Public Relations Coordinator (PRC)

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Ideally before being nominated for an ExCo position, and certainly after being elected to such a position, the Officer should familiarise themselves with the Constitution and Bylaws of IVSA, and with the relevant Manual(s) to their position.

In order to be considered suitable for nomination for a position on the ExCo or Secretariat, the member should have sufficient English language skills to communicate effectively with the other members of the IVSA governing entities. This is because English is the official language of IVSA and it is the language in which all official ExCo and Secretariat communication is in. English language skills should therefore be considered necessary for all nominees. Other language skills, while they may be useful, are optional.

All ExCo members should seek advice on problems they encounter from the Trust, as the Trust is an advisory body which has experience to support the ExCo. Personal contact with the Trust is encouraged in the case of difficulties.

This position was created at the 62nd Congress in the Netherlands by the outgoing ExCo as advised by the Constitution Committee, to combine 2 old roles - "Publications Officer" and "Information Technology Officer".

Overview

The main role of the PRC is to facilitate internal and external communication, increase public awareness of IVSA and build a good image of ivsa by maintaining a professional appearance.

The responsibilities of the Public Relations Coordinator (PRC) include but are not limited to:

  • collecting and distributing information relevant to IVSA members worldwide,
  • taking a big part in promoting and building the image of IVSA,
  • maintaining and serving as editor-in-chief of such publications as they see necessary and appropriate,
  • maintaining the internal communication tools such as email, groups, etc.
  • maintaining the internet presence of IVSA with the help of relevant third parties if necessary

To achieve this, a PRC must be:

  • in close contact with all members of ExCo, tending to each individual ExCo’s requests to utilize the internal communication methods efficiently.
  • in close contact with all members of ExCo, Member Organizations and partners to gather all information and build the best strategy of action and communication, to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of IVSA’s aims.
  • anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of IVSA.

All publications distributed in the name of IVSA must be approved by the ExCo before distribution.

Advertisements may appear in any IVSA material except official IVSA documents such as minutes. All advertisers must be approved by the ExCo.

The PRC may request the help of local Member Organizations or people with relevant technical, academic or clinical experience to assist in the collecting and distributing of the aforementioned information.

IVSA’s current methods of communication

  • Official website
  • Official emails
  • Mailing lists
  • Podio
  • Facebook page
  • Facebook group
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

IVSA Publications

  • Newsletters
  • IVS Journal
  • Business card
  • Brochures
  • Other

IVSA Internal and External Communication

Managing the official website at http://ivsa.org/

The PRC is responsible for posting new articles to keep anonymous visitors (who may or may not be IVSA members) informed of IVSA’s activities, and also keeping this solid information accurate, up to date and if possible interesting. The website is a formal media which means the appearance must be kept professional. The website have numerous non-member followers, and it may not be desirable to transparently post inner discussions or discussion agendas that may cause misunderstandings.

Domain - Terms and contracts (September)

The domain name is a component of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) used to access web sites, for example: http://www.ivsa.org. This allows the website visitors to find and return to a web page more easily. Getting a domain name involves registering the name you want with an organisation called ICANN through a domain name registrar. The PRC is the main contact for the web hosting company issues.

The details can be found in PRC private folders.

Web Hosting - Terms and contracts (September)

The hosting company is hired to maintain the online server, making sure the website should always be accessible and emails should be functional. IVSA pays the web host annually to use the domain and web space. The PRC is the main contact for the web hosting company issues.

The details can be found in PRC private folders.

Website content management system

Website content management system is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages to create and manage website content with relative ease. It is used to control a dynamic collection of web material, including HTML documents, images, and other forms of media

Wordpress

The current www.ivsa.org website is powered by WordPress, meaning regular posts will show on the first page and further navigation reveals more solid information. The website and all its content can be updated and changed from a browser based user interface.

Wiki

Beside wordpress, IVSA also use Wiki system for several part of website.

