Policies and Protocols
- Informing members of the public of what we can do for them
- Promoting the College’s achievements, activities and events of significance
- Expanding the general visibility of the College
- Ensuring that accurate information is conveyed to the public regarding incidents and issues of a controversial and/or sensitive nature
The vice president for marketing and communications and media relations manager, along with the president and appropriate members of the Cabinet, serve as official college spokespeople and convey the official college position on issues of general college-wide impact or significance or situations that are of a particularly controversial or sensitive nature. Inquiries from the media about such issues should be referred to the vice president for marketing and communications and/or media relations manager.
Depending on the specific circumstances, the president or the Cabinet may designate another college administrator to serve as spokesperson on a particular issue.
In cases of critical significance to the College, the vice president for marketing and communications and/or media relations manager will work with the president and other college officials to draft a statement to detail the known facts of the situation and summarize the College’s position.
In the event of a crisis or emergency situation, the vice president for marketing and communications and/or media relations manager will handle all contacts with the media and will coordinate the information flow from the College to the public. In such situations, all campus departments should refer calls from the media to the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Dealing with the Media
If a member of the college community (faculty, staff, student) is contacted by media, the vice president for marketing and communications and/or the media relations manager should be notified as soon as possible. Such notification can be particularly important if follow-up inquiries are made with other College personnel to ensure a coordinated, consistent College response. The Office of Marketing and Communications will partner with the community member to develop an appropriate response to the inquiry.
The Office of Marketing and Communications promotes the College through press releases regarding special accomplishments, events and activities, programs and plans. All news releases intended for off-campus or external audiences should be routed through the media relations manager.
Since positive media solicitation is an integral element of the College’s communications program, any ideas for articles or pieces that would positively portray the College, its work or its community should also be directed to the media relations manager. Likewise, the Office of Marketing and Communications should be notified as soon as possible about negative occurrences that are likely to rise to the level of a news story.
Crisis communications can have a lasting impact on institutional reputation and public support. How well we convey our message to the public greatly depends on what is reported to the news media. This is especially true in a crisis. Because of the emotions that usually accompany crises, images formed from crisis reporting are especially important in shaping long-lasting public impressions of the institution.
In the event of a major crisis on campus, the Office of Marketing and Communications should be alerted as soon as possible so that an official communications plan can be put into place to disseminate timely, accurate information and to ensure that inquiries are routed to the appropriate sources.
During a campus emergency, faculty, staff and students have a right NOT to speak with the media. Any situations where individuals feel a reporter has abused their rights should be reported to the the vice president for marketing and communications and/or media relations manager.
The vice president for marketing and communications is responsible for the development and dissemination of all College communications in the event of a campus emergency. This includes internal communications with students, faculty and staff, as well as communications with the media. The priority will be maintaining timely and open communications with all stakeholders, providing complete and accurate information that has been confirmed about the emergency situation and the College’s response to the crisis at hand. Communications with the media will be frequent throughout the duration of the emergency situation. The Wilson College web site will be used as a key medium for updating our campus community and the public on the details of the emergency situation and actions we are taking to address all related issues.