(approved February 25, 2008. Ref. nr. C2008/154)
The Guidelines on Communication lay down the approach and overall principles adopted by Chalmers in connection with internal and external communication.
1. Chalmers’ view of communication
Chalmers’ internal and external communication should contribute to the management and strengthening of the Chalmers name and the Chalmers brand. It must project a clear, uniform image of Chalmers and reflect the goals, vision and values it applies in its work.
Chalmers’ information and communication activities should be characterised by the fact that they are:
- Open – crossing boundaries and providing opportunities for insight and participation
- Accessible – easy to access and understand
- Up to date – on the agenda, applicable now, updated
- Correct – true, balanced and impartial
- Suitable – in terms of content, target group, channel and scope
Communication is considered to be a process whereby information is exchanged. Information is the content of communication, i.e. the message communicated.
2. Basic principles
The communication channels used by Chalmers should cooperate and reinforce each other. Communication activities should be planned and implemented in a professional manner. The use of communication plans prior to implementation can be an advantage. More extensive activities should be followed up and evaluated.
The design of all printed matter and information published electronically by Chalmers should have a uniform appearance which clearly indicates who is sending the information. It should be clear that the information comes from Chalmers. Chalmers graphic profile programmes should therefore be used.
3. Internal communication
Internal communication is a tool for disseminating information and establishing support for Chalmers teaching and research work, managing the organisation’s working methods and making Chalmers more efficient. Groups outside the University are contacted and recruited through employees and students and our students and employees act as ambassadors for Chalmers.
Internal communication should:
- create awareness and inspire commitment to the Chalmers vision, strategy and activities and thereby help Chalmers achieve its objectives.
- help create opportunities for dialogue and greater cooperation.
- facilitate day-to-day work and help increase employees’ motivation, commitment and solidarity.
- help to promote confidence in Chalmers and its work.
Target groups –participants
Target groups for internal communication are as follows (not in order of priority):
- Heads of department/managers
Because communication is a process whereby we exchange information with one another, these target groups also become participants in internal communication. The starting point is that everyone has a responsibility to contribute to good communication by obtaining, conveying and seeking the information required for activities to function.
4. External communication
External communication is communication with target groups and interested parties outside Chalmers, both nationally and internationally. Using this communication, we project a distinctive image of Chalmers and its work and raise its profile. Student recruitment is an important part of this external communication work.
As far as possible, external communication should be preceded by internal communication and consensus.
External communication should:
- contribute towards the perception of Chalmers as an internationally competitive university of technology which is strong in the areas of education and research.
- help foster confidence in Chalmers’ work and develop cooperation and good relations with our surroundings.
- contribute towards the perception of Chalmers as an attractive place for students, researchers and other employees and for the various parties interested in its work.
The following target groups are prioritised in external communication (not in order of priority):
- Potential students – everyone who could become a student at Chalmers
- Former students/alumni – everyone who has been a student at Chalmers
- Sponsors/financiers – the Swedish State, the EU, the Ministry of Education, the Research Council, foundations
- Politicians – who have influence over Chalmers’ circumstances
- The media/opinion formers – regionally, nationally and internationally
- Partners – companies, authorities, organisations, other universities, schools, etc.
- The general public – anyone interested in our work
Communication with the media
Communication with the media is particularly important. The media broadcast information and have a considerable influence on opinion. It is therefore important for Chalmers to get the right message across and minimise the risk of misunderstanding and misinformation. A well thought-out media strategy and an open approach should be adopted as far as possible in contact with the media.
Sponsorship is a form of cooperation from which both parties derive value for their mutual benefit. Sponsorship activities must aim to strengthen the Chalmers brand by ensuring that Chalmers is seen in contexts that fit the Chalmers profile. Also, activities must always have a clear goal and it must be possible to evaluate them. Chalmers’ decisions on sponsorship should be issued in writing. Any sponsorship received must be subject to a written agreement.
See also ”Föreskrifter avseende sponsring
” [Instructions on Sponsorship] (Internal document)
5. Crisis communication
In crisis situations, internal and external communication often takes place under extreme pressure, both in terms of time and in physical terms. It is therefore particularly important to be well prepared when a crisis occurs. Information to the target groups concerned must be consistent and facts must be accurate. Roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined. Crises may include events such as fire, leakage of chemicals, damage, sabotage, break-in, accidents and threats.
A plan has been specially devised for communication in crisis situations. It is contained in the section entitled “Om något oförutsett händer” [If something unforeseen occurs
] (Internal document)
6. Responsibility for communication
All employees at Chalmers are responsible for communication.
Every employee at Chalmers is responsible for
- obtaining, conveying and searching for the information required for the performance of work.
- contributing to the sense of openness and participation by communicating with colleges, managers, students and external groups.
- being a good, professional ambassador for Chalmers.
The President/CEO has final responsibility for information activities and for ensuring that communication is promoted within Chalmers. The President is the spokesman for overall policy and strategic issues as far as the media and other interested parties are concerned. The President is also responsible for ensuring that communication is used as a strategic tool in Chalmers’ development and to achieve its goals.
Vice Presidents are responsible for overall communication within the scope of his or her responsibilities.
Heads of department, managers or equivalent staff members are responsible for information activities and for ensuring that communication is promoted within their own department or unit. They are also responsible for compliance with communications policy and illustrated manuals. Communication is part of leadership. Heads of department and managers are spokesmen on issues concerning their own activities as far as the media are concerned.
Researchers and teachers are responsible for communicating their activities internally and to external groups within the framework of cooperation assignments. Researchers and teachers must also be available to answer questions from the mass media concerning their own teaching or research.
The Director of Public Relations and Communications is responsible, along with other employees at Public Relations and Communications, for planning, coordinating and implementing Chalmers’ overall internal and external communication and the work carried out to promote its image. This work should support management of communication issues and communication activities.
The Director of Public Relations and Communications is also responsible for ensuring that the Chalmers profile is correctly communicated and that a profile programme is available and can be used.
The Director of Public Relations and Communications is the main spokesperson as far as the media are concerned and should also endeavour to ensure that Chalmers’ contact with the mass media works smoothly and well.
The department’s information officers are responsible for providing professional support in their own departments on internal and external communication issues.
Student representatives in the various Chalmers bodies are responsible for conveying relevant information to the group they represent. Questions from the media concerning students and their activities are answered in the first instance by students’ representatives.
7. Legal aspects
The Chalmers communication policy is a working document at Chalmers, which means that it is an internal document subject to the laws and regulations applying to both internal and external communication.
Chalmers is equated with a public authority when it comes to the application of public principles and the Law on Secrecy. Certain fundamental laws such as Regeringsformen [Instrument of Government], Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen [Fundamental Law on the Freedom of Expression] and Tryckfrihetsförordningen [Freedom of the Press Act] govern everyone’s right to freedom of opinion, freedom of expression and freedom of information.
Communication and its contents are also affected by copyright legislation, the Personal Data Act, the Equality Act, the Act on Equal Treatment of Students and the Law Concerning Right of Participation in Decision-Making.