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Marketing and Communications Policy

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Marketing and Communications Policy establishes the lines of responsibility and standards for the Aquarium’s branding, marketing, and communications efforts.

Zebra shark face closeup

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific/Ken Kurtis


The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Marketing and Communications Policy establishes the lines of responsibility and standards for the Aquarium’s branding, marketing, and communications efforts.


Effective communications are central to the success of any institution. Whether it is through paid advertising, media relations, brochures and direct mail, promotional videos, TV commercials, web pages, promotional partnerships, social media, or other means, the consistent application of strategies to promote and protect the Aquarium of the Pacific brand is of vital importance to the institution.

Guiding Principles

The Aquarium wishes to foster tolerance of diverse political, religious, social, and cultural views in an effort to build connections among people who will then work together to resolve the issues facing our planet. However, the Aquarium has zero tolerance for violations of health, safety, employment, environmental, and animal welfare laws as well as acts or words that attack or violate the civil rights of a particular race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age. Businesses, institutions, or individuals that violate our standards are not ones with which we want to do business. Violations will be measured against the severity of the act, and how the institution may have responded by changing for the better. The Aquarium acknowledges that there are gray areas and will strive to ensure that everyone it does business with meets our high standards and everyone is treated with basic dignity and respect.


The marketing department is responsible for the development of marketing and communications strategies, and for coordinating the external communications activities of the entire Aquarium. No marketing consultants, marketing research firms, social media consultants, advertising agencies, or graphic design firms may be hired without the prior approval from the marketing department. All external film and photo shoots at the Aquarium or in connection with the Aquarium, must also receive approval from the marketing department.

Because of the wide variety of marketing and communications channels, the first point of contact and coordination of responsibility is divided among sub-departments as indicated below. These activities will include, but not be limited to:

  • Publications (including print and digital);
    • Coordinated through Communications;
  • Logos and Unit Identity;
    • Coordinated through Advertising and Research;
  • Advertising (including traditional media channels such as TV, radio, billboards, magazine, newspaper, etc., as well as marketing communications that utilize new media channels such as web sites, email solicitations, product placement, and other activities involved in marketing the Aquarium);
    • Coordinated through Advertising and Research;
  • General Public Relations (distribution of press releases, development of external newswires, and all other activities related to public relations);
    • Coordinated through Public Relations;
  • Promotional Videos;
    • Coordinated through Advertising and Research;
  • Web Pages;
    • Coordinated through the Web Team;
  • Emergency Communications;
    • Coordinated through Public Relations;
  • Market Research;
    • Coordinated through Advertising and Research;
  • Social Media;
    • Coordinated through the Social Media Team;
  • Promotions;
    • Coordinated through Promotions;
  • Group Sales and Consignment;
    • Coordinated through Group Sales.

The marketing department and sub-departments will research and review each new opportunity and monitor current relationships for potential conflicts with our Guiding Principles and may refuse opportunities that conflict with our Guiding Principles or are not aligned with the Aquarium’s mission, brand, or interests. Should unresolved conflicts persist, sub-departments will elevate cases to the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, who will make a determination, and at their discretion, elevate the case to the Aquarium executive team for further discussion and decision.

The marketing department will keep a record of case history regarding the decisions of any cases that relate to violations and potential conflicts of our Guiding Principles.

Social Media

The Aquarium of the Pacific uses various forms of social media as a way to communicate with its many audiences. In order to accomplish this, the Aquarium and its departments have official social media accounts, including but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, blogs, etc. These accounts are only to be used for the purpose of communicating and promoting Aquarium events, offerings, news, or the Aquarium as a whole. All posts must pertain to the Aquarium, its mission and vision in some manner. As such, they are subject to all applicable Aquarium policies.

As a general rule, the Aquarium does not censor comments to its social media. The exception is profanity, threats, disparaging remarks to other people or protected characteristics, or posts that the Aquarium deems a threat to safety or simply false.

The Aquarium reserves the right to remove posts that are advertising or promote another business.

Misuse of official social media accounts by a staff member, including posting disparaging or offensive remarks can lead to disciplinary action.

Staff members may not use Aquarium accounts as their own personal accounts. Staff member’s personal social media accounts may not give the appearance of officially representing the Aquarium or an individual department or unit. Permission to use any Aquarium of the Pacific logo, trademark, or photos and videos taken by staff members during their shift, on a personal or non-Aquarium account must be obtained from the marketing department. The marketing department will monitor and assist in coordinating the use of social media by all Aquarium units.

Staff will not create social media accounts for internal or external programs, projects, or collaborations without consulting the social media team. Once approved, all content created for such accounts must be approved by the social media team before posting and will fall under the Aquarium’s social media policy.

Further Information

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the marketing department.