Let's Work Together
Our division works with people from colleges and units across campus and each LSU entity throughout Louisiana to create promotional and informational material for both external and internal audiences. Our staff will work with you on strategy, planning, concept development, writing, editing, proofreading, design, coordination of bidding, coordination of photography, video services, media training, social media, etc. If you have questions, please contact your marketing strategist who can direct you to the right person and assist you in starting your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our design, writing, and production services are offered at no charge to the LSU community. The only cost you will incur is the cost for production via the vendor who physically prints, mails or distributes your piece.
Our video and photography charges are a fraction of the cost that you will find at private agencies and firms. Most of our costs consist of material expenses: hardware and computer supplies, file output and storage software, equipment maintenance, and any other associated expenses.
To discuss our billable rates, please contact us.
We're here to help you communicate your department's objectives in ways that are audience appropriate and meet the overarching goals of the university. However, our staffing resources in relation to campus demand requires that we accept projects that align most closely with the priorities listed below.
- Fundraising and philanthropy
Rest assured, if we can't accept your project by your deadline because of competing priorities or a fully committed schedule, we will assist you in finding an alternative way to produce your project.
Media Relations staff can assist you with finding information for a story, finding a faculty member who can provide an expert opinion, arranging interviews with university administrators and finding possible story ideas and photo opportunities. The staff also sends out media advisories, press releases and news and feature articles to the media on a daily basis. During a campus emergency or crisis, Media Relations staff will also provide the media with updated information, official statements and names and contact information for appropriate university spokespersons.
Proper planning is critical in making sure your projects are completed on time and with proper strategy in place. You may be surprised by the time and detail that goes into moving a project from concept to finished product. No matter how many times you have been through the process from start to finish, most projects rarely meet the same parameters or follow the same timelines.
We will be glad to work with you on writing your text or can take your completed draft and edit it for you. We edit according to LSU Style and defer to AP. For more information about LSU Style guidelines, visit our editorial style guide.
Based on our experience with college/departmental approval processes and printer time, the average minimum length of time needed to produce various kinds of projects from the day we receive your approved text are listed below. Please note, this does not include any of the pre-planning time you and your department or you and your marketing strategist have put into the project before it is submitted for approval. For us, "approved" means that whoever, in your area or department, makes the final judgment has agreed that the text will not undergo significant subsequent changes. Substantial copy changes made after production begins can considerably add to your cost and to time needed for production and printing.
For a new or revised project, contact your Strategic Communications marketing strategist to schedule a time to get together. (If you do not know who your marketing strategist is, click here.) In this meeting you two will have the opportunity to discuss the goals, needs, and scope of your project.
We may be able to give you a very rough estimate of timing to complete your project during the initial meeting, but the marketing strategist will need to follow up with departments within the division to confirm schedules, timelines, prior commitments, etc.
During the initial meeting, we'll also discuss a production schedule. We build enough time in to each schedule for the many stages of production—delivery of text to us, editing, design, exchange of proofs, prepress work, the to-printer date, and the proposed date of delivery—including parts of the process that happen outside of our office (such as the printing). Please note, schedules can change due to unforeseen circumstances, which could result in the project delivering earlier or later than originally planned.
We can work with you at any stage of producing your project, but the earlier you involve us, the more we can help. If you know generally what you need but don't necessarily have ideas on how to present the information, we can work with you from concept development until the finished product is delivered.
If you know what you want to do and have a firm idea of how you want to do it, we encourage you to work with us with an open mind. We may not know much about your particular area (until you educate us), but we are experienced professionals skilled in writing, editing, design, production management, and photography. We are like a creative agency; our goal is to work with you in developing and producing your projects to better ensure your messaging and branding is on point. If you need a print vendor who executes projects on which the design and editorial work is already complete, we can help you find a dependable one.
Crucial pieces of information we need to learn from you to help you meet your communication goals are as follows:
- What is your deadline?
- What is your budget? (consider production costs as well as postage and mailing)
- Who is your audience? (primary/secondary)
- What sets them apart from other groups?
- What are you trying to communicate with your piece?
- What do you want them to do as a result of receiving your message?
- How do you plan to distribute the information? Postal regulations change frequently and must be considered from the beginning of the design process.
