• NEWS



Usage, identity & image guidelines

Thank you for your interest in WSU Spokane—we appreciate your coverage and invite your questions.

We hope you'll adopt the style we prefer for first-reference and second-reference usages. Also, when you cover our faculty, students, programs, and accomplishments, we hope you'll identify them as being part of Washington State University Spokane.

Style guide

Our preferred forms for first and second references to WSU Spokane and other WSU entities in Spokane.

Campus—the long and short of it

Full name:

Washington State University Spokane

Preferred second reference:

WSU Spokane (no punctuation)


If you need an abbreviation for headlines or TV stations, WSU Spokane is appropriate. WSUS is not.

Why we care:

A reference to “Washington State University” is most appropriately used for the Pullman campus. When you leave “Spokane” out of our campus name, you miss the chance to connect your audience with the faculty, staff, students, and programs located in Spokane.

We are only a phone call or e-mail away if we haven't answered your question here: 509-358-7504; communications@wsu.edu.


The WSU Spokane communications staff writes, produces, and publishes stories about campus people, programs, research, and events. Our stories appear in a variety of settings, from the news center on the WSU Spokane homepage to the monthly Campus Bulletin to the university's social media accounts.  Sometimes news media will read what we write and follow up with stories of their own.

Our office wants to help you publicize your news, both internally and externally. We encourage you to contact us if you have a story idea. We'll be happy to help you find story angles that might interest reporters and editors.

Checklist of questions

A list of questions reporters ask when they consider whether to pursue a story.

News is relevant, proximate, timely, unusual, emotional, controversial, and provocative. Before you submit your news tip to us, think about the following questions:

  • Does this story present information that affects readers' lives?
  • Does this story tell people something they did not know?
  • Does this story get readers talking?
  • Does this story have a local tie-in?
  • How does this news or event fit into the community? 
  • Does this story fit with a local issue or present a new one?
  • Does this story present a local example of a national issue?
  • Does this story connect to an issue of current interest, or present a new one?
  • Does this story involve a prominent person?
  • Is this story about people overcoming hardship or excelling?
  • Is this story an emotional "real people" story or a feel-good story?
  • Does this story present opportunities for imagery? (stimulating visual footage for TV coverage, compelling photography for print coverage, or sound/background noise that provides an auditory "image" for radio coverage)

Submit your story idea »





Web Site

The Communications Office oversees the WSU Spokane Web site. We design key pages on the site; monitor and maintain Web content; and provide training and support to content editors.

The WSU Spokane Web site uses a content management system (CMS) that allows designated content editors to make edits to their Web pages. Each department has at least one representative who has access to the CMS.

Help Desk (email) »

To request an update to the website, create new webpages, and/or create an online form, send an email to the help desk.

Web Responsibilities

Content editors

  • Review pages within their area for accuracy. If updates to a page are needed, please send a request to the campus help desk, who will notify the Communications Office. A majority of edits will be done by the Communications office with the new templates due to to the customization of the design.
  • Ensure existing links are working properly
  • To add new pages, please send a request to the campus help desk »
  • To add/replace photos, please send a request to the campus help desk »



The Communications Office maintains WSU Spokane's social media sites and provides resources on the use of social media for communications. WSU Spokane uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn to inform and engage our many stakeholders. Our posts relate to:

  • Events sponsored by or related to WSU Spokane
  • WSU Spokane publications and news reports that relate to the accomplishments or ongoing work of our researchers.
  • Videos created by WSU Spokane or ones related to campus programs
  • Photos from WSU Spokane events
  • National or international stories related to campus programs


WSU Spokane provides updates via Twitter using the handle @WSUSpokane.  

We encourage our followers to interact with us via Twitter and encourage them to retweet items about the campus.

The campus communication staff will review all @replies, direct messages, and mentions of WSU Spokane on Twitter. We will attempt to respond to as many messages as we can; however, we may not be able to reply to all messages that we receive. Twitter is not recommended for direct communication when you need a quick response.

