News Dissemination Guidelines
The Marketing and Public Relations Office is the only college office authorized to:
- issue news releases to the media
- pitch stories to the media
- produce NCC advertisements, postcards, direct mail, or other marketing and promotional materials
- organize press conferences
- provide access to college experts
The primary spokesperson for the college is the college’s CEO. If the CEO is unavailable, or if comment from CEO is inappropriate, the Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students, Chief Operating Officer, or Director of Marketing and Public Relations may serve as spokespersons, addressing college issues or queries appropriate to their disciplines.
Publicity for News and Events
Faculty and staff who wish to promote a college event or program should submit an online “Request for Publicity of Events and Announcements” form through the NCC Portal. The form will require a description of the program or event; the date, time and venue; the cost (if any) and sponsoring group(s); and any relevant background information and photos. A member of the office staff will facilitate publicity via the following vehicles, as requested: website post, all-college email, social media post, press release, etc.
Press releases will be disseminated to the appropriate print, broadcast or electronic media. Due to the nature of the news business, we cannot guarantee coverage. We have no control over editorial decisions made by news and assignment editors. We also realize that heavy news days may bump an NCC story for a story of greater local, state or national importance.
How You Can Help Us
Please do NOT contact a reporter or editor yourself. This hampers the ability of the Public Relations office to serve the college with one organizational voice and undermines our efforts to provide equal access to competing news organizations.
In addition, please do not produce external advertisements for campus events without contacting the Public Relations Office first (even if the event is sponsored by an outside organization). We need to review the content, design, use of the NCC name and address, and use of the college logo. These are important branding and stylistic considerations.
Please keep us informed of newsworthy events, issues or trends. Don’t assume we already know. Let us know as far ahead of time as possible about upcoming events, presentations, publications, and educational or outreach projects. If you wait until the day before your event is will take place, you’re too late.
If you would like to participate in print, radio or television interviews, let us know! We’re happy to help you communicate with internal and external audiences about the work you do at NCC.
What to Do When a Reporter Calls
Most of the time, reporters call the Marketing and Public Relations Office directly to request interviews on specific topics with faculty, staff or administration. We will contact you to arrange the interview and brief you on the topic, reporter and publication.
It is our policy to protect the privacy of faculty and staff. College office phone numbers are public and available on the NCC Website. We do not release information on anyone’s home phone number, personal e-mail address or home address. If a reporter wishes to contact you at home, we will call you first and ask for permission to share the phone number or other contact information.
Please let us know if a reporter calls you directly. We strive to keep on top of what is being covered and by which news organization. Also, we can help you prepare for the interview or field difficult questions for you.
How We Can Help Faculty and Staff
The Public Relations Office has extensive experience dealing with members of the media. Some of us are former reporters. We’re available to:
- Promote the work done at NCC by individuals, departments and divisions.
- Take photographs of faculty and staff members and campus events.
- Help write opinion-editorial pieces and letters to the editor.
- Let faculty and staff know when their names appear in the news.
- Provide media training and tips for handling an interview.
Tips for Working with the Media
PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW:
- Ask the reporter, “What is your deadline?” – When setting up the interview date and time, avoid vague phrases like “I’ll be in my office on Tuesday afternoon.” Arrange for a specific date and time.
- Ask the reporter to clarify the topic and whether he or she would like background material before you talk again. – Reporters appreciate having written background material, especially if the topic is complex. This also gives you greater control over facts, and minimizes omissions. The Public Relations Office can provide you with wide variety of fact sheets and background on NCC and community colleges in general.
- Outline the top three to five main points you want to cover.
DURING THE INTERVIEW:
- Relax! – Begin the interview by spelling your full name and providing your exact title. Ask how much time the reporter has allotted for the interview.
- Ask for the topic of the reporter’s assignment. – This is called the “angle” and will provide insights into the specific information sought.
- Never lie. Never fudge the facts. – If you don’t know the answer, say, “I don’t know. I’ll find out and get back to you on that.” When you speak as a news source your credibility and that of NCC is on the line.
- Avoid saying, “No comment.” – This phrase has a negative connotation. Instead, explain briefly why you choose not to answer (“I’m not qualified to answer that. Perhaps you should speak to the Academic Dean”).
- Remember that there is no such thing as “off the record.” – Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to see on the cover of The New York Times.
- It is all right to ask when the story will run, but never demand to check the story for “final approval” before it goes to print. – Reporters are not allowed to do this; their editors decide when the story is fit to print.
- If you think the reporter has not asked all the appropriate questions, tell them! – “We haven’t discussed NCC’s vision for the future. Did you know that we are taking over Disneyland in Florida and building a satellite campus there?”