Public Affairs

Creative Projects

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Creative Projects

If your questions are not answered here, contact project manager Aimee Sisco (x7574).

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Who provides the content, or copy, for a project?

Because you know your project best, we rely on you to provide a first draft of your content. The public affairs creative team will help tighten and polish your communication and offer advice about what to cut or add.

What purpose does copy editing serve? Why did you change the copy instead of just fixing errors?

Copy editing provides consistency and flow, prevents syntactical and grammatical errors, and enhances the concision and clarity of the text. Sometimes we will change or shorten the copy because of space limits, redundant language, or a conflict with another college communication. Avoid copy conflicts by noting mandatory inclusions to your public affairs project manager.

How should I send and share my copy for the project?

You can use Google docs or Microsoft Word to share copy. Either way, please upload the document to the Basecamp project. Google docs are preferred for collaboration.

What if the project manager needs the copy but we don’t have all of the details confirmed?

If we've given you a deadline to provide copy but the details are not confirmed, we'll take what you have for placement and move it to a Word document. When you have new information or changes, alert the project manager and she will make the edits to the finalized document with the designer.

How do I send my feedback or make suggested edits on a proof?

There are three options:

  1. Start a new discussion thread in the Basecamp project, call it “Feedback,” and notify the project manager.
  2. Print a hard copy of the proof, mark your changes, and submit that to the project manager.
  3. Create a to-do list in Basecamp, with the title FEEDBACK, and assign all changes to the project manager, who will follow through on your behalf.

Does Reed have a style guide?

Yes! Reed’s style guide is available on the public affairs website. In general, Reed relies for spelling on Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and for editorial style on the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.

Design and Visuals

Who provides photos?

You may provide high-resolution photos for your project, but the director of design will need to ensure they meet with Reed’s graphic standards. If you would like public affairs to select images for your project, please indicate as specifically as possible what types of photos you would like.

Who are the designers?

Cate Whitcomb, Director of Design
Tom Humphrey, Art Director and Graphic Designer
Stephanie McCollough, Graphic Designer
Raymond Rodriguez, Web Designer

Why didn’t the designer follow my directions?

Reed's designers are experts at crafting visual solutions. They will take your ideas and thoughts about design, as discussed at the intake meeting, look at the problem you’re trying to solve—fill seats for an event, raise awareness, make communication easier—and come up with a solution that aligns with Reed’s general suite of materials while following the principles of design and communication.

Basecamp Project Management

What is Basecamp and why does Reed use it?

Basecamp is a project management web platform that allows the public affairs office, among other Reed offices, to collaborate and communicate on projects of all shapes and sizes. It houses discussions, sends emails, stores files, reminds you of upcoming deadlines, and organizes multiples projects in a single cloud-based hub.

Can I receive Basecamp training?

For more information about how to use Basecamp, visit their help site.

How do I title my Basecamp project?

Public affairs has established naming conventions to keep Basecamp organized. When naming a project, use the initials of your office—public affairs is PA; student services is SS; admission is ADM—followed by a colon, followed by the name of the project: SS: HCC red folder

Who has access to my Basecamp project?

Basecamp projects are accessible only to those you invite. Aimee Sisco is the owner of Reed’s Basecamp software, so she will have access to every Basecamp project. 

Timelines, Deadlines, and Workbacks

What is the timeline for a project? Why does it take so long?

Usually, the project manager will take your final deliver-by date and work back from there. Here is the usual schedule in reverse chronological order:

  • Project complete
  • Final proof to web designer or printer
  • Final proof reviewed by public affairs creative team and your office
  • Designer delivers final proof
  • Your office sends feedback to the project manager, who follows up with the designer
  • First proof is reviewed by public affairs creative team and by your office
  • Designer creates first proof
  • Project manager edits copy and delivers to designer
  • Your office sends text to the project manager
  • Your office completes a creative intake form and contacts Aimee Sisco
  • Start project

We like to have no more than two rounds of creative feedback, and we prefer to have feedback consolidated and delivered to us all at once.

Each of these steps takes time to complete, and the review stages vary in length depending on the number of people who need to approve. The project manager knows how much time to budget for each of these steps, and she will help you accommodate any unexpected changes to your workback schedule along the way.

When should I tell public affairs that I am ready to start a project?

Fill out an intake form as soon as you know you want to start a project. 

I need a project rushed. How fast can you finish my project?

The public affairs creative team manages dozens of projects at one time. Our goal is to be flexible and meet deadlines, but we need to be realistic and reasonable with our expectations. Refer to our example and timelines for the appropriate amount of time needed to complete a project.

What happens if I miss a deadline? What happens if public affairs misses a deadline?

If you miss a deadline, the project manager will adjust the schedule to accommodate the missed deadline. If you anticipate missing a deadline, please let public affairs know as soon as possible. If public affairs anticipates missing a deadline, we will contact you to discuss shortening the turnaround time for proof reviews or changing the final deliver-by deadline.

How do we keep track of deadlines? Who is responsible for meeting deadlines?

All deadlines are assigned as to-dos in the Basecamp project. Each to-do includes a due date and person responsible for completing it. You will get a reminder when your deadlines are near.

Who can change or add to-dos on Basecamp? Is there a certain naming convention for to-dos?

Anyone can change or add to-dos. Public affairs may rename to-dos to reflect the name of the project, but it’s fine to create to-dos without this standard.