CU Denver content producer guidelines
If you are invited to be a content-producer for any CU Denver-affiliated social accounts, you must accept and adhere to these guidelines.
CU Denver-affiliated social accounts tell the university’s story. Content should build community among current students and provide prospective students an authentic experience of Lynx life. Content producers snap/InstaStory diverse, interactive narratives based on their passion for and participation in university organizations, events and academics.
Quick tips – story, audience, showcase (SAS)
Story: Tell a story. Set the scene. Where are you? Who are the characters? Why are you telling this story? How does it tie into the greater CU Denver narrative? How does it end? Snapchat and InstaStory are linear. You can’t insert snaps or stories into a separate published story. Prepare ahead. Outline or storyboard your posts. Follow your “snap/story skeleton,” but on location adjust and improvise. It’s a give and take.
Audience: Typical viewers are interested in CU Denver (typically current students), under 30 and may be prospective students. Keep snaps authentic, fun, upbeat, clean and respectful. Use common sense. Avoid political affiliations, profanity, sexual references and things that would alienate viewers.
Showcase: What do you love about CU Denver? What’s unique? Showcase it. Show viewers what you and they know and love, or provide a different, insider’s view. Do you have any internships, scholarships, live in Campus Village? Show that off! Go behind the scenes; if needed, ask permission to gain access. Interview organizers, club members, faculty, etc. Make sure interviewees understand what you’re doing and are comfortable being featured (see below).
*Note: We would prefer the takeover to happen on both Snapchat and Instagram simultaneously, but you are welcome to opt out of one if you are very uncomfortable with one platform.
- Start the takeover with a selfie video of yourself, introducing who you are, whatever organization you are with and that you are taking over the CU Denver-affiliated social media Instagram Stories and Snapchat today and why. Can be as simple as, “I’m taking them over today to talk about the Career Center.”
- Also end with a video selfie to recap.
- Introduce yourself at events and announce that you’re snapping, so those who don’t want to be featured can say, “no.”
- Be friendly and gracious. Respect people’s boundaries and thank participants.
- Be positive. Represent the university and its students, faculty, staff and larger community in a positive light.
- Ask permission. When featuring specific individuals, get their verbal consent before recording them. If the situation demands recording them first, then ask for consent after. When in a public place or not focusing on a specific person or group of people, you don’t need to get consent. When in doubt, ask permission.
- Have fun and be creative. Use your personal account to experiment. Follow what other universities are doing on Snapchat/InstaStory; improve upon their best ideas. Insta boomerangs/ Snapchat bounce.
- Do over. If a subject stumbles or says something offensive. Ask nicely to reshoot the picture/video without the profanity, etc. If they resist, thank them for their time and move on.
- Plan ahead. Storyboard, outline, arrange interviews, etc. Do a preview clip before you cover an event. Prepare some clips ahead of time. Ali can show you how, just ask. Aside from you owning the Snapchat/Instagram Stories for the day, we’d love to do a feature photo of you on our Instagram at some point throughout the takeover. Think in advance of capturing a great shot at some point throughout your day for us to share on Instagram.
- Take us through your typical day. Are you involved in any organizations, clubs, committees, etc.? Where is your favorite place to eat on campus? Where do you hang out/study between classes? Do you ever attend events on campus? Do you venture into the city?
- Shoot vertically. 94 percent of smartphone users view social media vertically.
- Use campus filters when appropriate (CU Denver filter for Snapchat and University of Colorado Denver location on Instagram).
- Interact with the viewers. We strongly recommend doing a Q&A and saying, “Have any questions for me as a Sentry writer/ lacrosse player/ ___ club member/ transfer student? Ask it here and I’ll answer them throughout the day.” With this we just strongly recommend you send us any responses you are hesitant about how to respond.
- Use appropriate CU Denver branding. University approved branding includes: University of Colorado Denver and CU Denver.
- Share CU Denver’s snapcode and Instagram handle when you’re out. Help build an audience.
- Adhere to the university’s Student Code of Conduct and university laws and policies.
- No alcohol, drugs, profanity, nudity, harassment, political campaigning, or degradation in posts. You must follow all copyright and hosting/posting laws/regulations.
- Note that we might post our daily updates and will coordinate with you to make sure they don’t overlap or make the takeover messy.
- When in doubt, don’t. If you feel a picture/video is questionable in content, don’t post it until you’re able to connect with one of the administrators via phone or text.
- Don’t change any account settings. Don’t follow accounts, don’t add friends and don’t send individual snaps/stories. Post only to the university’s “My story.”
- Don’t go “live”. Only administrators have authority to do this.
- Don’t post a flyer. If you have a lot of important information to get across, just say it in a video and you write text of times, locations, dates, etc. on the video.
- Don’t overuse selfies outside of Takeover Tuesdays. Think of yourself as a reporter and storyteller, your part of the story, but the focus shouldn’t be only you. Selfies must advance the narrative. For example, if you’re giving a tour, you might use some video selfies.
- Don’t snap/story while driving. This is illegal and extremely dangerous.
- Don’t be disappointed or upset if an administrator deletes a post. They are the curators. You might not be aware of other issues happening behind the scenes.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the administrators. We’re here to help.
- Don’t share or change the password.
Roles and contacts
If you are selected for a takeover, the social media administrator will contact you via email with more details and to set up a meeting to go over the guidelines and plan your takeover.
As a term and condition of your desire to participate in a takeover, you understand that this is not your account and that the university can moderate/delete what you post. You may not post anything inappropriate or use the account to treat anyone else inappropriately.
We will either give you a university takeover cell phone to use during your takeover or provide you with a temporary password. We recommend you pick this up as early as possible on the start of your takeover day. You are required to return the phone to the CU Denver office by 5PM the day of your takeover, unless otherwise notified. If you destroy or lose the phone, you may have to pay for it.
By signing this, you agree to follow the takeover instructions and not partake in any of the takeover don’ts. You are subject to the student code and any employee can also be held accountable in accord with university laws and policies. If you do break any segment of the guidelines, there may will be repercussions.
Takeover student signature: _______________________________________
Takeover CU Denver ID #: ________________________________________