How to view or sign up to receive our tweets:

  • You may join Twitter to "follow" or subscribe to our tweets. Registration for Twitter is free.  To follow us, sign in and type "@WSUSpokane" into the search box, then click the "follow" icon at the top of the page.
  • WSU Spokane tweets can be seen without joining Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/WSUSpokane »


The WSU Spokane Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/WSUSpokane. The page can be viewed by members and non-members of Facebook. If you are a member, we encourage you to "like" our page so you'll receive our updates in your News Feed, amd to share our news with your friends and followers.


See what's happening by subscribing to our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/GoWSUSpokane. We post videos we produce and flag videos produced by others about our work as favorites.


Follow WSU Spokane on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/washington-state-university-spokane. We invite you to join the WSU Spokane Alumni Group and Spokane Health Care and Health Sciences groups we created and add your group memberships to your LinkedIn profile.

Policies & Disclaimers

  • Any WSU Spokane Twitter follows, retweets, or mentions of an organization or individuals do not imply endorsement of any kind. The opinions expressed in items retweeted on the WSU Spokane Twitter page are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the campus or university.
  • Posted comments and images on our Facebook page do not necessarily represent the views of the campus or university. External links on this site do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of WSU Spokane. While we encourage people to share thoughts and opinions and ask questions on the WSU Spokane Facebook page, we expect that this will be done in a respectful manner.
  • WSU Spokane does not agree with or endorse every comment that individuals post on our social media outlets. Our goal is to share ideas and information with as many individuals as possible, and our policy is to accept the majority of comments made to our profile.

Please contact  communications@wsu.edu with questions and suggestions related to WSU Spokane's social media presence.



Subscribe to WSU Spokane RSS Feeds

RSS—or "real simple syndication"—feeds allow you to be up-to-date through e-mails with simple, linked headlines.

More RSS Feeds




The Communications Office manages an extensive portfolio of images portraying the WSU Spokane campus and its people, activities, and events, which we use in support of our work to promote the campus. We maintain a digital photo library that is accessible to WSU Spokane faculty and staff. For instructions on using the photo library, go to the photo library page »

We regularly add fresh images to our library through a mixture of professional shoots (usually done by WSU photo services) and images taken by communications staff members.


The Communications Office organizes annual portrait photo shoots of WSU Spokane faculty and staff. Portrait images will be included in the online faculty/staff directory, and may also be used on the Web site, in publications, and for internal and external news stories. Portrait shoots are usually held in the summer or fall and are handled by a communications staff member. Given the rapid growth of our campus and limits on staff time, portrait shoots are by invitation only. We generally invite new faculty and staff for whom we don't yet have a high-quality professional portrait on file, as well as faculty and staff whose portraits are more than a few years old.


We welcome suggestions for events and activities that would provide for good photo opportunities. Please use our photo request form to send them our way. We will evaluate each request based on staff availability and workload and the potential uses for the resulting imagery. We give priority to those photo opportunities that help us promote WSU Spokane as a growing health sciences campus.

In case we cannot take on your photo request, here are some photography tips you can use to get the best results from your own photography. If you expect to be publishing your photos anywhere (either online or in print), please get signed photo consent forms for your subjects, especially if photos are taken in a non-public setting and subjects include WSU students, minors, and persons not affiliated with WSU. Photo consent forms are available below.

Media Image Requests

The Communications Office handles all requests from the media for WSU Spokane images. If a member of the media asks you for images, please direct them to us at jcvd@wsu.edu or 8-7524.

Photo/Video Consent Forms



The Communications Office maintains a digital library of photos. We use these images in publications and other promotional materials, for the WSU Spokane Web site, and to provide to media outlets publishing stories on WSU Spokane people and programs.

The photo library is accessible to any WSU Spokane employee. You are welcome to use these photos for non-commercial purposes, such as Powerpoint presentations and classroom materials. When in doubt whether a particular use is acceptable, please check with us.

If you receive a request from the media for an image other than a headshot, please refer them to us or contact us so we can help select an image that meets the size/resolution requirements and quality standards of the media outlet.

