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Third-Party Communications and Marketing Services (Policy 10050)

University Policy 10050

Download a Printable Version of Policy 10050

Effective Date

September 16, 2022

Last Revision Date

March 01, 2024

Responsible Party

Office of Communications and Marketing, (208) 426-1577

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Boise State University colleges, departments, programs, groups, and budgetary units pursuing contracts with third-party marketing consultants, marketing research firms, social media consultants, advertising agencies, graphic design firms, or web design firms for digital communications and marketing purposes that promote the University’s brand. For information on the university’s brand standards, see University Policy 10000 (Brand Standards).

This policy does not apply to student organizations.

Additional Authority

  • University Policy 8040 (University Web Policy)
  • University Policy 8060 (Information Privacy and Data Security)
  • University Policy 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility)
  • University Policy 10000 (Brand Standards)

1. Policy Purpose

To ensure departments and units receive approval for third-party communications or marketing services in order to properly portray, promote, and protect the University’s brand and reputation.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University recognizes that the utilization of vendors that adhere to Boise State’s marketing and communications standards is essential for ensuring financial responsibility, data security, and the consistent application of the university’s brand identity. Marketing and Communication activities that are completed by a party external to the university require additional review by the Office of Communications and Marketing to ensure the highest standard of adherence to policy.

3. Responsibilities

a. The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for working in partnership with key university administrators and stakeholders who have official responsibilities that include developing and managing marketing and communication agreements and contracts between the university and external entities.

b. Departments and units engaging with a third-party vendor must collaborate directly with the Office of Communications and Marketing and the University Brand Committee prior to and throughout the creative process (i.e., the process from idea, to ad creation, to implementation of any advertising). The Office of Communications and Marketing must approve the content and design of all advertising.

4. External Communications and Marketing Services

a. Any department or unit wishing to pursue a contract for communications and marketing services with a third-party vendor must first submit a proposal in writing to either the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, or designee, or the University Brand Committee at for review and approval. 

b. Vendors selected for third-party web services, including landing pages and campaign websites, must be approved by both the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, or designee, and the Executive Director of Web Strategy in writing as detailed in University Policy 8040 (University Web Policy).

c. External communications and marketing services include, but are not limited to:

  • Publications (including print and electronic)
  • Institutional branding, logos, unit graphic identity
  • Digital assets (software, photography, logos, etc.)
  • Advertising (the term advertising includes traditional media channels — TV, radio, billboard, magazine, newspaper, etc.), as well as marketing communications that utilize news media channels, including websites, digital ads, email solicitations, product placement, and other activities
  • Marketing analytics
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Media relations (distribution of press releases, development of external newswires, faculty expert databases, and all other activities related to media relations)
  • Institutional videos
  • University webpages
  • Official University social media accounts

4.1 Accessibility

All digital content used for University communications and/or marketing purposes must comply with the accessibility requirements detailed in University Policy 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility).

4.2 Third-Party Access to Public Website Analytics

All third-party requests for access to University-owned analytics data must comply with the information privacy and data security requirements detailed in University Policy 8060 (Information Privacy and Data Security). The University may not sell or otherwise provide non-anonymized tracking data to third-parties beyond what is required for technology operations.

5. Advertising Standards

a. All advertising should reflect the established Boise State University visual identity and promote key institutional campaigns and messaging in ways that are consistent throughout the university.

b. All advertising creative (visual elements of an advertisement, including images, video, designs, text, concepts, etc.) must be submitted to the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, or designee, and the University Brand Committee via for review and approval.

c. Departments and units must adhere to the following advertising standards:

  • The University must be identified by the use of the appropriate university logo in all advertisements placed by the university and its departments or units. All graphic elements and photography included in any advertising must conform to the standards and best practices set forth in the university’s visual identity guidelines.
  • Campus units must be clearly identified as part of the university.
  • All advertising must provide a clear and accurate representation of Boise State University policies, programs, and services.
  • All advertising must communicate messages that are clear and support the University’s comprehensive communications and marketing plan.
  • All advertising must enhance public perceptions of Boise State.
  • All advertising must meet professional standards of quality in design and content.
  • All advertising must appear in media outlets appropriate to intended audiences.
  • All advertising must be approved by the department or unit’s vice president, president, dean, or director prior to being submitted to the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, or designee, and the University Brand Committee.
  • All advertising must be designed and purchased in compliance with all applicable University guidelines and procedures.
  • Any paid media plan must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Communications and Marketing.

6. Related Information

University Brand Committee Contact Information

University Brand Standards

Visual Identity Guidelines

Revision History

March 01, 2024