There are three wikis used by IVSA:

  • the wiki inside the ivsa.org website (ivsa.org/wiki)
  • the EO wiki (ivsaeo.info)
  • the Constitution and Bylaws wiki (ivsaconstitution.info)

All the wikis are powered by MediaWiki (same engine that is used for Wikipedia). The MediaWiki installations are administered partly through FTP partly through special pages inside the wikis.

All can be managed through wordpress and wiki login systems.

The details can be found in PRC private folders.

Managing the individual emails

The official email addresses are used by the ExCo for official communication, therefore the PRC should assign and create an address for each ExCo member.

Requirements:

  • Each ExCo member is to be assigned one or more email address, though it is better to keep the number of email addresses to a minimum, as too many addresses may raise confusion.
  • The email addresses are unified to resemble the official website as in name/position@ivsa.org.
  • It is possible to create forwarding systems for the individuals for their convenience, as the official emails will have to be accessed by websites that may be unfamiliar to new ExCo members.
  • When creating the address, either the position, full name or first name is preferred, e.g. publicrelations@ivsa.org, pim.polak@ivsa.org, ayesha@ivsa.org, etc. It is important to make the email addresses easy to be remembered and as representative as can be.
  • Email addresses can be created to meet incidental needs as well as personal contact, e.g. election@ivsa.org, etc.
  • When old positions cease to exist, or a position changes title, the PRC should ensure that emails sent to these addresses are redirected to the email address of the most relevant ExCo position. The website and IVSA’s documents should also be checked for references to the old position, and such references should be replaced with the email address of the most relevant ExCo position.

The official mailing system is hosted by the same company that hosts our website, and inquiries can be made to the company in case of need.

The new PRC is suggested to make a manual about how to use the official email and all details that are necessary (adjusted to the current system that is being used) at the beginning of the term, to ensure that every ExCo member can use the email properly.

Managing the mailing lists

A mailing list is a tool used for mass communication. When an email is sent to an address that is a mailing list, the email will reach all the members of the mailing list.

Requirements:

  • Every year the PRC must update the members of each mailing list to include only the current ExCo, filtering the incoming mail from outside sources.
  • The mailing lists only automatically accept emails from addresses that are a member of the mailing list. For instance, other IVSA members who attempt to send an email to exco@ivsa.org whose emails are not listed as mailing list members have to go through the “mailing list moderator”. The mailing list moderator in our case is the PRC, and they need to authorize the email through the mailing list moderator page. The same goes with spam. Spam is a major source of email input, summing up to around 5-10 daily in IVSA mailing lists. It is essential that the PRC keeps track of every single email, discarding (ignoring) the spam and processing the acceptance of the important input of IVSA members.
  • IVSA uses several mailing lists. Those currently in use are exco@ivsa.org (for IVSA exco, secretariat and trust), secretariat@ivsa.org (only for IVSA secretariat and secretary general), and trust@ivsa.org (only for IVSA trust).

Asana

Asana is a web and mobile application designed to enable teamwork without email. IVSA used this application for the 2013-2014 term. The product supports many features, including workspaces, projects, tasks, tags, notes, comments, and an inbox that organizes and updates information in real-time. All ExCo registered in Asana under their official email address. This application may not easy to understand for beginners. However, this application was found to greatly support all the work of ExCo.

If using Asana, a manual or workshop to learn how to use Asana is suggested at the beginning of the term.

Podio

Podio is a collaborative work web-based platform for organizing team communication, business processes, data and content in project management workspaces. Users can also select apps from an online app store or build their own according to project needs.

This application may not be easy to understand for beginners.

If using Podio, a manual or workshop to learn how to use Podio is suggested at the beginning of the term.

ExCo Facebook Group

The IVSA ExCo has used the Facebook group in recent years as an informal intra-ExCo communication method. The PRC is responsible for lubricating this method of communication by managing the membership of the group and prioritizing the posts (pinning the current issues to the top of the wall).

Though Facebook usage may differ from individual to individual, it is important that ExCo members communicate responsibly. Facebook has been voted to be the most frequently used communication method in the recent terms and individual ExCo members who hadn’t used Facebook much in the past have intentionally put in an effort to stay connected to the Facebook group.

Because many confidential issues and files have been posted into this group, it is important for PRC to always check if the system works properly.