When possible, please provide photo credit to the photographer. In most cases, the name of the photographer is included in the name of the folder holding the images.

To access the photo library:

  • You must be logged into the campus network.
  • Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your computer screen, then select "Run"
  • In the box that pops up, type "\\Badboy\images" then click "OK"

Where to find what you need:

  • The "Powerpoint slides and pics" subfolder contains a selection of images that show students and the campus that are cropped and sized for use with the WSU Spokane Powerpoint templates.
  • Portrait photos of WSU Spokane employees can be found in the "People" subfolder.
  • For images of campus buildings, look in the "Facilities" subfolder.
  • For photos of Spokane beyond campus, see the "Spokane General" subfolder.
  • Images of faculty and students engaged in academic activities can be found in the "Academic Programs" subfolder. Photos related to the activities of the various research and outreach units on campus are located in the "Research & Outreach" folder.
  • Images of students outside the classroom can be found in the "Campus Life" subfolder.
  • Photos of campus events are located in the "Events" subfolder, with the exception of commencement photos, which can be found in the "Commencement" subfolder.

To "bookmark" the photo library, map it as a network drive, which will make it appear in Windows Explorer under "My Computer"

  • From the screen with all the main folders in the photo library, click the "Up" button (folder icon with green arrow pointing up).
  • You'll see an overview of all the directories on the Badboy drive. Find the one named "Images", right click on it, and select "Map as Network Drive."
  • Windows will suggest a driver letter. To accept, click Finish. You may change the drive letter if you want. Generally it's better to keep it toward the end of the alphabet to avoid conflicts with other devices, such as card readers and flash drives, that you may want to plug into your computer.
  • Once mapped, you can get to the photo library by right-clicking the start button and selecting "Explore". "Images on Badboy" will show up under "My Computer."




  • Natural lighting is the best. Natural light is not as harsh as artificial light and gives your subject a softer look. Position your subject near a large, bright window that does not receive direct sunlight. 
  • Pay attention to where the light is coming from. Don't take photos with the sun at your subject's back. This makes the background look overly bright, while making your subject look dark. In the above tip of placing a subject near a window, make sure you have your back to the window when photographing.
  • Avoid direct lighting on faces. Direct lighting can create harsh shadows and tends to make people squint. To avoid these two problems in outdoor photography, pick a time when the sun is low in the sky, like the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Use your flash wisely. Photos are easily washed out by a flash firing too close to a subject. If you need to use the flash, back up a little bit and zoom in to get the proper framing.


  • Don't photograph your subject directly against a background. If you're using a pillar or wall as a background, have your subject stand a few steps in front of it. This will eliminate shadows or any distracting details from the background.
  • Avoid windows. Never photograph someone directly in front of a window, especially when using flash. Any light will reflect back in a way that destroys your shot.
  • Be aware of distractions. Examine what is actually in your background. If there are other people or objects (e.g. trees, trash cans) in your background those may distract from the real focal point of the photo. Either move them or move your vantage point to exclude them from the shot.
  • Protruding elements from subjects' heads. Make sure there are no background elements that look like they're sticking up out of a person's head! This mistake is very noticeable!

Single subjects

  • Fill the frame with your subject. Look into the corners of the viewfinder to see what is there. Do you need all that background? Can you get closer to your subject or zoom in? This effectively removes distractions from the background and creates a photograph with more impact.
  • Pose your subject at a slight angle. Avoid photographing people—especially women—with their shoulders straight toward the camera as it makes them look bigger than they are. By angling the shoulders slightly, you help lead your viewer's eye into the shot and towards the face. 

Group photos

  • Shoot several frames. Large groups are sometimes hard to organize. If you take multiple shots, you're more likely to get an image you like and in which no one's eyes are closed.
  • Have subjects stand close together. If there is space between your subjects (especially with just a pair of people or a small group) the final photo will look awkward and uncomfortable. So have your subjects get cozy with each other. It will look neutral and normal in the final image.
  • Get as close as you can. The closer you can get, the more distractions you'll eliminate from the background and the more detail you'll have in their faces.  

