Working with the PC
VU 411 | Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm
Q. How do I request publicity? In-person? Online?
Publicity requests are made online by clicking on the ‘Request Publicity’ tab above. You’ll be brought to an Western Information Network (WIN) form, which you fill out with all of the following information:
- Primary and secondary contact name, email and phone number
- Sponsors for the event
- Budget Code and ER/WR number*
- Requested project completion date
- Event date(s), time(s), location(s), activities
- Goal of the event (i.e. if it's a panel discussion or a film viewing or just cool people getting together to chill)
- Selecting the products you want (i.e. posters, banners, handbills) and quantities
- Design ideas (we'll get more into this further along)
Once you press ‘Submit’, our Project Managers get an email request to review. All requests should be made six weeks before the requested due date (in most cases, this will be your event date). If a request does not give us those six-weeks, we reserve the right to deny the project. If the timeline is far enough out, we create a project on Basecamp, assign a Designer to it, and send you an email to let you know that the project has been started.
*Please note that an Expenditure Request is required for us to process AS office projects, and a Withdrawal Request is required for AS Clubs
Q. Six weeks? Seriously? That’s such a long time. Do we really need to send our request in six weeks before our event? Why?
Timeline of the PC process:
Weeks 1-3: Project Manager processes the request and Designer does all of the design work.
Week 4: Products are sent to print, proofed, finalized, and printed.
Weeks 5-6: All of the publicity materials are distributed and your event is publicized.
We ask for six weeks because designing is a process. Designers need time to come up with and create a design, post a draft and make any changes that you request. Once the design is finalized, the Designer will format it for each piece of publicity requested. When all of the materials are approved, they are posted online and/or sent to print. Once the PC receives posters for distribution, the distribution crew has to post them around campus. This all takes time.
Additionally, there will be times when you, as the client, feel comfortable delaying certain aspects of your project. It may be that you submitted your project eight weeks in advance so you know you have plenty of time to get everything done. In situations like this, please remember that the PC has multiple projects running at once and the deadlines we set are hard deadlines. If you want to adjust the timing of your project, talk to a Project Manager.
Q. What is Basecamp? How do I use it? Do I always have to use it? Can I come in to the office to talk about my design?
Basecamp is our project management program, and it facilitates communication for everyone on a project; the goal of using Basecamp is to keep everyone on the same page. This is where Designers will post design drafts, where Project Managers will keep the calendar, and where you are encouraged to ask any and all questions you have through the Basecamp messaging function.
Of course, you are welcome to come in and meet with your Designer or your Project Manager in person. We know that it’s sometimes easier to figure details out face-to-face so feel free to come in and talk to us.
Q. What do posters cost? What about banners? Design time?
We are only able to give exact costs of the materials we print in house, which are most things bigger than 11x17. Most often, this means the 8-ft banners* you see up on the sides of the buildings around campus. We are capable of providing the exact prices for anything we print in house; however, this is not true for anything we send to Copy Services because there are lots of small elements that can affect the cost. With that in mind, here are some estimates of the typical items, quantities, and costs:
30x Posters – $16.00 approximately
400x Handbills – $45.00 approximately
300x Tabletents* – $90.00 approximately
1 8-ft Banner* - $40.00
AS programs are not charged for design time. All you’re paying for is whatever it costs to print whatever you ordered. Clubs do pay for design time unless your club receives a Club Package. Design time is charged at $16 per hour.
Q. How does reserving tabletents or banners work? You do that for us, right?
No, we don’t.
To reserve tabletents, you’ll want to call (preferred), 650-2970, or visit Dining/Food Services, Edens Hall 109.
For banner reservations, you can either visit VU Reservations in VU536 in person or request reservations online.
Q. Do I always have to go through the PC for design work?
AS offices, yes, you need to go through the PC for your publicity. If you have a volunteer who wants to do design for you, or you have pre-made materials from a performer you prefer to use, talk to us first! We can work that out and make sure any design work meets University and AS requirements.
Clubs, not necessarily. If you have someone in your club who wants to do the design work, that’s perfectly fine. Though, we do recommend that you come talk to us during the design process so we can give you some guidance.
Q. So what needs to go on the poster?
There are five elements that need to go on each poster:
- AS logo
- Any sponsor logo(s)
- "For disability accommodations please email firstname.lastname@example.org"
- "Western is an equal opportunity institution" or "AA/EO"
- Recycle logo
Otherwise, we recommend that you include any relevant details:
- Date (include day of the week)
- Cost (if any)
- Event description (if applicable)
Q. I want to work with one of the PC designers for my design but I don’t know what I want on my promotional materials. Something awesome, obviously…but I’m a little lost besides that. What should I do?
Two of the best resources for gaining inspiration are the PC itself and the internet. The PC has previous years’ posters covering the walls, and there is no shortage of places to look for ideas on the web. Our whole design crew is amazingly talented and is capable of working from a reference image if you find a style that you like.
Other questions to think about are:
- Is there a certain mood you're trying to evoke with your promotional materials?
- Are there certain colors or images you want to include?
- Is there anything you absolutely do not want anywhere near your project?
- What is happening at your event?
If you have specific text that you want to be on your promotional materials, you will need to provide that information to us.
Finally, trust the designers and be flexible.
Q: Can the designer send me editable files?
No. This is a safeguard the PC has set in place to protect the work of each designer.
Q. How does distribution work? Can I put up my own posters? Where? How many posters do you distribute? When will my posters go? Does distribution cost anything?
We have a distribution team that puts up all of the posters and banners. All distribution services are free. We can distribute:
- 30 posters on-campus for AS affiliated organizations
- 10 posters downtown for AS affiliated organizations only
- 25 posters on-campus for WWU affiliated organizations (Non-AS)
- 4 posters on-campus for Non-University Related/Non-Profit organizations
- We do not provide posting services to for-profit organizations
You’re welcome to order extra posters to put up on the open posting boards or just to keep for your records. If you are posting on the open posting boards, make sure you’re using tacks to post them and be respectful of other people’s posters.
The PC is the only office with access to the glass posting cases and we will start distributing posters in them about two weeks before an event; banners go up based on when the spaces are reserved. So, if you go through the PC for the whole design process, you’ll see your posters/banners go up during week 5 of the process. If you drop off posters you printed yourself, you should start seeing them go up during the following week. A quick note, though, the more in advance you’re able to drop off your posters, we may be able to put them up sooner, depending on how full the cases are. The general timeline for posters staying up is two weeks, as this gives ample viewing time.
Q. What is digital signage, is it for Facebook?
TV screens around campus provide an excellent way to get your message out to campus. Designs may be submitted to email@example.com for display. Any official Western office or club may submit a still image or an animation to run on the screens. See our guidelines document for more info.
We also create social media images for all projects we work on. it’s just a little different from digital signage.
Q. Who works in the Publicity Center?
Students, just like you. We have an advisor, Jeff, and he’s here to assist and advise us as we try to make each piece of publicity the best that we can. But he’s the only full time employee. Everyone else has homework, projects, and tests too.
Suggestions from the PC:
- Do some searching around online for images of color schemes, visual styles, and content you think might work well for your design before you submit your request. This will provide your designer a good starting point to get going.
- If there are multiple sponsors/people coordinating an event together, choose one or two people to be in charge of the publicity materials and trust them to make the relevant decisions
- Come talk to us!