Coronavirus Toolkit

UComm has developed a list of resources, tips and guidelines for NC State communicators to use as we navigate this challenging time together. We'll continue to update this page as the situation evolves.

Resources for You and Your Community

The university’s Coronavirus Response website is your best one-stop source for university-specific information related to the coronavirus outbreak. Below are selected highlights from that site alongside other crucial resources developed by on-campus partners and trusted off-campus sources.

For All Employees

For Faculty

For Students

Trusted External Resources

Additional Help

Campus community members with questions related to COVID-19 can call the Wolfpack Response Line at 919-512-3272.

Content Strategy

NC State — and its brand — were built for times like these.

While it may be tempting to create entirely new messages or tag lines in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, “Think and Do” continues to speak to NC State’s ability to deliver world-class academics, research and outreach for North Carolina and beyond, whatever the circumstances. Consider how new content series or initiatives can underscore this message, not undermine it.

The university remains purposeful, intellectual, innovative and courageous, and our existing messaging — about solving problems, adapting to changing circumstances and preparing graduates for life beyond campus — is fitting for this moment.

That said, there are some aspects of NC State’s work that deserve special emphasis during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Continuity: NC State remains open. Even when on-campus operations are limited, our teaching, research and partnership activities persist. We are resilient. The good we do doesn’t stop.
  • Community: The Wolfpack rises together to face challenges like these. We continue to look after one another, care for our students’ education and well-being, and serve the wider community.
  • Courage: NC State takes bold, decisive action when the moment calls for it. We respond nimbly, and we marshal or repurpose our resources — including human resources — for the public good.

Prioritizing Content

In such an unusual — and unprecedented — situation, it’s difficult to determine exactly how and when to return to publishing “regular” content in addition to COVID-19 stories. Our plan for the near future is to aim for an appropriate mix of both.

The university homepage will continue to feature prominent pushes to the NC State Coronavirus Response website at the top of the page indefinitely. The spotlight section will include a mix of content both related and unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak.

UComm also has developed a Stories of Impact site with a Community in Action page that includes COVID-19 stories from across campus, pulled directly from Newswire.

The NC State Bulletin also will continue to highlight COVID-19 content, especially stories of faculty and staff going the extra mile during this crisis. If you have a story to tell, please share it with us: go.ncsu.edu/resilient-pack. We’ve started to fold in other content of interest to faculty and staff, such as virtual events, awards and honors, and research news.

Sharing Content

The universitywide Coronavirus Content Calendar serves as a clearinghouse for all relevant content being produced throughout the university. Please add your stories to this database and reference it for subject-matter crossover. This is a great opportunity to collaborate on stories with colleagues across campus. We’re also regularly mining the database for stories for the NC State homepage spotlight section and the Bulletin.

Language and Style

We encourage you to use the AP Style Coronavirus Topical Guide. It’s available for all to use, regardless of whether you have a subscription. Please also reference the university’s Editorial Style Guidelines.

Story Vetting

Routine college- and unit-level communications related to the coronavirus pandemic that use language consistent with the NC State Coronavirus Response website and that refer readers to that site are no longer required to be submitted to UComm for review. However, keep Brad Bohlander, Fred Hartman and Mary Cole Pike copied on distribution so we can remain up to speed on developments throughout the university and can update central resources as appropriate. The types of communications not requiring review could include event cancellations, scheduling changes, program updates to your unit’s targeted publics and other general information.

If you have any COVID-19-related communications that you feel are novel, broach new topics not previously addressed by the university, or are otherwise beyond the scope indicated above, please send them to Brad, Fred and Mary Cole for review before dissemination.

Media Relations

Our News Services unit is here to help you. If you need any assistance with media requests or story placement, please contact:

We’ve also compiled a list of NC State Experts on COVID-19. Feel free to reference and share it as needed.

Photography

Our university photographers are capturing current images of campus for use in COVID-19 stories. To access the images, visit NC State Photos and use the keyword search term “COVID19.”

Social Media Guidelines

The social media team suggests taking a phased approach to your content:

  • Phase 1: Acknowledge the situation in some way. You can do this by sharing stories about faculty who are demonstrating thought leadership, sharing NC State’s latest announcements about the coronavirus response or sharing resources for online learning, for example.
  • Phase 2: Share motivational/inspirational content. This can take the form of quote graphics, campus photos, dog pics or the like. This content doesn’t have to call out COVID-19 explicitly; your followers will understand the need for it and will appreciate the positive sentiment.
  • Phase 3: Slowly begin to weave in your regular content with COVID-19 content. Brainstorm ways you can digitally showcase student work. Think of events that have had to be canceled and the work that’s already been done to prepare for them, and consider ways to spotlight how folks are creatively adapting to these abrupt changes. Tell stories through the lenses of your faculty, staff and students, and empower them to share.

Modified/Canceled Events

To help spread the word about your events, please submit them to the University Calendar. If you need to update existing calendar events that have been canceled or changed to a virtual format, please contact Thyrie Bland.

When it’s time to begin rescheduling events, please remember to complete the Chancellor’s Attendance Request Form for all events in which the chancellor or provost is asked to participate in the formal program.

Day of Giving

When answering questions about Day of Giving, refer to the event as “postponed.” Once it has been firmly rescheduled, we will provide detailed information. The Day of Giving website has been updated to reflect the postponement, and the chancellor’s most recent update about the postponement has been added to the site. Communicators can pull from that message when answering questions.

Our Wolfpack has come together in an extraordinary way to support NC State students affected by COVID-19. In the span of one week, we raised $644,000 from 408 donors. Requests for assistance continue to come in. Communicators who want to get these messages out can direct their audiences to campaign.ncsu.edu/taking-care-of-our-pack. A recent story about the Student Emergency Fund may be of interest as well, to demonstrate that the fund has been helping students for some time now and will continue to be a valuable resource in the future.

Working Remotely

Here are a few tips, tools and resources for making the most of your remote work situation and keeping distributed teams functioning successfully.

We're in This Together

Please feel free to reach out to UComm and your fellow campus communicators with questions, needs or ideas through the StateComm email listserv. The address is group-communicators@ncsu.edu. Or, if you’d like to send a new message to the listserv through Google Groups, here’s a quick refresher on how to do it:

  • In Gmail, navigate over to the “Google Apps” grid in the top right corner next to your photo.
  • Click on “Groups” inside the app menu; then click on “My Groups.”
  • Select “StateComm (University Communications)”; then click on the red “New Topic” button.
  • Compose and send your message.

All messages will be reviewed by a listserv manager and distributed to StateComm after approval. If you do not see the StateComm group among your Google Group choices, that means you aren’t subscribed. Please contact Suzanne Stanard to be added to the list.