Overview of communications

The Communications Office was established in April 2010 under the Office of the Addis Ababa University President because the visual and verbal images AAU presents to off-campus audiences are important to the university’s success.It was due to the institutional transformation within the AAU and rapid changes in communications methods and technologies as well as continuing concern about representing the university consistently and accurately, the Communications Office is established.

Following the reorganization of the University as of 2012, the Communications Office merged with the office of External Relations and Partnerships. Thus, office of Communications is now an inevitable wing of the university which governs university publications as well as advertising, photos and videos, and other forms of communications representing the university to broad audiences. A coordinated approach to presenting a consistent and accurate picture or image of the university was and is considered to be of significant benefit as the university presents itself to its publics, including alumni, donors, legislators, parents, prospective students and employees, taxpayers and others. The Office is policy is meant to better insure that communications representing the university are of high quality, present AAU consistently and accurately, and meet the requirements expected of a public institution.

Major responsibilities of the Office

The Communications Office has the responsibility to enhance communication flow among diverse university’s public, both inside and outside, to build informed support for AAU’s engagements, develop and communicate messages to target audiences, crisis management schemes, and protect and advance the institutional image. Communications Office, therefore, drives communication strategies and implementations to support AAU’s bid to become a recognized flagship university.

The above includes the following:

  • Publications, including those requiring no or partial editorial or design services, reprints or revisions of previously produced publications; publications produced by means of desktop publishing; and initial formats and editorial style for newsletters directed toward off-campus audiences.
  • Print and broadcast advertising.
  • Photographs and video and audio productions used individually to represent the university to a mass audience or in any materials covered by this policy.
  • Non-commercial use of university seals, logos or signatures. Use of these symbols on all materials, whether or not they are paid for with university funds, must be approved unless the materials are intended only for on-campus distribution. Off-campus firms that wish to use the university’s name or symbol for commercial items are required to pay a fee and must contact the university’s licensing coordinator.
  • Deviations from standard AAU letterhead or business card design. Letterhead and business cards representing AAU must be approved regardless of where they are printed or who pays for them.
  • Press releases representing the university. Generally, releases considered to represent the university may be distributed only by the news bureau in the Communications Office.

The above does not include:

  • Materials produced primarily for classroom or educational use.
  • Materials produced for scholarly publications and presentations.
  • Advertisements of positions.
  • Materials intended only for on-campus distribution.
  • Material produced by student organizations (unless it bears the university logo).
  • Routine forms.
  • University bulletins.
  • Correspondence.
  • Annual reports.

The AAU President may waive these requirements for individual offices or projects. This policy is not intended to limit the ability of offices to produce their own materials (with the exception of press releases representing the university). The Communications Office will have a staff of professional writers, editors, designers and photographers to help offices and departments produce materials for off-campus audiences; these professionals are able to advise about and produce materials that will meet this policy. Offices will be encouraged to use these services, which in most cases are provided at no charge. When offices elect to produce materials covered by this policy on their own, final approval from the appropriate area in communications is required before the material can be distributed. Offices are encouraged to consult with the public relations staff as they plan communications to avoid costly delays that can be caused when materials must be altered at the end of production in order to meet the spirit of this policy.