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How-tos and FAQs

Campus Communicators: Explore this list of frequently asked questions about collaboration tools and instructions on using communications systems at Virginia Tech. Find more tools and templates on the downloads page, and visit the references and tools page for additional information about things that university communicators can use to stay connected and aligned in their daily communications work. 

Please note: If you're a non-communications member of the Virginia Tech community, you should start with your college or unit's respective professional communicator for assistance with communications needs. For a list of college and unit team leads, see the contacts page

Collaboration tools

Use Cision

University communicators use this media software tool used to find media contacts, distribute news releases, and monitor media mentions. Several functions are available to any unit communicator at no charge. Questions/access? Email

Use Ensemble CMS

All university areas are encouraged to utilize the enterprise content management system, Adobe Experience Manager, to host their unit websites. For brand information, visit Web Design and Accessibility.

Use Microsoft Teams

Communications and Marketing uses Microsoft Teams for peer and group communications and collaborations. Recommended channel: Virginia Tech Communicators

Get information about Asana for project management and tracking

Communications and Marketing uses Asana for tracking and managing creative projects. Asana is approved for email addresses to use for free, and there is a process to purchase a full version of Asana for your team. Contact Procurement for more information and to get a contract with Asana. Note: A training service agreement is highly recommended for new teams to be set up and onboarded as part of a team's contract process.

Get information about Brandwatch for social media management

Communications and Marketing uses Brandwatch for social media management and monitoring activities. There are a limited number of seats available for colleges and units, and additional seats may be purchased via cost-sharing. Contact the social media team for more information.

Use Canva for branded graphic design

Virginia Tech teams may purchase Canva licenses to aid in their brand graphic design for a multitude of platforms and usages. Once a team has their license purchased, they will be able to access the official Virginia Tech branded toolkit, complete with the structural elements, fonts, colors, and templates that are found in the brand guide. Contact Procurement to obtain a Canva license. If you previously had a free Canva account using your email address, you can transition that account to your licensed instance using the instructions here

Get information about Adobe Campaign for email distribution

Communications and Marketing uses Adobe Campaign for regular and special email sends, as it's the Procurement-approved email platform for the university. Contact John Jackson for more information.

Get internal communications emails from Virginia Tech News

Virginia Tech News has an internal distribution list to receive internal communications from Communications and Marketing and the broader campus communicator community. Contact the Media Relations team to be added to this list.

Send Advancement emails using BBIS

The Advancement communications team uses BBIS to send emails to alumni and donor audiences in support of engagement activities. Contact Annie McCallum for more information.

Virginia Tech News and publishing information

Requesting help

Following common operational practices is paramount to aligning communications work at Virginia Tech. As a general rule, the university community should start with their college or unit's respective professional communicator for assistance with communications needs. Central Communications and Marketing provides strategic frameworks, processes, and support to the colleges and units to assist their work. For a list of college and unit team leads, see the contacts page

Across campus

Hire a freelancer

Communications and Marketing professionals should familiarize themselves with the relevant policies related to hiring outside contractors: University Contract Signature Policy and Procedures and Direct Payments Procedures. The purpose of them is to outline the compensation thresholds for needing to issue a request for proposals (RFPs) and who is the authorized signator for university contracts in their areas. For questions, contact Procurement at

Consult the Resource Network Guide for contractors and agencies that have been identified and vetted vendors in a variety of specialties and secured competitively negotiated university contracts for high-quality creative services. These contracts are available through HokieMart. This list of authorized contractors and agencies is not exhaustive, and more can be found on the Procurement website.

More campuswide how-tos