University of Southern Mississippi encourages administrators,
faculty and staff to cooperate with members of the media. They
should, however, keep the director or the assistant director of
the Department of Marketing and Public Relations informed of press
contacts concerning events, incidents and developments in which
there is, or might develop, a public interest.
order to maintain a good relationship with the media, it is important
that all material intended for print or broadcast media be submitted
to the Department of Marketing and Public Relations for assistance
with editing and distribution. To ensure the most appropriate person
has contact with the media, media requests should come through the
Department of Marketing and Public Relations.
to respond to media inquiries
get the reporter's name and the publication or station represented.
Then, to ensure the most appropriate person speaks on behalf of
the university, ask the media representative to contact the Department
of Marketing and Public Relations for further assistance and to
facilitate interviews in a timely manner.
answering questions, be fair, friendly and factual. Please also
remember that there is no such thing as an off-the-record comment.
you are expected to comment on matters within your area of expertise.
Sometimes, however, a reporter may ask for a comment on a subject
outside your area. In this case, refer them back to the Department
of Marketing and Public Relations. Never speculate. It is best not
to give a personal opinion on any subject, because it may be misconceived
that you are speaking for your colleagues or the administration.
should not assume that you will see the reporter's story before
it is published or broadcast. The media representative is under
no obligation to allow viewing of copy or video.
scientific or technical data are involved, you may offer to help
the reporter check the story for accuracy, particularly if the reporter
is not a writer specializing in the field. Some reporters are willing
to check their technical data back with the source, if time permits.
If you are offered the opportunity for this type of review, remember
that time is critical to the journalist facing a deadline.
If you, or members of your department, would like to schedule media
training, call the Department of Marketing and Public Relations
at (601) 266-4491 to make an appointment.