Working with External and Internal News Media Outlets Policy and Guidelines
DePauw’s Division of University Communications and Marketing coordinates communications between the University and the public and is responsible for a broad range of editorial, marketing, publications, media relations, social media and other communications services and resources. C&M is the primary, official liaison to the news media – along with the sports information director for Athletics news – and is responsible for initiating, developing and maintaining media relationships in both responding to requests from journalists and in sharing University news. C&M strives to deliver an accurate and consistent message and respond in a timely manner to journalists, and to connect journalists with staff or faculty members most knowledgeable about the topic in question.
General media responses and opportunities
Faculty and staff members are encouraged to respond to requests from the media about their areas of expertise and scholarship and to provide commentary for print and digital news platforms. It is extremely helpful – although not required – to inform C&M after media commentary or responses are issued, so that such commentary or expertise can be shared on official University platforms, as well. C&M posts roundups to Faculty in the News weekly and Alumni in the News biweekly on the University website.
If a media outlet contacts a faculty or staff member to request a comment or response on behalf of the University, the faculty or staff member must refer the media representative to C&M to assure consistency and accuracy in the sharing of information; official University statements and responses may be issued only from C&M or someone officially designated by the President. C&M, in turn, will coordinate with University leadership to obtain requested information in as timely a manner as possible.
The official spokespersons of the University during a critical incident are typically the director of media relations or the vice president of the division, and when warranted, the University president or her designee.
Serving as a resource
C&M frequently refers media to subject area experts in our campus community, and, if notified in advance about a media request made directly to an employee, can often suggest additional points or perspective to augment the message.
Some employees are unsure if they should respond to a media query and/or prefer that C&M field calls from reporters to identify alternative sources, or may feel uncomfortable responding immediately and directly to requests for comments and interviews. In such cases, the employee can refer a call to C&M. Such requests can be made by emailing to communicate@DePauw.edu or contacting the office at 765-658-4286.
In addition to writing articles about interesting or noteworthy subject matter to disseminate to DePauw’s primary constituencies, C&M also can assist in pitching employee opinion pieces or story ideas of broader interest to the media. Please submit story ideas for internal and external platforms to communicate@DePauw.edu or call the office at 765-658-4286.
Applicable laws and regulations
Faculty and staff members, including official spokespersons, who speak to the media must follow all University policies and all local, state or federal laws regarding sharing information about University programs or activities, students, alumni or other employees, especially those that pertain to privacy and confidentiality.
Queries about student-athletes, coaches and staff in the Division of Athletics should be referred to the sports information director or director of athletics and recreational sports.
Writing or creating content for external media (i.e., op-eds, columns, blogs, podcasts, radio or television)
Faculty and staff members sometimes have the opportunity to contribute content for digital or print publications or appear as guests on podcasts or other mediums. DePauw fully supports these opportunities. However, employees must convey their thoughts as personal expression, not associated with their role at DePauw. A personal opinion piece in a newspaper, for example, should in most cases be from the employee personally and not by virtue of their position or role at DePauw (unless pre-approved by C&M as an officially sanctioned DePauw piece). Likewise, employee social media commentary should be personal and not offered in an official DePauw capacity.