Issued: May 12, 1993
Owner: Office of the President
GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION ACTIVITIES
This policy describes the general guidelines for public information activities.
2.0 Policy [Top]
The Director of University Relations is the institutional spokesperson after the President, and the Office of University Relations is the primary contact with external media. A communications firm, specializing in higher education, assists in expanding the institution's national visibility. To avoid confusion and unnecessary duplication of effort, the following guidelines apply to public information activities by other University or foundation offices:
- School-based public relations directors and University Relations information officers who work with those schools share the obligation to consult regularly about issues, activities, and achievements of interest to the public.
- In most cases, press releases and other written statements to the general press are to be distributed by University Relations on institutional letterhead. Announcements to specialized media of foundation news or school/departmental activities of interest to more targeted audiences may be handled by the school-based public relations director after consultation with University Relations.
- Reporters seeking interviews are welcome to call faculty, students, or administrators directly, to contact a school- based public relations director, or to work through University Relations. However the contact is made, University Relations should be informed of stories in progress. When notified in advance, University Relations staff can often suggest additional resources to the reporter or, at the very least, arrange to tape a broadcast or watch for a newsclip.
- School-based public relations directors planning to approach reporters with story ideas should coordinate with University Relations to avoid duplication of effort. Combining resources for out-of-town media visits is encouraged.
- When University-affiliated foundations contract with outside firms for help in media relations (separate from the firm serving the University as a whole), special attention must be paid to balancing the proprietary rights of those firms with the University's overall interest in maximizing press coverage of its newsworthy people and programs. Possible conflicts must be resolved through early and specific discussions between school-based directors and University Relations. Representatives of an outside firm should not speak publicly on behalf of the University or one of its schools without the advance agreement of University Relations.
- As the University Faculty Handbook states, school-based public relations directors should refer media questions relating to institutional issues or policies to University Relations or the appropriate vice president.
3.0 Definitions [Top]
4.0 References [Top]
5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]
Originally Issued by the Office of the President, November 16, 1992.