Media Inquiries and Publicity
To provide clear, concise communications, all media inquiries should be channeled through the Communications Office in the University Public Affairs department. This policy was established to describe the University’s position with respect to interacting with news media representatives. For the purpose of this policy, news media shall refer to representatives of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online publications, television and radio.
An employee or department that seeks to publicize a program, event or achievement should contact the Communications Office in the University Public Affairs department. Communications has access to numerous news media contacts and will work with employees to coordinate publicity or visibility for programs, events or newsworthy issues.
It is the responsibility of the Communications Office to initiate and/or respond to news media requests and to manage those interactions. When an employee or department is contacted by the news media, he/she is strongly encouraged to notify Communications immediately, before providing any information or responding to questions.
While on University property, news media representatives should be accompanied by a Communications staff member or a University employee designated by University Public Affairs.
WesternU complies with all federal and state laws regarding the retention and release of personal and/or educational records of employees and students, and complies with all privacy laws, including FERPA.
If an event attracts news media interest, all press releases and statements to the news media will be created and disseminated by the Communications Office. It is the responsibility of each department head to implement procedures to comply with this policy while also ensuring that academic freedom, free inquiry and freedom of expression within the academic community are respected and observed.
The University obtains authorization from those whose photographs are taken with the intent to publicize the University. Their consent allows the University to incorporate these photographs in situations appropriate to the image of an academic institution, including release to the news media, and to publish likenesses in WesternU publications, on its website, or in other recruitment or promotional materials.
Talking to the Media About Institutional Issues, or During a Crisis
Faculty and staff are welcome to talk to reporters about topics within their area of expertise. However, when faculty or staff members are asked to comment on an institutional question or an issue that relates to the entire institution, the reporter should always be referred to the Communications Office. The Director of Communications and the Chief Communications Officer will determine the appropriate spokesperson on behalf of the University. Communications will refer the reporter to the appropriate source for comment or will issue a statement on behalf of the University.
Mention of WesternU
Faculty, staff, and administration who speak with the media are encouraged to promote their affiliation with the University, and the University itself, during their interactions with media representatives. This does not imply that the interviewee is empowered to speak on behalf of the University as a whole.