Our relationship with the media should be transparent, with a favourable attitude towards journalists.
Contact with the mass media should take place in accordance with our guidelines and should be made through the official representatives of the university. An employee who speaks to the media does so as a private individual and not as an official spokesperson for the university.
Why do we need to have a good relationship with the media?
The media plays a very important role in shaping public opinion. The image the media gives of us at the university will be spread among the general public. Through the media, we can also reach many key target groups at the same time, such as students, employees, stakeholders, suppliers, authorities, competitors. We must therefore be aware of how the press works and take this into consideration.
Journalists will get the information they want whether we talk to them or not. It is therefore better to forestall than be forestalled.
What should you think about when in contact with the press?
Contact with the mass media often requires a swift response, but you can always ask the journalist if you can get back to them a little later, to give you time to ascertain the facts or consult with your line manager or public information officer, for example. It is usually better to say too little than too much. If a journalist turns up without warning, let him or her in and find out what he or she wants.
If you do not consider yourself to be the right person to answer the questions, try to find the right person who can talk to the journalist – or enlist the help of a faculty public information officer or press officer.
The mass media is interested in news that:
- are fresh
- have major implications
- involve conflicts and controversies
- are dramatic
- are unusual, unexpected or arouses curiosity
- are up-to-the-minute, something everyone is talking about right now
- are person-oriented
- are useful for a lot of people
Read more about our guidelines on contact with the press under Rules and governance, "Guidelines for contact with the press".