Media Communication Coordination, Issues Management, and Policy Communication

  • We maintain sole responsibility for issuing to the media official statements representing the university or any unit within the university.
  • University employees who are asked to respond to inquiries from the media beyond providing commentary as a subject matter expert or discussing their own scholarly or professional work are strongly encouraged to contact us for assistance and counsel.
  • Administrators, deans, faculty, and staff who are asked to respond to media inquiries on personnel matters, university policies and fiscal operations, emergency situations, compliance with regulations and statutes, and the like should defer the inquiry and contact the director of Media Communications for counsel.
  • It is helpful for university employees who respond to media inquiries not referred to them through CABS to advise Media Communications of the contact and provide information about the content of the interaction. Using e-mail for this communication is usually best, but please note that if the situation is urgent, call Kent Cassella immediately. Providing information to us allows the office to provide consistent and complete information to the media.

Please include:

                             -name of reporter and name of news outlet
                             -date/time of conversation
                             -summary of questions asked
                             -main points of response provided
                             -news outlet deadline

  • We are always available to consult with faculty or staff who have been contacted by the media. Please request consultation through the Media Communications main number at (517) 355-2281 during office hours. After hours, contact the media communications manager assigned to cover your area at his or her cell phone number.

Promotional Media Communications

  • With some specific exceptions communicated directly to the relevant units, we will coordinate, edit, and distribute all university news releases, except those dealing with topics noted below, on MSU news release letterhead. This includes releases intended for external media prepared by university employees outside Media Communications, which should be forwarded to us for review. This review will ensure coordination in the timing of releases, accuracy, appropriateness, and use of a consistent editorial style.
  • We play a proactive role in suggesting opinion editorials authored by content-area experts and campus leadership to advance MSU’s reputation as a go-to resource to understand important issues of the day. We also are available to advise upon and assist with placement of opinion editorials initiated by faculty and staff.
  • Communication with media on the following topics usually falls outside the priority set observed by Media Communications and, if desired, should be handled by the unit communicator:

Events, including conferences

Most faculty and student awards (we handle national/international awards like Truman, Marshall, Rhodes, Fulbright, and election to national academies)

New appointments/promotions (we handle appointments associated with major university initiatives or senior leadership positions)

Small gifts and grants (generally under $100,000 unless there is a unique or transformative element to the story)

Alumni news

Student news likely to be of interest only to local and hometown media

Technical/trade specific news targeting a specific discipline or industry (pitched to trade and industry outlets)

  •  However, if a unit communicator determines that items falling into the above categories have a niche, local, or national/global news value, the unit communicator should contact us to discuss/coordinate the process of informing media.
  • Any releases from MSU units should be placed on MSU/unit news release letterhead available from us at no cost for an electronic template and available on this website.
  • Please be cautious about issuing too many news releases. Every news release disseminated by MSU—no matter what the source—has an impact on the university’s overall credibility in identifying legitimate news for the media. Routinely issuing releases on items the media does not find newsworthy can negatively affect the university’s overall media communications strategy.