How to Facilitate Media Inquiries

Communications Protocol 6

Effective: 4/27/17

Revised: 4/27/17

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PURPOSE

To establish a uniform process for staff regarding media inquiries, to help the FOA Communications team efficiently manage requests, in accordance with PPM 310-40 Communications and Technology, University Communications: Publications, Graphic Standards, Marketing, Social Media and Media Relations.

TIMELINE

For media inquiries received by the department and sent to FOAcommunications@ucdavis.edu, a Communications team member will respond to each notification within four hours. For weekend inquiries, please call 916-712-4981. Alternatively, a media inquiry sent directly to FOA Communications and passed on to the department needs to receive equally quick responses. The actual answer may take longer, but acknowledgment of the inquiry within a four-hour window is critical. Reporters deal with very tight timelines and missing a reporters’ deadline could mean an unflattering depiction in a news story, or a missed opportunity.

SERVICES DEFINED

Media inquiries provide the university the opportunity to tell our story to a broad audience. Per policy, FOA and its departments are not pre-approved to proactively solicit media attention. However, the Communications team can help facilitate outreach and approvals between Strategic Communications and journalists.

Media Inquiries Directly to the Department

Some reporters working on stories may contact the department directly. Departments are required to contact Strategic Communications, and copy FOA Communications, if they are contacted by the media, before they provide on-the-record responses. FOA can coach the department through talking points and best practices.

Media Inquiries to Strategic Communications

Most reporters will contact Strategic Communications directly for information related to their stories. Strategic Communications will notify FOA about the nature of the call, and FOA will coordinate the details with the appropriate department.

TIMELINESS

Responding to reporters is critical when reporting the accuracy of an event or story. Most reporters work on tight deadlines, and need the information as quickly as possible. Failing to give reporters the information they need in time could result in misrepresentations of the information, and therefore, harm UC Davis’ reputation. There are also some cases when the university is required to make information available to the public.

PROCEDURE

Email News Director, Kimberly Hale, from Strategic Communications, and FOACommunications@ucdavis.edu. In the email, please provide as many details as possible, including:

  • What the call was regarding
  • The name of the reporter
  • The name of the publication, news channel, etc.
  • What information they need from the department
  • Deadline for the story