Contact media relations:
- in a crisis;
- if the issue has the potential to negatively affect the university’s reputation;
- if the reporter seeks comment on behalf of Willamette; or
- if you would like assistance with any media inquiry.
If you’re comfortable sharing your expertise for a story, here are some tips:
- Gather basic facts:
- Reporter’s name
- Reporter’s contact information
- Media outlet
- Story deadline
- Context: What’s the story and how will your response be used?
- If you don’t have time to talk at that moment, let the reporter know you will call back — and make sure you do so in time to meet his or her deadline. You don’t have to talk right away; it’s okay to take time to prepare.
- Jot down your main points or messages before the interview, and refer to them as you talk. Prepare a few facts and examples to support your points.
- During the interview, try to avoid using technical jargon. Speak in terms that would be understandable to a layperson.
- Make your points clear and succinct — reporters are more likely to quote you correctly if you do so. An email or instant message response may be an option for less time-sensitive stories.
- Assume everything you say is on the record, from the moment you pick up the phone until you hang up again. The same goes for any electronic communications you exchange.
- Don’t be afraid to have the reporter repeat back to you their understanding of your main points. Clarify his or her understanding if needed.
Please share a quick summary of the contact with media relations; we’ll follow up for detailed information if needed. Occasionally, reporters call several people or the story affects multiple faculty or staff members.