Working with your subject(s)

  • Give helpful posing directions. Subjects will be more comfortable if you give them helpful directions such as where to look, where to stand, and where to face their body.
  • Help with their smile.  To get a more genuine smile, take a few shots in quick succession. Your subject might look a little tense in the first shot, but they'll look more relaxed in the ones after.

Event photography

  • Know where you are. Arrive at the location a little before the event starts to get a good idea of where people will be socializing and interacting. Use that time to figure out good places to take photos from.
  • Get a complete schedule of the event. You need to know what is going to happen and when, especially if there are speakers. This will be particularly helpful if you need to caption the photos later.
  • Find out who the big players are. Be sure to get pictures of the host, any speakers, and any important people who attend the event.
  • Get establishing shots. At any large gathering you should capture some images that give your audience an overall feel for the event location and the atmosphere.
  • Get some close-ups. In a sea of people it's important to photograph some individual faces to communicate the tone and emotion of the event. Images capture a tiny moment in time, so make sure you capture people's positive expressions. And remember that no one likes to be photographed while eating/chewing!
  • Take a variety of photos. Try to get pictures of people doing a wide range of activities. Also, don't get stuck taking photographs of just people. There might be something else that is interesting to photograph, such as a cake, food or prizes.

Getting permission

If you are planning to publish your photographs in any way (either in print or online), please make sure to get permission from your subjects. You can download photo consent forms from our resources & downloads page.



Community Relations

WSU Spokane encourages employees to participate actively in the community through service on boards and committees. Such service increases community awareness of WSU's presence and fulfills our land-grant mission.

If you participate in such activities you may have the opportunity to suggest a speaker on WSU topics, connect an organization with useful WSU resources and programs, or build a relationship that supports our programs and enhances our work.

Please contact the Communications and Development Office if:

  • You identify an opportunity to place a WSU representative in a public speaking opportunity
  • You need material to provide as a handout
  • You wish to host a community group for a meeting, tour, or event on campus (subject to our Facilities Use Policy)
  • You hear interest expressed in supporting WSU through a personal, corporate, or organizational donation
  • You have been appointed to a board position (we will note this in our internal communications)

Government Relations

Central WSU staff lead planning and execution of government relations on behalf of all university campuses and programs. The WSU Board of Regents adopts a legislative agenda that determines the priorities for those efforts. WSU Spokane's involvement in these activities is directed by the chancellor and the external relations director.

As part of your regular duties you may be asked to provide information to elected officials and their staff members. If you are contacted by the office of an elected official, or if you wish to provide information to an office, notify the chancellor's office, who will contact Government Relations.

Before contacting elected officials:

Before contacting state or elected federal officials, read the WSU Guidelines for Lobbying Activity and understand the requirements for reporting contacts. Most face-to-face meetings with legislators and staff constitute public lobbying under state law and must be reported, regardless of who initiates the contact.

Use of state resources

State resources including work email, computer, etc. may not be used to support or oppose election of a person to an office or a position concerning a ballot proposition, or to lobby the state legislature or a state agency head (RCW 42.52.160, RCW 42.52.180, RCW 42.17.190). Such uses are completely prohibited and do not fall under the de minimis rules.

If WSU employees are asked to contact appointed or nonpartisan elected officials (including local elected officials) concerning a decision or action as a part of their official duties, and as an action pertaining to WSU business, this is a function of the official duties of the position. If the contact is to ask questions about a decision as it relates to a WSU program, strategic plans, budget, etc., this would be considered a contact for official purposes and allowable as part of their job.

Employees may not try to influence a decision concerning programs, plans, budgets, etc., even for WSU benefit, unless it is that employee's official duty to lobby on WSU's behalf.

You are entitled to your personal opinion. If you wish to contact an elected official to express a personal opinion or be involved in a political campaign you must use your own equipment and accounts on your own time and must represent clearly that your views are your own and not a position of WSU or an action you are taking as a public employee.


Digital Signage/LCD Screens 

WSU Spokane Campus Digital Signage


Powerpoint Templates

Powerpoint templates in a number of colors and styles