The Catholic University of America

Speaking to the News Media Policy

Approved by: President
History: Issued    -- March 9, 2007
  Revised  -- June 9, 2017
  Additional History
Related Policies: Press Releases Policy; Faculty Handbook III-1
Additional References: Catholic University Experts Website; Office of Marketing and Communications
Responsible Official: Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications, tel. (202) 319-5600

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I.     Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to define who may speak on behalf of The Catholic University of America to the news media, in addition to explaining the role faculty and staff members can play in promoting the University in the news media by giving interviews about their areas of expertise and publishing commentary in their field.

University communications with the news media are managed by The Office of Marketing and Communications, which serves as a liaison between the University and the public and is responsible for a broad range of editorial, marketing, publications and other public relations functions. This ensures a singular and consistent University voice and message. The Office of Marketing and Communications serves as a primary contact point for media who are looking for University experts to comment on issues for news stories. In addition, the Executive Director of University Communications serves as the official spokesperson for the University.

II.     Definitions

A.     News Media mean entities or mechanisms for delivering news to the general public or to a targeted audience. News Media include but are not limited to: newspapers; magazines or journals; television or radio stations or networks; and online media, including Social Media.

B.     University Experts: Faculty and staff who have agreed to be available to discuss their areas of expertise with the news media.  Those faculty and staff members may be listed on the Catholic University Experts website.

C.     University Spokesperson: Individual designated to convey information about the University, including crisis communication response, to the news media. The Executive Director of University Communications is the designated University spokesperson, unless others have been designated to speak to the media by the Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications and Chief Marketing Officer.

III.     Requirements

          A.  Speaking to the News Media on Behalf of the University

The Executive Director of University Communications is the only authorized spokesperson for the University. In the event another member of the campus community would be a more appropriate spokesperson on specific campus matters, the Executive Director of University Communications will designate another faculty or staff member to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis. In the event the Executive Director of University Communications is unavailable, the Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications and the Director of Communications will work with University leadership to designate another spokesperson.

         B.   Invitations to the News Media to come to Campus

The Office of Marketing and Communications must approve the invitation of any member of the News Media at a University event and must give approval for any member of the media to be present on campus.   If an uninvited member of the News Media is on campus without approval, call the Department of Public Safety at (202)-319-5111 or the Office of Marketing and Communications at (202)-319-5600.

          C.  Speaking on an Individual’s Specific Area of Expertise

1.      University Experts

Faculty and staff members are actively encouraged to provide commentary to the news media on their areas of expertise in print and multimedia platforms. The Office of Marketing and Communications monitors news and provides the media with tip sheets, including University expertise available for commentary.

While the Office of Marketing and Communications serves as the primary contact point for media who are looking for University expert commentary, those listed on the Catholic University Experts website are permitted to speak directly to media. Faculty and staff members nevertheless should inform The Office of Marketing and Communications about an interview at the time it is scheduled and share the news clip with the office.

The Office of Marketing and Communications staff is available to screen calls from journalists for faculty and staff members who desire this service.  Media requests can be forwarded to (202) 319-5600 or emailed to cua-public-affairs@cua.edu.

The office also is able to assist in pitching faculty and staff members’ editorials to print and digital publications. If possible, faculty and staff members publishing media commentary or editorials should inform the Office of Marketing and Communications of the publication and, if possible, send the published text to cua-public-affairs@cua.edu.

2.      Individuals not Designated as University Experts

Faculty and staff members who are not designated as University Experts on the Catholic University Experts website and who are contacted by the media should always consult with the Office of Marketing and Communications before agreeing to an interview on behalf of the University. If a request is made about University matters, it should be directed to the Executive Director of University Communications at (202)-319-5600.

3.      Guidelines for Commenting to the Media

For a complete set of guidelines for speaking to the media or to request media training visit the Office of Marketing and Communications website or call the Executive Director of Communications at tel. (202) 319-5600.