Communications Officers Network | University of Oxford
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Communications Officers Network

Are you responsible for communications in your department, unit or college? Whether communications is your key function or only a small part of your role, the Communications Officers Network is a good way to make contact with others working in communications across the collegiate University and share knowledge, ideas and resources. To join the network, please email

Termly meetings

The termly Communications Officers Network meetings provide an opportunity to hear updates on the latest communications projects and services and to network with communications colleagues. There is also a termly introduction to the work of the Public Affairs Directorate for those who are new to a communications role or to the collegiate University. Plus the network’s mailing list is a convenient way of sharing information, as well as seeking advice and sharing good practice.

You may also be interested in the Public Affairs Directorate workshops, free lunchtime training sessions that take place three times a term on a range of communications topics.

The next meeting will be in Trinity term 2018 - date to be advised.

Hilary term 2018

Took place Thursday 8 February 2018

The Hilary term meeting includes an overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come in to force 25 May 2018, the potential changes and the University's response.

Michaelmas term 2017

Took place Wednesday 15 November 2017

The Michaelmas term meeting includes an updated on a recent review of student communications, an update on the recent #StartedinOxford campaign and an introduction to the new 360 college images project.

Started in Oxford campaign slides 

Thoughts on 360+ video slides

Student communications review slides 

Trinity term 2017

Took place on 13 July 2017

Kirsty Heber-Smith from the MPLS Divisional Office talked about digital research engagement and communications work via Oxford Sparks and Chris Honour outlined services available from OxUniPrint.

File Comms Officers - Trinity 2017 - Oxford Sparks slides

Hilary term 2017

Took place on Monday 10 April 2017

The Hilary term meeting included insights from Pippa Nuttall of Oxford University innovation about campaigns supporting projects on the University's crowdfunding platform OxReach, an outline of the work of the Africa Oxford Initiative by Anne Makena, and some brief comments about University participation in the Hay Festival (on behalf of Kiri Walden).

File Network - Social media insights from OxReach

Office presentation icon Network - Oxford at Hay Festival

Michaelmas term 2016

Took place on 22 November 2016

The Michaelmas term meeting included an update from Lisa Seddon, Head of Events, about paid event management services, an introduction to the new Content and Social Media Officer Jess Turner, an outline by Lesley Paterson of European Researchers' Night 2017 and a fascinating insight from Glenn Swafford into changes in the research landscape.

PDF icon Network - Social media (22.11.2016).pdf

PDF icon Network - European Researchers' Night (22.11.2016).pdf

Network - Events Office paid event management service (22.11.2016) (opens Adobe Spark in internet browser)

Summer meeting 2016

The summer meeting of the Communications Officers Network was hosted by the Blavatnik School of Government, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG. We had a special presentation Gerda Kruger, Head of Communications & Marketing at the University of Cape Town, as well as updates on the process for submitting digital content and new image guidelines.

Communications Network - Gerda Kruger presentation 

Communications Network - Submitting digital content

Communications Network - New image guidelines

Communications Officers mailing list

The moderated list is available to all members to share communications information that they think will be relevant to communications colleagues, as well as to seek advice and share ideas and good practice.

Notes on using the list

  • As the list is moderated, your message may not be distributed immediately.
  • Avoid using “reply all” if your response is not relevant to everyone – as the list is moderated, messages that are intended only for the original sender may be rejected.
  • If you use the list to ask a question or gather information, it is very helpful if you can then post a summary of replies to the group.
  • When posting to the list please make sure that your message is of relevance to communications officers. Given the number of people on the list, it cannot be used to ask others to promote specific events or activities, to prevent email overload.

Message archive

In early May 2016, we switched on the archiving function for this list, which will allow list members to access previous messages sent to the list. To access the archive:

  1. go to the mailing list system at and log in using your SSO login and password (the blue log-in button is in the top right-hand corner);
  2. in the left-hand column, click on the mailing list communications-officers;
  3. at the bottom of the left-hand column, click on Archive.

You can then use the search function or browse messages by year and month, as well as sorting them by thread or chronological order. Note that the dates next to individual emails use the US date format – mm/dd/yyyy. The archive does not capture those emails sent before the archiving function was activated but all future messages will be captured.

Divisional and college networks and resources for communications officers

In addition to PAD's Communications Officers Network, academic divisions offer a range of resources and expertise to support you in your communications work.

Humanities Division: The Humanities Division website provides an introduction to Humanities in Oxford and has contact details for the Division, its nine faculties and the Ruskin School of Art. The Division’s Twitter account @OxHumanities promotes Oxford Humanities research by linking to projects and people, highlighting media mentions and blogposts by academic staff. To submit material for Twitter or for advice on how to communicate across the Division, contact TORCH (the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) engages across Oxford, with public and private institutions and wider audiences, bringing together academic research, diverse external partners, and the performing arts. TORCH promotes research through its website, Twitter, Facebook, and sends a fortnightly newsletter during term time. To suggest content for these channels or to get in touch to discuss opportunities to engage with humanities researchers, contact

Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences: MPLS maintains a website, which contains news, events, features and interviews, and a Twitter page @MPLSOxford. The MPLS communication network is attended by staff from the Division’s 12 departments who have responsibility for department-wide communications. It meets 3-4 times per year to discuss issues of common interest. See the MPLS website for contact details for individual departments and for the MPLS Communications Team.

Medical Sciences: The MSD Communications, Public Engagement and Web team runs a network for those involved in communications and public engagement activities in the Division. The network meets to discuss topical issues for the Division and there is a mailing list for sharing information and seeking input from colleagues. The divisional team produces the weekly events digest and the monthly internal newsletter OxfordMedSci News, maintains the MSD website, Twitter account @OxfordMedSci and image management system, and also conducts induction sessions with all new divisional communications and public engagement staff. The team holds a list of the main communications and public engagement contact in each department and can offer advice on how best to communicate across the Division. See the Communications, Public Engagement and Web pages of the MSD website for more information about resources, advice and training around communications, web and public engagement, and for contact details for the team.

Social Sciences: The Social Sciences Communications team supports communications work across all 14 departments. The team advises departments, research centres and projects on communications strategies, including print and online. They run a network that shares information and best practice, and delivers training on request. The team also manages a mailing list and works closely with the Research team to celebrate success in academic and administrative spheres. See the Communications team page of the Social Sciences website for more information, and for contact details.

Colleges: The College Communications Officers Network is an informal group for anyone working in a college whose role is partly or wholly communications-related. It meets approximately once a term to discuss anything of interest to members and share best practice. Members can also use the mailing list to ask each other for recommendations or advice. To join the list, send an email to (the subject and content of the email does not matter).

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