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Introduction

Read through the entire brand site to make sure you understand our standards, guidelines and how everything works in unison before creating Extension communication pieces with these assets.

If you have questions or issues, or if you’d like to suggest additional resources, contact our Marketing and Communications team.

Check back often as this toolkit will continually evolve with new assets and examples.

Brand Assets

Consistency is Key

Consistency is a basic and critical marketing concept that is often neglected. Consistency helps audiences know the materials are ours and attach that trust and value to Extension.

In print, this means consistent color schemes and the same logo, font and design elements. Electronic and broadcast media use consistent audio (theme music), video (opening montages) and design elements; and print media use very consistent design marks.

Being a single entity within a group, such as a county center in a statewide network, can present a tug-of-war between consistency and customization. Creating your own ad formats and communications look is like starting at ground zero and building a brand from scratch.

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CALS 101 Communication Planning Resources

The CALS Communications team developed resources in an effort to make your life easier while making sure your department’s amazing stories get the coverage they deserve. The best way to save time is to be strategic, plan ahead and know our message – these will help get you started.

While these resources are geared toward a college-level approach, they are still valuable tools that can be adapted to support your Extension-related efforts, which helps drive the overall college and university mission.

Review the NC State Extension Brand Platform for a better understanding of our Extension-specific messaging.

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Digital Billboards

You can use these templates (PowerPoint files) to create an event or program announcement slide for Billboard, the central system for displaying digital signs across campus.

To customize a template, choose a background color from NC State’s core color palette.

The expanded palette colors are also available in swatches within the template, but do not use these against Wolfpack Red.

Adjust the elements to best fit your content, write short copy that can be read quickly at a distance and then save the finished slide as a JPG or PNG of 1920×1080 pixels.

NC State Extension Digital Billboard slide example

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Email Signature

You can include a logo image as part of your email signature. When used this way, the logo should appear at the bottom of the email signature, below all the other elements of the signature.

Don’t resize the logo image, and keep it on a line by itself, without any other text or graphics on the same line. Remember that some email clients don’t display images; therefore, your contact information should always be in the form of text, not images.

To use a logo as part of your email signature (in Google Mail):

  1. Download the logo image to your desktop computer.
  2. Go to your email settings, scroll down to the “Signature” section and enter your signature text in the text field.
  3. If you already have an email signature, verify that the information is correct.
  4. To properly format your signature text, use your mouse to select it all, and then use the formatting buttons directly above the text field to select the Sans Serif font at normal size.
  5. To insert the logo image, position your blinking cursor two lines below the last line of text in your signature.
  6. Then click the Insert Image icon (next to the Link icon) and upload the image file from your computer.
  7. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Refer to these examples when creating your signature (either is acceptable):

NC State Extension Email Signature example 1 NC State Extension Email Signature example 2

Download email signature logo file (.jpg)

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Email Templates (Constant Contact)

Use our custom Constant Contact email templates to facilitate impactful, on-brand digital communications with your clients, partners and target audiences.

Getting Started

  1. Log in to Constant Contact
  2. Once logged in, click the gold “Create” button at the top right.
  3. Choose “Email” as your campaign type.
  4. Select the “Extension Templates” tab/folder (under the search bar to the right of the Standard Templates tab).
  5. Pick the template that’s appropriate for your email campaign, then you’re ready to create your message!
    REMINDER: Our campus employees should use the NC State Extension versions as their default templates.

See example below for reference:

NC State Extension_Constant Contact email template_Event Example
What if I Don’t Have a Constant Contact Account?
If you do not have a Constant Contact license, contact the Extension Information Technology (EIT) Help Desk to request one at ces_help@ncsu.edu. We strongly encourage our campus programs to take advantage of this valuable resource.

Email Marketing Tips
Be mindful of how frequently you send emails to your audiences. Excessive contact will cause fatigue, leading recipients to ignore your messages. Here are some best practices for launching an email campaign.

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Icons

NC State brand graphic icons collection

Use the university’s set of on-brand icons to add visual interest and illustrate important facts and figures within your web and print content. If using other icons, make sure they are clean and simple with a singular focus and color.

Icons can be changed to any color in NC State’s color palette. Either place a white icon on a field of color, or convert an icon’s color for use on a white background. Only use one color per icon. Icons should not be altered or combined.

For print projects, use the EPS/PDF files (called “vector” files) to ensure that icons print clearly at any size. PNG/JPG files should only be used on the web or in Microsoft Office programs like PowerPoint. The Print and Web files are available as .zip folders.