Since the term of 2013-2014 most of the function of this group has been moved to Asana, and in 2014-15 most of the function has been moved to Podio. However, this group is still very useful for certain situations, especially for urgent matters, and also for some more informal matters.

Facebook Page

The IVSA Facebook page has also been active in recent years as more members of IVSA have become active users. The PRC’s role in managing this page is to create contents that are of interest to our members (including IVSA articles and other media), and building the image that IVSA is an active association. Also, responding to messages, posts and comments on the page is the PRC’s job.

The Facebook page is a formal media which means the appearance must be kept professional. The Facebook page as well as the official website have numerous non-member followers, and it may not be desirable to transparently post inner discussions or discussion agendas that may cause misunderstandings.

In 2012-2013 IVSA had a "Facebook Officer” who was not an IVSA Official. It is possible that this role could be filled by someone like this again if necessary, or for example by the Secretary to the PRC.

The IVSA twitter account

Twitter has become a minor method of communication, as not many members use Twitter, the response from Twitter has been minimum, and there has been a change in the address due to poor handovers. Currently we have three twitter accounts: @ivsa_world, @ivsa_exco and @ivsa_ceo.

The details can be found in PRC private folders.


Instagram

The details can be found in PRC private folders.

IVSA Questionnaire

As has been mentioned in the first section of PRC manual, the PRC should have the ability to anticipate, analyze and interpret public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of IVSA. This ability is needed for the PRC to formulate a strategy or plan to achieve IVSA goals. The IVSA questionnaire was made as tool to help the PRC gain information from IVSA members and other people that is useful for the improvement of IVSA works.

The questionnaire contains questions about the evaluation of our performance over the last few months or year. The questions can be adjusted to the needs of IVSA in the current year. The online questionnaires provided by google and surveymonkey.com are currently the best applications to be used.

Guidelines about releasing official information can be found in “Considerations in releasing official information” section.

Publications and Promotional Duties

IVSA publications and promotional materials are made to support the professional appearance of IVSA, especially during IVSA Congresses or Symposia and when IVSA Officials attend any important event.

Newsletter

The IVSA Newsletter is one of the ways to facilitate promotion of IVSA, sponsors and partners. The newsletter is published online only. The PRC is in charge of its appearance throughout the year. Further explanation and samples can be found in the PRC private folder.

Requirements:

  • It is suggested for every PRC to make at least three or four newsletters per year (for example: autumn, winter, spring and summer edition). It is possible to make more editions, if there are no difficulties in getting enough material for them.
  • The newsletter should consist of at least 30 pages, including covers
  • The newsletter should be in A4 or Letter size.
  • It is important to make the newsletter as professional as possible without losing the “fun” essence of student life
  • The following topics should be included in every IVSA newsletter:
    • IVSA Global / IVSA Officials activities (introduction of new IVSA officials, report of any important events that IVSA Officials attended, etc),
    • IVSA MOs’ activities (group/individual exchange reports, international events held by MOs, Congress and Symposium report, etc.),
    • Development Fund and Scholarship Fund report from IVSA Global and IVSA grantees.
    • Standing Committee corner
    • Advertisement pages (check the contracts)
    • Partners and sponsors corner (check the contracts)
    • Additional pages (Fun quiz, information board, article about upcoming events).
  • Avoid using any picture or article without putting credits. It is better if you manage to take and make them on your own, so everything is original. And make sure all pictures are of good resolution.
  • It is suggested to make a “theme” for designs for the whole year, including the IVS Journal, uniform, brochure, business card, etc. For instance, “Blue, Color Block, Fun but Elegant” for the term of 2013-2014 (All final and raw designs can be found in the PRC private folder). You can do Pastel, Dark, Bright, Washed out, Pattern, etc. But it is suggested to keep to the “Royal Blue theme” as IVSA identity.
  • Consulting a professional designer on how to make great newsletters or magazines that are interesting, professional and easy to read by the readers is suggested, if necessary.
  • The PRC should make sure everyone can download and read the newsletter easily through IVSA web-based media.
  • Be as creative as can be!

