For CU Boulder College of Music faculty and staff, the following guidelines and resources are intended to ensure university brand compliance and consistency across all college communications—while simultaneously ensuring your greater agency and confidence in the college’s communications strategies and tactics which are continually evaluated and amended according to best practices.
Questions? Contact Senior Director of Communications Sabine Kortals Stein, email@example.com.
- Website updates
- News submissions, release form for minors + off-campus activities
- Social media
- Templates—PDFs, posters, letterhead, ads + more
- Text + tone—our editorial style
- Campus, community + media relations
- “Elevator pitch”
- Email signature, name pronunciation + land acknowledgement
- General email addresses
- CU Boulder brand + messaging
- Event scheduling, publicity + programs
- Misc. resources
Is your bio and/or headshot outdated? Does your studio or department page require edits? Has academic or recruitment information changed? Have you encountered an error, or an outdated photo or video that needs to be removed or replaced?
Submit your College of Music website changes via the website edit form (which also includes links to templates for adding or replacing PDFs).
- News submissions + guidelines
- Media release agreement for students + program participants under 18 (coming soon)
- Off-campus activities: Responsibility, accountability, waivers + releases. The university recognizes that off-campus activities can enhance the academic and co-curricular learning environment. It’s also recognized that off-campus activities may pose additional responsibilities and increased risk to participants and the university.
The College of Music maintains an active presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and (to a diminishing degree) Twitter/X. Our most active and effective recruitment and reputation awareness channels are Facebook and Instagram. If your department or studio has an established Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube account, let us know if it’s not reflected on your department or studio webpage.
Note: The College of Music does not currently engage with TikTok nor do we monitor (or encourage) College of Music-affiliated TikTok accounts. However, if you believe your department or studio would benefit from a TikTok account (e.g., for recruitment purposes), it must adhere to CU Boulder social media guidelines (below). To date, Athletics is the most active TikTok user at CU Boulder alongside a small minority of other users. However, with possible federal and state policies against TikTok still in progress, these accounts may eventually be shut down.
Whether you manage existing social media account(s) or you’d like to create a new social media account for your department or studio—preferably on Instagram, if at all—keep in mind that your social media presence is part of the greater University of Colorado Boulder community; as such, these comprehensive CU Boulder social media guidelines and examples provide clear instructions about social media account naming, avatars (profile photos), hashtags, tagging, legal language and more.
- If you have a Facebook account, please make the communications director (Sabine Kortals) the primary administrator to ensure consistency when personnel changes occur and to manage (add/delete) account access accordingly. All other account administrators will then be given broad access to create content, etc.—but they will not be able to add/delete people or delete the account. This is to ensure “checks and balances” within the college across department/studio/program social media channels. Day-to-day management of your department or studio channel(s) is your responsibility; the communications director simply ensures continuity and general oversight.
- Maintain a spreadsheet listing all your social media account(s), including your account handle(s) and login information (e.g., usernames, passwords); please share this spreadsheet with the communications director and update it annually. Personnel changes related to social media account access should also be shared with the communications director as they occur.
- Tag @cubouldermusic on all your Facebook and Instagram posts to ensure that communications staff are notified and can amplify your posts whenever possible.
- If you use hashtags, avoid all lowercase. E.g., #MusicBuffs (correct), #musicbuffs (incorrect). Capitalizing the first letter of each word in hashtags allows screen reader software to pronounce each word separately.
- Note the difference between hashtags and tags: A hashtag is a word or phrase to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it; whereas tags are far more specific, notifying and engaging an individual or entity thereby making it easy to share or repost your original post. For our purposes, tags are the most effective.
Questions? Contact Communications Assistant MarieFaith Lane, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are you trying to track down specific photos or need new ones? Contact Senior Director of Communications Sabine Kortals Stein, email@example.com.
- Annual department + studio group photos: Contact Communications + Program Assistant Kathryn Bistodeau, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Portrait services (headshots): Strategic Relations + Communications provides free headshots—by appointment—for all CU Boulder employees.
- Free photo booth for students, staff + alumni—no appointment needed.
- When submitting photos for the website, social media and more, always send your photos in the highest (original) resolution possible. You can tell higher-resolution images by their bigger file sizes—preferably, submit image files that are 1MB or higher.
Alternative text—or “alt text”—is a written description of the visual content in an image. Alternative text is important because images are inaccessible to individuals who are blind unless an image description is provided as alt text. Learn more and use alt text whenever possible, including social media.
Does your department or studio need a new video to communicate our programs, faculty and students to prospective students and other College of Music audiences? Contact Senior Director of Communications Sabine Kortals Stein, email@example.com.
Creating your own video? Please follow these consistent visual elements (logos, text styles, video openings/closings, etc.) and refer to these captioning resources to ensure compliance with the university’s Digital Accessibility Office. Regarding the use of apostrophes and quotation marks in video captions (and in all our communications), we use “smart” (curly) quotes and apostrophes, not "straight" quotes; more info here (scroll down to Use smart quotes and dashes).
