Media Relations Procedures
Academic and professional areas of expertise: UM employees have the right and responsibility to answer accurately those questions posed by the media about matters of public information. In that regard, faculty, staff, and administrators should respond promptly and responsibly to media requests regarding their research, scholarship, teaching, and/or professional expertise. After doing so, they should inform University Relations as soon as possible of the interview to assist campus media specialists in tracking media interest and responding to any needed follow-up.
Sensitive topics: With topics of a sensitive or controversial nature, the Director of Communications in the President’s Office should be informed about media requests before an interview is granted. The Director, or a designee, will serve as spokesperson.
News releases: University Relations prepares and distributes all UM news releases and announcements, except those for Intercollegiate Athletics, and distributes them to the media in a timely manner. UM employees should not distribute news releases on their own. The Sports Information Office of Intercollegiate Athletics prepares and distributes press releases for Athletics and regularly consults with University Relations.
News conferences: The President or a designee approves all news conferences. University Relations and/or the Director of Communications coordinates news conferences, except for those in Athletics.
In the event of a crisis or serious incident: The University has an Emergency Operations Plan that creates an Emergency Policy Group of Cabinet officers. During a crisis or serious event, the President designates a liaison from this policy group to work with the public. The Emergency Policy Group approves the release of all statements to the campus and the news media.
Privacy: Personnel records and proceedings and student records and health care information remain confidential as prescribed by law, and thus are not subject to public disclosure. Employees should direct all questions about confidentiality of information to the University’s Communications Director, who will consult University Legal Counsel for expert advice.