Multimedia content can help communicate your message using attention-getting audio and visual content. Whether you’re looking to appeal to your audience by producing your own content or hiring a vendor, here are some guidelines to assist with the development of video, audio and other forms of multimedia.

Producing Original Video

We encourage you to create video and audio content related to your work at Harvard! With the prevalence of smartphones capable of shooting HD video and free, easy-to-use editing software, you have the tools needed to produce relatively high quality content. Just be mindful of copyright and accessibility issues (outlined below).

Note: If you’re about to publish research, please contact the Office of Communications and External Relations at before you begin working on your video. They may assign their multimedia producer to assist with the video.

Copyright and Fair Use

Ideally, all components of a video or audio file are owned by Harvard—that is, the video was shot at Harvard; features Harvard faculty, staff or students; and includes imagery which is copyrighted solely by Harvard. But this is not always the case.

Any copyrighted materials not owned by Harvard, including photos, b-roll video, and music, must have the appropriate clearance, license and/or permission. For a more in-depth explanation, visit Harvard University’s Guide to Copyright and Fair Use. 

Note: Interviewees or others who appear in a photo, video, or audio who are not Harvard-affiliated should sign an OGC-approved appearance release.


As a public university, Harvard is required by law to make its publicly available multimedia content accessible to users with disabilities.

All videos posted on a Harvard website or on social media channels (including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) must be closed-captioned (text that can be turned on and off by the viewer) or include subtitles (text that is always displayed).

Sound-only files, including podcasts, interviews, and other audio-only content that includes the spoken word must be accompanied by a transcript. Note: Some audio distribution channels do not offer a means to add a transcript. In such cases, it is acceptable to add a link to the transcript on the Harvard page that the audio file is embedded.

Media Outlet Requests to Film on Campus

All requests from media outlets, such as television stations or networks, must be coordinated through the public relations team in Office of Communications and External Relations. The office will help with notifying security, reviewing appearance and location releases, and accompanying the film crew to shoot locations.


Q: Can I embed a Harvard video on our website or social-media channel?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Am I allowed to embed a non-Harvard video or audio file on our website or social-media channel?

A: Sure. If the owner of the video or audio has enabled its embed feature, feel free. But please indicate the source of the video. Any video you embed on a Harvard website must be captioned, even if you don’t own it. If the owner of the non-Harvard video has not provided captions, the video cannot be embedded on a Harvard website.

Q: Where can I find HMS-related logos?

A: HMS logos can be found in the identity section of this website.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about audio and video?

A: Send your questions to the Office of Communications and External Relations at

Q: Will HMS post my Harvard-related video on its YouTube and social media channels?

A: Maybe. Send a link to the content to Communications. They’ll let you know.

Q: Does the Office of Communications provide video-producing services?

A: The department does have a multimedia producer. Although our schedule is pretty busy, it doesn’t hurt to send us an email.