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You can download NC State Extension logos all at once (organized by print and web/Office types) or individually as needed.

The “Print” folder contains EPS and PDF files, which are the only logos that should be used for print. These are vector files, which will print cleanly, without loss of quality, at any size.

The “Web” folder includes JPG and PNG logos that can be used for Microsoft Office documents like Word and PowerPoint, or on websites.

Visit the Visual Identity section for NC State Extension for logo usage guidelines.
 
Stacked Logos

NC State Extension Logo_Color stacked NC State Extension Logo_Black stacked NC State Extension Logo_Black text stacked

Horizontal Logos

NC State Extension Logo_Horizontal color NC State Extension Logo_Horizontal black NC State Extension Logo_Horizontal black text

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Media Resources

Interview Tips

If the opportunity arises to serve as a source for a media outlet (whether it’s a local newspaper or a national trade publication), take time to review these tips before providing an interview.

  • Know who the reporter is and what organization they represent.
  • Ask what the story will be about and when their deadline is.
  • Determine whether you are knowledgeable to do the interview or if you need to refer to someone else.
  • Develop three key messages and supporting points for these messages.
  • Anticipate tough questions and practice answering them with your key messages.
  • Don’t assume reporter knowledge; consider providing key points in writing.
  • If a reporter asks a question that you don’t want to answer, bridge to a response that gets across one of your key messages.
  • Be prepared. Stick to key messages, talk slowly and lead with the bottom line.
  • Avoid “no comment.”
  • Tell the truth.

CALS Communications Materials

Media Contacts

We are also available to assist with media relations and story development. Contact us or our team to learn more or discuss a media opportunity.

Justin Moore
Director of Marketing & Communications | NC State Extension
919.515.1596
justin_moore@ncsu.edu

Julie Hayworth-Perman
Marketing & Communications Specialist | NC State Extension
919.515.1592
jhaywor@ncsu.edu

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Online Store

*TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Visit our official NC State Extension store to find branded promotional items and apparel. More details are available on the Online Store page. You’ll need to login with your Unity ID.

Once you’ve followed the guidelines to create your store account, you can follow this direct link to the NC State Extension online store.

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Photos

Utilize our photo galleries and always follow the style guidelines when creating marketing materials. Our images are copyright-protected, on-brand and should not be used for personal purposes.

Find more information about NC State imagery standards.

Image Galleries

Photo Release Form

Royalty-Free Sites

When needed, you can also consider exploring royalty-free image sites. These sites offer freely-licensed visual media content, though fees may apply in some situations.

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PowerPoint Templates

Download slides with general Extension information to insert into your presentations as needed. Slides include basic overview details, Extension history, impacts and organizational metrics, as well as slide templates that can be customized.

NC State employees can also access tools and templates for Google Slides as part of the university’s G Suite services. Create, edit and collaborate with others on presentations from any device for free.

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Research Poster

You can create research posters in two sizes using these PowerPoint templates. To create a custom size, first remove the header by selecting and cutting it, and then resize the slide. Once resized, paste the header back into the slide.

You may also create your own header using the NC State brick logo and the Arial typeface.

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Social Media Assets

Refer to the NC State Social Media Site for best practices, the university’s social media policy and how to register your account as an official listing on the university site.

Social Media Tips Presentation (PDF)

Extension Social Media Messaging Themes

Extension’s social media content should reinforce and fall within one or more of the following messaging buckets, which align with our brand drivers and provide optimal support for Extension’s marketing goals and brand identity:

  • Best People (= Expertise, Profiles)
    • Highlight our topical expertise and employees: we have the best people and customer service (e.g. employee stories/profiles, some Homegrown videos, etc.)
  • Research-based Programs (= Content, Tools/Services)
    • Spotlight key programs and their impacts: trusted, research-based efforts driving growth and prosperity across the state
    • “Programs” = what Extension provides (tools, services, knowledge, etc.)
  • Extensive Partnerships (= Outreach, Network)
    • Tout our partnerships and vast statewide network: we’re in every community working with stakeholders to address timely issues that others aren’t equipped to manage
  • Leader in Experiential Education (= Delivery/How, Helping clients transfer research into everyday application)
    • Focus on the “how” / delivery aspect of our work: Extension provides individualized solutions (tools, resources, guides, events, etc.) that exemplify high-tech / high-touch, innovation, customer-oriented, localized

Social Post Checklist

  • Does the post support how we’re growing the state / improving the lives of North Carolinians?
  • Does it appeal to and/or is it timely or relevant to our audiences?
  • Does it support one or more of our four strategic messaging themes?
  • Could it cause negative impacts for partners or stakeholders (is there a chance it could deter consumers from engaging with certain products, activities, etc.)?

