Meeting the Press
If you are contacted by a representative of the media, please contact the University Relations & Marketing or the News Bureau Manager first. It is not our objective to obstruct any news coverage, but simply to provide the most efficient service possible and the most accurate information available. It also is our goal to follow news coverage related to the University and it is helpful to be aware of any potential stories.
To make your next encounter with the press pleasant and productive, review these 10 basic tips:
- Ask your own questions when making initial contact: reporter's name, publication or station affiliation and deadline information.
- Focus your thoughts, then make your point early and make it often.
- Educate the reporter with terms you use casually but with which the average reader or viewer may not be familiar. Refrain from using obscure terminology unique to your field.
- Keep it short and to the point, particularly for broadcast media. Try to state the key point in 20 seconds or less.
- Repeat the question. Repeat important points.
- Refrain from providing information "off the record". It's an unwise practice surrounded by difficulties and misunderstandings. Anything you say can be used!
- Expect to view, hear or read the reporter's piece along with the rest of the public.
- Know it's better to be frank and open, or just say, "no comment," than to be unreachable. Even a general statement is better than none at all.
- Go to the reporter first if you have a problem with the published account. If you feel the reporter is unresponsive, then go to the editor.
- When reporters write or broadcast well-presented stories, let them know. A brief note or phone call would be appropriate.