Examples of recent College of Music videos:
Welcome to the CU Boulder College of Music (universal musician)
Freelance videographer referrals are available upon request.
To create documents/PDFs, infogrids, posters, flyers, letterhead, ads and more: Use these branded templates including blank, pre-sized ad slides (half-page and quarter-page) to be used in conjunction with this ad creation guide and College of Music logo to quickly and effectively create your own brand-compliant ads and other materials. Hint: For ads, black backgrounds tend to work best.
Whether writing a departmental email, submitting a web update, posting to Instagram or writing for a publication, text should be presented in Associated Press (AP) Style, with a few exceptions. Please familiarize yourself with CU Boulder editorial style—from how we use abbreviations to how we state academic degrees, names + titles, addresses, building names, capitalizations, composition titles, dates + times, inclusive language ... and more.
At the College of Music, we adhere to AP Style as well as possible on our website and social media as well as our newsletters, magazine and more. While we certainly don’t expect you to be an AP Style expert, be aware that we may edit the content you provide according to AP Style, if needed.
- No Oxford comma.
- Periods: Never use double spaces after periods; single spaces always.
- We use “smart” (curly) quotes and apostrophes, not "straight" quotes; more info here.
- Titles: Never use Dr. and know when to use lowercase and uppercase. Examples: Professor of Conducting and Director of CU Boulder Bands Donald McKinney (CAPS when the title is in front of the name); Donald McKinney, professor of conducting and director of CU Boulder Bands (lowercase when the title is after the name).
- On first reference: University of Colorado Boulder College of Music.
- On subsequent references on the same page: CU Boulder College of Music, College of Music, college (lowercase).
- CU Boulder (not CU-Boulder, CUB, UCB or CU).
- Ensemble names: On first reference, CU Boulder Wind Symphony; on subsequent references on the same page, Wind Symphony.
Avoid words/phrases like “View more” or “See this page”; replace with simply MORE (all CAPS and bold—you’ll notice increasing instances of this on our website). For links to video content, consider phrases like “Check out the video” or “Explore …,” “Experience …” and the like.
We regularly coordinate and collaborate with Strategic Relations + Communications (SRC) and other campus units to ensure alignment of College of Music communications with overall campus priorities, and to amplify the college’s universal musician vision to our campus and the broader community—including media pitching.
SRC provides our campus community with:
- development and distribution of press materials for news, announcements and upcoming events with a compelling news hook;
- pitching of faculty experts to media, often related to trending topics;
- interview preparation, such as scheduling and facilitating interviews with media;
- media training sessions;
- booking for live or taped interviews;
- crisis communications management;
- media monitoring ... and more.
The College of Music’s SRC liaison is Media Relations Associate Ally Dever, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions? Ready to share a potential media pitch? Contact Sabine Kortals Stein, email@example.com.
Faculty + graduate students: Another way to get the word out to peers and the general population about your research and academic expertise is by writing for The Conversation—an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public.
As often as feasible, weave into your communications the following College of Music messages (or a version thereof in your own words)—especially when communicating with prospective students:
At the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music, our students earn more than a music degree in the foothills of the Rockies—we develop multiskilled, multifaceted universal musicians who are well equipped to participate in the 21st century as artists and scholars; as broadly-based professionals with flexible career options; and as passionate, compassionate world citizens.
Advanced musical and interdisciplinary training, professional-level experiences, diverse opportunities for collaboration and a spirit of inclusive excellence await you! Our faculty are deeply dedicated pedagogues, award-winning performers, scholars and composers who are standing by to support your success—whether your passion is to teach, perform, compose, research or rethink music entirely.
More info and key messages on the College of Music’s About page.
Consistent email signatures deliver a visually coherent look across university departments and offices. Follow these campus guidelines for your email signature.
Questions? Contact Communications Assistant MarieFaith Lane, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CU Boulder offers these comprehensive guidelines and best practices for all your branding needs—from logos and logo lockups to approved fonts, colors, layouts and more—including examples and downloads.
Questions? Contact Visual Identity Manager Whitney Fullmer, Whitney.Fullmer@Colorado.edu.
- Event scheduling + publicity: CU Presents promotes public College of Music events and encourages attendance. Scheduling, publicizing and creating programs for College of Music events is a coordinated effort between the College of Music Scheduling Office and CU Presents.
- Preview, download or print CU Presents digital programs—performances, student recitals + past programs.
- Lectures + other education events (e.g., Genevieve McVey Wisner Lectureship, Musicology + Music Theory Colloquium Series, etc.).
- CU Boulder non-discrimination statements: We are legally required to include one of these statements in all publications intended for external audiences.
- Stay current with the College of Music in our online newsroom.
- Music performance licenses info page: CU Boulder has blanket agreements with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Society of European Songwriters, Artists and Composers (SESAC).
- If you’re playing music publicly on campus, copyright considerations you should know. Questions about specific rights? Email email@example.com.