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Communications Support Guidelines

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Introduction

The goal of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s Communications and Education Services department is to place information produced by research, education, and extension activities into the hands of those who manage and use South Carolina’s coastal and marine resources. The communications staff is responsible for all S.C. Sea Grant Consortium information services and is the primary point of contact for assistance in these areas.

This guide advises S.C. Sea Grant-sponsored investigators, extension specialists, and others of the procedures and opportunities available for publication and dissemination of information derived from their work. There are four types of communications services offered by S.C. Sea Grant:

Publication Development

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium publications are designed to reach specific audiences. It is often a good communication strategy to use the same information in several types of publications. For example, results of one research project might be published for a more scientific audience in a special report. At the same time, brief, pertinent extracts from these publications might be appropriate for publication as a fact sheet for a lay audience.

Types of publications:

  • Manuals and special reports
  • Fact sheets
  • Brochures
  • Workshop materials

Manuals and Special Reports

Manuals and special reports are technical in nature, often intended for experts in the subject area, students, and resource managers, rather than for general distribution. This medium is intended for rapid dissemination and the contents may receive only a cursory internal S.C. Sea Grant Consortium staff editing. The author(s) would be responsible for the scientific accuracy of the document. Manuals and special reports are to be reviewed and revised by the author(s) before sending the final version to S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for publication work.

Fact Sheets

Fact sheets are shorter and less detailed with information condensed for specific user groups. Fact sheets may also provide a means of publishing, for lay audiences, pertinent portions of much longer special reports.

Brochures

Brochures are specialized publications usually targeted toward the general public. They are edited by S.C. Sea Grant Consortium staff for style and readability and will be designed according to budget and need.

Workshop Materials

Workshop materials announce program agendas for workshops, seminars, or conferences planned in connection with a S.C. Sea Grant Consortium project, or the result of a workshop as proceedings.

Media and Public Relations

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium uses various outlets to distribute information to the media and general public. If you have any information you think appropriate for our media outlets, please notify Susan Ferris Hill, the Director of Communications and Education Services.

Media Outlets:

  • News releases to local, state, regional, and national media
  • Coastal Heritage magazine
  • CoastalScience@Work e-newsletter
  • S.C. Sea Grant website news
  • S.C. Sea Grant social media content

News Releases

News releases are prepared by S.C. Sea Grant Consortium communications staff from information received through researchers and other sources. S.C. Sea Grant-sponsored investigators and extension specialists having information suitable for distribution to the media are encouraged to contact the Director of Communications. News releases are distributed to media within South Carolina as well as to certain regional and national media. S.C. Sea Grant Consortium subscribes to a clipping service and Google alerts for news reports and routinely tracks the exposure of its news releases.

When issuing a news release independent of S.C. Sea Grant communications, or when being interviewed by the press, investigators and extension specialists are expected to indicate that the research is funded by or affiliated with the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, as appropriate. If possible, provide a copy of each printed news release or video clip to the Director of Communications.

Coastal Heritage Magazine

The communications staff writes and produces Coastal Heritage magazine on a quarterly basis. Coastal Heritage is written and designed to appeal to the general public, particularly those who have an interest in coastal issues. It is used as a forum to describe environmental, historical, technological, and cultural patterns of change along the South Carolina coast and how those patterns affect coastal residents and visitors.

The News & Notes section of Coastal Heritage is designed for shorter news items and features, including extension and education activities and research updates, while the Ebbs & Flows section includes descriptions of upcoming events and conferences.

CoastalScience@Work E-newsletter

CoastalScience@Work is emailed about every other month to subscribers. The subscriber list is segmented so news items of interest to a particular group can be targeted only to that list. The subscriber list consists of state and federal agency contacts; Consortium Board of Directors and alternates; Consortium Program Advisory Board; Consortium “VIP” list; Consortium staff; extension advisory committees; research and finance liaisons at member institutions; member institution public information officers; Consortium-funded researchers (past and present); South Carolina General Assembly Delegation staff; S.C. Congress Delegation staff; National Sea Grant Office staff; and the interested public.

S.C. Sea Grant Website News

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s website provides another outlet for news releases. All releases distributed to the media are also placed on the website. Additional news stories are written and posted on the website.

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Website Content

Investigators and extension specialists are encouraged to offer research findings, outreach activities, publication information, video material, and applicable links to our site.

List of services:

  • Links
  • Online publications
  • Highlight special projects
  • Download proposal forms

Links

Each S.C. Sea Grant-supported research, education, and extension project is briefly described on the Consortium’s website. S.C. Sea Grant encourages you to add additional links to your project listed on the website. To link to our site, please contact the Director of Communications.

Online Publications

You can access most S.C. Sea Grant publications online in text or PDF format. If you wish to add a link to your Sea Grant project-related publication, please contact the Director of Communications.