Deadlines for Newsletters

  • It is suggested to release IVSA newsletters by the end of the season. For instance, end of November until early December for the autumn edition, end of February until early March for the winter Edition, end of April until early May for the spring edition, and end of July until early August for the summer edition. Consider how hard it is to collect enough articles for 30-40 pages of newsletter.
  • The deadline for people to send articles should be set at least 2 weeks before the releasing date of the newsletter. Consider about 5 days (or a week) for delays, 5 days for proof read and days for design.
  • You should send the draft version to all IVSA Officials before publishing, to have more eyes to find more typos or other mistakes.

IVS journal

The IVS Journal is a compilation of IVSA newsletter articles throughout the year. The IVS journal should be made at least once at the end of the year. In 2013-2014, IVSA managed to produce two IVS Journals, Winter and Summer editions, which were handed out to IVSA members during Symposium and Congress, and to partners and sponsors when any IVSA Officials attend an event.

Requirements:

  • The IVS Journal should consist of 40 pages or more, including covers, and this should be adjusted to the printing requirements (usually multiples of four; 32, 40, 44, etc.)
  • The IVS Journal should be in A4 or Letter size.
  • It is important to make the IVS Journal as professional as possible without losing the “fun” essence of student life
  • Avoid using any picture or article without putting credits. It is better if you manage to take and make them on your own, so everything is original. And make sure all pictures are of good resolution.
  • It is suggested to make a “theme” for designs for the whole year, including the IVS Journal, uniform, brochure, business card, etc. For instance, “Blue, Color Block, Fun but Elegant” for the term of 2013-2014 (All final and raw designs can be found in the PRC private folder). You can do Pastel, Dark, Bright, Washed out, Pattern, etc. But it is suggested to keep to the “Royal Blue theme” as IVSA identity.
  • An additional theme for the IVS journal is Animals. It is suggested for every IVS Journal to represent one animal and put its illustration as the cover. A little bit of information about the animal should be included also in the journal. For example, polar bear and tiger were used in the term of 2013-2014. Further explanation and samples can be found in the PRC private folder.
  • Consulting a professional designer on how to make great newsletters or magazines that are interesting, professional and easy to read by the readers is suggested, if necessary.
  • About ¾ of articles in the IVS journal were the same as in previous newsletters – the ones that reflected the whole IVSA year the best.
  • A poll within the IVSA Officials is suggested to decide which articles get a place in the IVS. Adding a few new articles describing the events that happened after the last newsletter came out is allowed.
  • The following topics should be considered in deciding the best articles to be put in the IVS Journal:
    • IVSA Global / IVSA Officials activities (introduction of new IVSA Officials, report of any important events that IVSA Officials attended, etc.),
    • IVSA MOs’ activities (group/individual exchange reports, international events held by MOs, Congress and Symposium report, etc.),
    • Development Fund and Scholarship Fund reports from IVSA Global and IVSA grantees.
    • Standing Committee corner
    • Advertisement pages (check the contracts)
    • Partners and sponsors corner (check the contracts)
    • Additional pages (Fun quiz, information board, article about upcoming events).
  • The number of copies of the IVS journal depend on the number of IVSA Congress and Symposium delegates. It is also suggested to add more copies for IVSA MOs, partners and sponsors.
  • Be as creative as can be!
  • The printing specifications:
  • The canvas size should be the same as actual size (e.g A5, A4, Letters)
  • It should be saved as a raw file (PSD, CDR, IND, etc)
  • Send the compile version in PDF to show the draft and page order.
  • Make sure all the images are of good resolution so they will not get blurred during the printing process.
  • Paper that is usually used for printing the content of IVS journal is Art Paper and for cover is Art Carton, with Glossy option as finishing. The thickness of paper depends on your preference and budget (e.g 120g 150g, 250g, 260g, etc.)
  • Make sure to finish and send the design at least two weeks before the due date.
  • Other requirements may be requested by the printing company, so make sure to ask them.

