When faculty and staff members are asked to comment or provide information on a University question or an issue that relates to the entire institution, the reporter should be referred to University Communications first. Media relations staff will collect deadline details and information from the reporter and reach out to an appropriate spokesperson for next steps.
University Communications is the first point of contact for media inquiries, including student-journalists. The office can be reached at 540-654-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org, with specific points of contact if you prefer to discuss an inquiry, idea or pitch.
Staff can refer journalists directly to University Communication by sharing this contact information, forwarding requests, or copying media relations staff in the reply, letting the journalist know that we’ll review the request and help them connect with a campus source if one is available within their deadline. Staff should not answer questions preceding this shared request. University Communications will help collect the initial details, providing research, expertise and options for a coordinated response. While media representatives often work under deadlines, they sometimes can email questions in advance, and a few may be willing to read direct quotes back to a source.
Faculty may respond directly to reporter calls when contacted about an area of expertise directly related to their field of study, degrees or current coursework and research. Media Relations is an on-campus partner to field media calls for faculty expertise too, and will proactively pitch topics with a faculty focus. While it is optional for faculty to contact University Communications prior to talking with a reporter about their areas of expertise, it is very important that the University Communications office be notified immediately after an interview. Staff members monitor and track the progress of all UMW-related stories in order to help reporters find sources and gather facts. Knowing to whom a reporter has talked will assist in the tracking process, and it allows the office to provide the reporter with all pertinent information. In addition, an archive of published news stories about the University of Mary Washington is maintained by the University Communications office, and daily news articles are sent to members of the Board of Visitors and other key groups.