Image and Photo Tools

Quickly load and resize your images for specific social media networks using this free tool from Sprout Social:

Social Media Image Sizing Tool

Find up-to-date image size guidelines for common social media networks below:

Social Media Video Specs Guide

More Graphics Tools

Review the following graphic elements for branding your social media channels. You are not required to use one of these specific images, but you should model your social media account imagery after these examples and guidelines. All images are pre-sized and upload-ready for your accounts.

NC State Extension_Facebook banner example EFNEP NC State Extension_Facebook banner example Master Gardener
NC State Extension-Twitter banner example Master Gardener NC State Extension_Twitter banner example EFNEP

Profile Image
Download a Photoshop file (.PSD) to create a profile image for your Extension social accounts. Make sure to use on-brand imagery and follow the guidelines in the Photos section.

YouTube
YouTube banner images are more complicated than other social channels. We provide a sizing chart below to help you develop channel imagery per their guidelines.

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Stationery

Business Cards
NC State Extension business cards are available through Wolf Xpress at any time. Extension Administration will cover the cost of a new employee’s first order of business cards; our vendor has the account information to invoice the cards appropriately.

The following examples are for NC State Extension campus employees (click to view):

NC State Extension_Business Card sample_1 column

1-Column Sample

NC State Extension_Business Card sample_2 columns

2-Column Sample

How to Order

Download the business card layout of your choice, enter your contact information into the fields, and then save the completed form as a PDF file.

Submit your completed business card form (PDF file) to Wolf Xpress:

Mail
Wolf Xpress Print & Copy Services
NC State University
Campus Box 8116
Raleigh, NC 27695-8116
Wolf Xpress website

Fax | 919-515-7272

Email | Teri Hellmann

*Please allow up to 2-3 weeks for delivery.
 

Letterhead
We highly encourage employees to print letterhead in your office, as needed, or utilize our digital communication resources. For those who still wish to purchase bulk quantities of letterhead, you may place orders through Wolf Xpress.

Name Badges
Employees may submit new or replacement badge requests any time using the online order form found below. NC State Extension administration funds the initial name badge for all Extension personnel at this time.
NC State Extension Name Badge sample

Online Order Form | Name Badge

Contact the vendor directly if you have questions or issues regarding your order:

Cody Williams
cody@robertsgrouponline.com

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Stats and Strengths

Cover of NC State Extension's 2019 impacts booklet, which shows two women standing in a field in front of tall hop bines.

NC State Extension Impact Booklet

Visit our Stats and Strengths page to find annual reports, handouts and impact data that demonstrate NC State Extension’s value to North Carolina.

We don’t just conduct groundbreaking research; we deliver the outcomes directly into the hands of North Carolinians through better agricultural products and processes, educating and developing future industry leaders, and helping families and individuals adopt healthier lifestyles.

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Storytelling Resources

Visit our Extension Storytelling page for guidance and resources to help you develop effective stories and deliver more meaningful impacts.

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Training Opportunities

Our departments have great stories. Working together, we can make sure the world hears them.

Once a month, the CALS Communications team hosts a workshop for all CALS departmental communicators and communications enthusiasts. These sessions focus on best practices, tips and tools to ensure we are on-brand and effective in telling our story. We also seek to provide a space for networking and discussion between communicators who might not otherwise come in contact.

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Video Assets

Video Editing Resources

You can use these assets to create compelling NC State Extension videos that consistently reflect and grow the brand.

  • Download Video Opening/Closing Clips (.ZIP)
  • These clips should be used as the intro and closing frames for all NC State Extension videos. Alternatively, the transparent intro logo files provided may be superimposed over video as the video begins.

Need help creating or editing a video?
Visit the CALS Communications Projects page to get started.

NC State Extension Videos

These videos are housed on YouTube for easier embedding on sites and sharing with audiences through presentations, events or email marketing efforts that showcase NC State Extension.

To get the video link and access other sharing options, click the curved arrow icon at the top right of each video player box. Contact us if you need original video files (.mp4).

We Are NC State Extension

We Are NC State Extension (Condensed ver.)

Find N.C. Cooperative Extension partnership videos.

Comments or Questions

This site will be updated on a consistent basis to provide you with the most relevant and useful tools and information.

If you have suggestions for other resources or questions about using the current materials, please contact our team.

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