Media Communications – Approved 2.23.2013


From time to time, the School may have the opportunity to interact with members of the media.  These situations may arise as a result of crisis, controversy, or the School’s desire to notify the public at large about a specific event or other information.

Definitions

A Crisis includes any emergency or controversy that could negatively affect the public perception or reputation of the School, such as fires, accidents, explosion, tornadoes, and other weather-related incidents and natural disasters.

Controversies include: crimes against students, faculty, or staff; suicides; student demonstrations; inappropriate conduct by faculty, staff, or students; academic freedom issues; fiscal irregularities; and personnel issues.

Purpose of Policy

School employees and agents have many allegiances:  to their discipline or profession, to the School, and to the community at large.  These allegiances are not always in harmony.

It is not the intention of this policy to curb freedom of speech or to enforce strict rules and regulations.  Rather, the intention is to establish a framework for achieving an effective working relationship with the media. The School welcomes the opportunity to talk to the media and, through them, to debate issues in the public arena.

Timely Communication

It is the policy of the School to respond to news media questions/inquiries effectively, accurately, and on a timely basis to help promote public understanding of School services, activities, and issues.  Every effort should be made to meet media deadlines and to ensure that all information released is accurate.

Type of Communication

Effective communications with the news media shall be accomplished both responsively and pro-actively.  In an effort to minimize misunderstandings with our communications, we will always strive to put all communications in writing whenever possible.

Authorized Parties

The foundation of good media relations is the coordination, uniformity, accuracy, and timeliness of the information released.  The Director will serve as the official spokesperson for the School and will communicate the official view on any issues presented to us for comment.  Consequently, all requests for information from the media must be directed to the School’s Director or Director’s designee in the absence of the Director.  This includes requests for information received while at School, while at School functions, and while off-duty and away from the School.

The School’s Director is solely responsible for all School-based interactions with the media, including:  Issuing all official School news releases, responding to or coordinating the response to inquiries from reporters issuing of all official School statements to the media, scheduling all official School news conferences and coordinating and implementing the communications response to a crisis.  The Director should be notified of a crisis or any potential crisis immediately.