Policy for Official Video

Purpose and Scope

This policy establishes rules and procedures for video and audio content published to any cortland.edu webpage or shared on any official SUNY Cortland social media channel.

This policy is intended to ensure that video production efforts:

  • coordinate with existing university-wide marketing and communications efforts.
  • contribute positively to the SUNY Cortland brand.
  • prevent redundant promotional efforts.
  • meet SUNY Cortland’s standards for production quality.
  • adhere to accessibility guidelines and requirements.

This policy does not apply to:

  • content produced by student(s) for a class, club or personal use.
  • content used by faculty/staff for classroom/personal use or scholarly activity.
  • content that is neither produced by or for SUNY Cortland.

Definitions and Summary

Official content includes public-facing audio/video content that is produced by or for an official SUNY Cortland entity. Official content is also considered to be promotional content if it will be used for recruitment, fundraising or stewardship, or if it is intended to promote SUNY Cortland to a large, public audience.

Summary of Procedures

  • All official content must be submitted for review before it can be published, unless the faculty/staff member posting the content has been trained to post without approval.
  • Official content should be distributed through channels affiliated with SUNY Cortland, not through personal channels and accounts.
  • Promotional content should be produced in collaboration with the Marketing Committee.
  • Content that does not meet the definition of official content may need to adhere to certain standards, such as accessibility guidelines and legal requirements.
  • This policy is supplemented by the Promotional Video Guide, which provides additional information and resources for project planners and videographers.

Minimum Publishing Requirements

Any video published to a public-facing cortland.edu webpage must follow the guidelines described in the Accessibility section and Privacy section of the Promotional Video Guide. This requirement applies even if the content was not produced by or for SUNY Cortland.

For this requirement, a video is considered published to a page if the video player is embedded in the webpage.

Official Content

Official content includes content that meets both of the following criteria:

  • is produced by an official SUNY Cortland entity, or is intended to be used primarily by an official SUNY Cortland entity.
  • is intended to be used in any public-facing platform that represents SUNY Cortland, such as a department/office Facebook page, social media channel, Youtube channel or cortland.edu website.

Official Content Publishing Requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum publishing requirements, official content should meet or exceed the quality specifications of the Promotional Video Guide. The Visual Style section of the guide is also recommended for official content. Please submit a Promotional Video Project Inquiry if you would like to review a project with the Marketing Office.

Publishing Official Content

  • Official content should be distributed on a SUNY Cortland website and/or on a third-party platform using an account associated with SUNY Cortland. Official content may not use a personal account or channel as the primary method of distribution.
  • SUNY Cortland faculty/staff who have not been trained in official content procedures must submit official content for approval before it can be published

Promotional Content

Promotional content includes content that meets any of the following criteria:

  • will be used to recruit students to SUNY Cortland.
  • serves as a fundraising and/or stewardship vehicle.
  • promotes SUNY Cortland to a large, public audience.

Promotional content must follow the specifications for official content, and must follow all guidelines presented in the Promotional Video Guide. Before producing promotional content, a Promotional Video Project Inquiry must be submitted to the Marketing Committee.

Linked/Shared Content Accessibility

This section applies to content that meets either of the following criteria:

  • is shared by an official SUNY Cortland social media channel.
  • is linked to on a public SUNY Cortland webpage.

Whenever possible, share or link to external resources that utilize accessibility standards such as closed captions. When sharing video content that does not contain closed captions, a message may be sent to the owner of the content encouraging the addition of captions. A sample message is provided below. You may use this template or compose a different message. When using the template, replace (video title) with the actual video title.

We’re reaching out to notify you that SUNY Cortland has shared your video (video title) with our community and to thank you for making it available. We’d also like to encourage you to add closed captions to this video. We strive to make all of our content as accessible as possible to our broadest audience, and appreciate it when others share the same goal.
Thank you,

Discretion may be used to determine if contacting the content owner is necessary. If previous messages to the same content owner have been ignored, or if the actual content creator/owner is difficult to reach, sending a message will likely be ineffective.


SUNY Cortland faculty/staff who have been trained on official content procedures may publish videos autonomously. The training session covers fundamental accessibility concepts, style, legal considerations and best practices for producing video content. For departments/offices with many content contributors/producers, trained individuals may request permission to guide and approve official content for their department/office.

Schedule a training session.

Correction of Issues

Internally Identified Accessibility Issues

Accessibility issues such as video content that is not captioned should be corrected within ten business days. If accessibility issues cannot be resolved within ten days, the content should be unpublished until the corrections are made.

Accessibility Requests

If a request for an accessible version of a video is received for any content this policy applies to, an accessible, equally effective version of the video must be supplied within ten business days. If an equally effective alternative is not logistically possible, a reasonable best-effort must be made to provide a more accessible option.

Other Issues

Style, tone and quality concerns for official and promotional content should be resolved in collaboration with the Marketing Office.

Repeated Violations

SUNY Cortland faculty/staff or departments who repeatedly or negligently violate this policy may have their permission to autonomously publish content revoked.

Supplemental Information

Related Policies