From this base of information, we can work with you to develop a marketing communications piece that will accomplish your goals elegantly and cost effectively. If the best way to communicate your message is via a medium other than a printed piece (web, social media, radio, etc.), we can create a plan for that, too.
Our writing staff can compose your project's text using copy points that you provide. This copy should include the primary points you want to convey to the identified audience. Or, if you prefer, we can edit text that you have already written or will write for your project. In either of these situations, you will have an edited draft approval stage where you and your stakeholders will review and approve the copy we've written and/or edited. Reviewing the text at this stage of the production process allows you to make any substantial corrections before the project goes to the design phase. Experience has taught us that significant, last-minute text changes to a designed piece can add days or sometimes weeks to the production process and thus delay delivery of the printed project. We want to work with you to make sure you don’t encounter those issues.
Talk with your marketing strategist about the best format for submitting your text. In most cases, an email attachment is just fine, as long as it is in a format compatible with the programs we use for editing and design. A Microsoft Word document usually works best. If you have specific questions about formatting procedures, please contact our office so that we can help you save time and reduce the chance for typographical errors.
After the initial creative meeting and the development of approved text, you will see a preliminary layout that shows the format and design we recommend. Once you've approved the design, the designer will prepare proofs for you and the editor and will work with the production coordinator to bid the print job. Your marketing representative will meet with the production coordinator and then contact you regarding costs. This will give you the information you need to complete a purchase order requisition. If you have any questions about the status of your job as it moves through the production process, please let your marketing strategist know. He or she will work closely with the production coordinator to follow each job as it moves through the process and can relay information back to you about the status of your project.
At minimum, you should receive a first, second, and then a final proof just before your project goes to the printer. Thorough proofing by you or someone you designate is essential. Our editor will edit and proofread the piece, unless you choose to handle that yourself due to an expedited timeline, but the ultimate responsibility for its typographical and general correctness rests with you.
If there are no text changes, or very minimal text changes, you should be able to get your project within 24 hours to a month, depending on how complex the printing is. We save each project electronically, so we can normally make changes easily. When you need an exact reprint, please contact your marketing strategist to discuss the details.
That’s not a problem. If you feel you have the knowledge and skills to produce a piece that meets LSU marketing standards, we are happy for you to do so. Please keep in mind that you still must submit any materials bearing the LSU logo to our approvals team for an official university review at email@example.com. Be aware that we may suggest design or copy changes to make sure you are consistent with brand standards. For pieces like postcards, posters or small brochures, you need to allow a minimum of 2-3 business days for review from our office. Larger pieces may take more time.
It is university policy that the we approves your design and messaging before your pieces are produced and distributed. Procurement will ask you for proof of approval when you submit paperwork to have your job produced. If you do not have approval, they are obligated to send it to us for approval. At this stage, the approvals feedback may require you to make additional edits and resubmit, causing a delay in completion of your project.
No approvals can be granted for items produced without our approval. Please review the Approvals process.
Not all purple and gold is the same. The university’s official purple and gold should be used on all LSU marketing communications. Review specs on LSU colors.
With a campus as large as LSU, there is always something happening that could be photographed or put into a video.
We try to strategically schedule in our video department so that we can accept as many projects as possible. If you are interested in a video, need something edited or need a video reviewed, please let us know. Videos take a considerable amount of time to produce from filming to final cut. Planning for video projects from scratch should start well in advance of your in-hand deadline.
Our photographers are stretched thin. If not available when you need them, we can make a recommendation for a local photographer. If photography is part of your publication or web page, we'll work with you to find images that may fit from our extensive photo database. If new images are needed, we can work with you to schedule photo shoots that may be needed.
The LaCarte card gives cardholders the ability to make purchases up to $10, 000 without having to submit requisitions or a P.O. For projects over $10, 000, you will need to create a P.O. with procurement to secure the purchase of your piece once the specifications and bids have been settled. Without an official university approval to purchase and a P.O. number, we can't send your project to the printer.
After your job is delivered, we will forward any invoices from the printer to you,
if it was not set up for them to bill you directly.
For services, such as video or photography, you will receive a breakdown of the expenses via an itemized departmental receipt from the respective department. You can also provide the account number you wish us to bill.
We are passionate about seeing your projects come to life. If you have a project you would like to discuss, please contact us. Whether you have a general question about a potential project, a comment regarding some aspect of this guide or an observation about a university publication or piece, let us know. We are eager to work with you!