IVSA Official Uniform

IVSA official uniform was made to maintain a professional appearance of IVSA Officials during IVSA Congress or Symposium and any important events. The PRC is responsible for designing and producing the uniform. Before 2012, IVSA used t-shirts as the official uniform, but since 2012 IVSA has used short sleeve shirts as the uniform, going for a more professional look.

The official uniform design should be decided between the IVSA Officials. It should be adjusted to the need of the term. The following requirements should be included in the uniform design:

  • IVSA Official’s name (e.g Pim Polak, Retorika Galunggung, Ayesha Azlan, etc)
  • Position as an IVSA Official and term (e.g IVSA ExCo 2013-2014, IVSA Secretariat 2013-2014, etc)
  • Hill’s and other sponsors’ logos (check the contracts)

Further explanation and samples can be found in the PRC private folder.


IVSA Brochure

The IVSA brochure is one of the most important promotion tools for IVSA. It should be available in online and printed versions. The following information should be included in the brochure:

  • IVSA Logo
  • Brief explanation about IVSA
  • Brief explanation about IVSA activities and IVSA Development Fund
  • Brief explanation about IVSA Standing Committees
  • Contact Information
  • Supporting pictures in high resolution
  • Hill’s and other sponsors’ logos (check the contracts)

Further explanation and samples can be found in the PRC private folder.


IVSA Official Business Cards

At the beginning of the term, the PRC is supposed to make IVSA business cards for the IVSA Officials. The outgoing PRC should inform the new PRC of the numbers of the previous card distribution. The current PRC has to arrange printing and sending the cards to the rest of the IVSA Officials. They should get them at latest at the 2nd live ExCo meeting.

The following information should be included in the business card:

  • IVSA Logo
  • Personal Information (full name, position, term, official email, phone number)
  • IVSA Contact Information (website address, headquarters address)
  • Hill’s and other sponsors’ logos (check the contracts)

Further explanation and samples can be found in the PRC private folder.


IVSA Promotional Pack

The IVSA promotional pack consists of the IVSA brochure, powerpoint presentation and (if possible) movie. It should be updated based on the needs of IVSA in the current year. It should be available online on the website.

Others

The PRC is free to make other kinds of publications such as t-shirts, pins/badges, flags, bags, scarves, etc. depending on need, creativity and budget.

Considerations in releasing official information

The PRC is responsible for creating articles and media to represent IVSA. Official information is tricky to distribute as we have so many members and opinions, and the PRC must make sure IVSA remains non-political. It is best to have a native English speaker to proof read articles before publication to make sure that no inappropriate views are expressed in the text, but this is difficult to achieve as postings can be pretty frequent. It is essential however to have the following publications proof read and accepted by all ExCo members:

  • Draft GA agendas to go out to delegates
  • Outgoing publications, like IVSA introduction materials to be displayed by other partners
  • Important announcements
  • Mass printout materials (flyers, brochures, stickers, etc)

Any publications, such as GA agendas that are not yet solid or have the possibility to raise controversy, must not be posted lightly on Facebook or the official website and must be circulated using the ExCo (or possibly EO) mailing list only. When discussion is final and all other ExCo members agree to release information, it can be posted on Facebook and the official website. Minutes can be circulated in the EO bulletin and on the IVSA website only.

Advertisements may appear in any IVSA material except official IVSA documents such as minutes. All advertisers must be approved by the ExCo.

Secretary/ies

The PRC can assign any of the tasks mentioned above to his/her assigned Secretary/ies – listen to their ideas about the content for publications, ask them to collect newsletter materials, proofread articles, make designs, etc. Still, the Officer has the responsibility to do most of the work; the assigned Secretary/ies is/are only helping their Officer as much as they can. Make sure to involve them in every project to make them feel as part of the team.

Handover period

During the handover period (usually ~3 months), the former IVSA Officials are to be included in the communication systems, just the same as new Officials. They should be included in the mailing lists, email forwarders, inner communication methods like the Facebook group, etc. Exactly which mailing lists etc. they are included in should be clear to the new Officials. This is to facilitate the communication and projects of the new ExCo. When the handover period is coming to an end, it is nice to give the former IVSA Officials a note before removing them.


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