, General Manager, Research Dean, Director or nominee. It is the role of the CMK, to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.5. Research Institute materials must be approved for the accuracy and appropriateness of academic content by the Research Institute Director or leader, or their nominee. The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise approves university wide research materials. It is the role of the CMK to ensure consistency with the University’s Branding and Style Guide.

5.6. Professional Unit materials must be approved for the accuracy and appropriateness of technical content by the relevant Manager/Director. It is the role of the CMK 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 central administrative units and Academic Units 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 finished marketing materials produced should be provided to the CMK 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. This includes, for example, offshore partner universities.

5.12. The CMK will maintain a panel of preferred marketing suppliers. The suppliers will cover a range of areas including content development, graphic design, digital marketing and media buying.


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 Pro Vice Chancellor: 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 Enterprise 25, 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 teams (some of which are campus-based) manage the priority marketing activities of the Academic Units, with specific focus on academic programs, discipline and research promotion and University priorities (e.g. capital works) according to agreed product marketing plans and annual activity plans.

7.3. UniSA International leads international marketing

7.4. The Advancement Services Unit, reporting to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, manages alumni and fundraising planning and communications.

7.5. Crisis Communications

7.5.1. 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.

7.5.2. 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 communications 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 and words Australia’s University of Enterprise are registered trademarks 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 CMK.

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 Academic Units, Research Entities and Professional Units do not have secondary logos. Their names are produced in a nameplate, as per the Branding and Style Guide. Permission to produce a nameplate 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 specifically 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 CMK. 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. Communications and Design materials

8.4.1. The University’s Branding and Style Guide outlines rules for production of marketing and communications materials. The CMK is available to assist with the creation, design and production of materials in line with these rules. It may refer the request to an approved external supplier or suggest a template solution.

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

8.4.3. Use of images, visual assets and photography must be managed with the appropriate talent release and approvals of the individual. For individuals under 16 years of age, parental or guardian permission is required.

8.5. Advertising and campaign management

8.5.1. The strategy, planning, production and placement of paid advertising is a centrally-managed function in the University. All advertisements must be booked with the assistance of the CMK, or in the case of staff recruitment advertisements, though the People, Talent and Culture Unit and in the case of international placement, UniSA International.

8.5.2. Paid advertising must be booked through the University’s approved media agency and cannot be booked directly, due to contractual obligations.

8.5.3. 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 CMK prior to their printing and public release.

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, CRM and Social Media Marketing

8.7.1. Current guidelines relevant to the creation and development of digital, CRM and social media pages, sites and marketing materials are included in:
UniSA Web Author Guidelines
• Guidelines on Electronic Communications with Students
University Social Media Guidelines

8.7.2. It is expected that digital marketing materials 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 CMK and the Information Strategy and Technology Services Unit.

8.7.4. The CMK 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.

8.7.5. If an area of the University wishes to manage its own social media channels, it should first consult with CMK to ensure it is aware of the requirements, risks and best practices associated with this activity.

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 CMK 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, including those events hosted with offshore partners.

8.8.3. The CMK 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, they are encouraged to establish their credentials and give the title of their university position. Where the opportunity is presented and it is necessary for clarification, it should be made clear to the media that the views researchers and academics express 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 CMK handles media enquiries and the official distribution of news about the University to the media is coordinated by the CMK. The CMK also provides support and training to staff to help them with media engagement and interactions.

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; and 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, Executive Dean or 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 Guidelines for 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, and its use by any approved third-party must be undertaken with the express permission of the client and in accordance with appropriate Australian Privacy Principles APP, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Privacy Act 1988.

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 business rules.

8.11.3. Maintenance of customer 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 centrally by the CMK, 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 and strategically by the CMK and in accordance with SACE, SATAC and peak body protocols.

8.12.3. International prospective student data is maintained by UniSA International, which also manages arrangements and contact with approved international agents and ensures accuracy of program information provided to prospective international students and influencers.

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:
• 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
• commissioning a student to develop a bespoke piece of work for a particular purpose.

8.14. Use of external suppliers

8.14.1. The University will appoint a panel of agencies to undertake marketing and communications services. Where possible, these contracted agencies will be the preferred suppliers for any outsourced marketing and communications services for UniSA.

8.14.2. CMK will manage the appointment of, and contracts for, the panel agencies.

8.14.3. CMK will provide guidance on the use of external suppliers for marketing and communication services, including the appointed panel agencies or other contracted providers.

8.14.4 Where it is not appropriate to engage one of the UniSA panel agencies or contracted suppliers, the appointment of any other external supplier of marketing and communications services must be approved in advance by the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and be in line with University purchasing policies. This includes, but is not limited to, website development, social media channels, media liaison, development of advertising material, and photography or videography for marketing purposes.