Highlight Special Projects

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s website can highlight your research or outreach project, conference, or special event. If you wish to add information to our site, please contact the Director of Communications.

Download Grant Forms

S.C. Sea Grant offers downloadable proposal and reporting forms in Microsoft Word. You can access these forms from the website.

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Social Media Content

Regular posts on Facebook and Twitter help increase the visibility of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and its funded projects to a diverse audience and encourages two-way communication between the Consortium and an engaged public. In addition, content will be reposted by the National Sea Grant Office communicators and others linked to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium through Facebook and Twitter.

How to Request Publication Services

When you are ready to discuss the preparation and production of your publication, contact Susan Ferris Hill at (843) 953-2092 or susan.ferris.hill@scseagrant.org. She will review your materials with you and discuss the type of publication best suited for your project. It will be helpful to know answers to the following questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What message do you want to present?
  • How many do you need?
  • What is your budget?
  • When do you need delivery?
  • How will they be distributed?

Guidelines for Submitting Materials

The following are guidelines for submitting materials to S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for publication. Any technical problems you may encounter can be discussed with the Director of Communications.

  • Text files
  • Photographs
  • Illustrations
  • Logos
  • Layout and design
  • Sponsorship statement
  • Copyright statement
  • Approval
  • Printing and distribution

Text Files

Information submitted for publication must be submitted in either Macintosh or PC format electronically as an e-mail attachment or on a CD or flash drive. A laser printout must also be mailed. Communications staff will edit for grammar, consistency, and clarity. Manuals and special reports receive only a cursory editing and are to be reviewed and revised by the author(s) before sending the final version to S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for production work.

Photographs

All images must be clear and in focus. For best reproduction, send only original photos. Photographs can be submitted in several formats.

  • Electronic files. Send all files on either a CD or a flash drive. Electronic files for printed publications must be scanned at 300 dpi and saved as either a .jpg, .tif, or .eps. Files for the website can be scanned at 72 dpi.
  • Digital camera images. Take photos at your camera’s highest resolution setting and either copy them onto a flash drive or email them to the Director of Communications.

Illustrations

Create your illustration to retain detail when scanned or reduced; fine lines and pencil drawings do not reproduce well. Label each illustration clearly.

  • Original drawings.
  • Electronic files. Send all files on either a CD or a flash drive. Electronic files for printed publications must be scanned at 300 dpi and saved as either a .jpg, .tif, or .eps. Files for the web can be 72 dpi.

Logos

The communications staff will include the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium logo in all publications. The S.C. Sea Grant logo will be used alone or in conjunction with other logos, depending on the nature of the work, involvement of collaborators, and sources of support of the work. Other logos may include, as appropriate, the State of South Carolina logo, the NOAA logo (sometimes used together with the NOAA copyright statement), and those of other collaborating institutions.

If there are specific logo requirements for a publication, it is the author’s responsibility to secure and provide to S.C. Sea Grant Communications a high-resolution (300 dpi) version of the graphic for reproduction.

Layout and Design

S.C. Sea Grant communications staff will create an appropriate design for the publication. The author must approve initial layouts before S.C. Sea Grant designers can proceed to final production stage.

Sponsorship Statement

The following statement must be included in non-journal publications and reports:

A publication [or report] sponsored by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and the State of South Carolina pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award [number to be provided].

Financial assistance/award numbers are indicated on all project award-of-contracts letters.

Copyright Statement

The following statement must be included in journal publications or videos:

This publication [or report] was prepared [‘in part’ if appropriate] as a result of work sponsored by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and the State of South Carolina through NOAA financial assistance award [‘award number’]. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA, or the State of South Carolina. Additionally, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the State of South Carolina, and NOAA may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was purchased, under financial assistance number [‘award number’]. The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA, and the State of South Carolina reserve a royalty-free, nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so.

Financial assistance/award numbers are indicated on all project award-of-contracts letters.

Approval

The author will have final approval of the laser proof. Final revisions and sign-off must be made at that time. Printer proofs will not be submitted to the author.

Printing and Distribution

S.C. Sea Grant Communications does not provide funds to print approved publications. These costs should be included as part of the research or extension project grant.

Publications are distributed by S.C. Sea Grant Consortium unless prior arrangements are made. They are distributed in two ways: free of charge on a single copy basis or in bulk/multi-copy quantities.

Unless the author intends to distribute the publication, authors normally receive 10 complimentary copies of the final product. If more copies are needed, advise the Director of Communications prior to printing.

Mandatory distribution of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium publications includes the National Sea Grant Office, National Sea Grant Library at the University of Rhode Island Pell Marine Science Library, and State Library of South Carolina. Copies of certain productions and publications are also required by the NOAA Central Library.

Contact

Susan Ferris Hill, Director of Communications
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
287 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
P: (843) 953-2092
susan.ferris.hill@scseagrant.org