The College has established basic guidelines for communicating with the media, which should be observed in all situations, especially in crisis situations:
- The vice president, marketing and public relations; and the senior communications coordinator, are the authorized spokespersons (Public Information Officer) to disseminate information to the media, unless the Chancellor appoints an alternate designee or the PIO requests an employee to speak to the media. In crisis situations, employees are not to engage with the media on behalf of San Jacinto College.
- The PIO is the point of contact between media and College resources, provide(s) referrals to proper sources of information within the College community, and will provide a consistent message to the media and the public during crisis situations.
- The most accurate information is the only information that will be distributed. No College employee is to offer any speculation.
Procedures to Follow
- Employees are not to speak with the media unless requested to do so by the Public Information Officer.
- All contacts from the media must be referred directly to the vice president, marketing and public relations, at 281-998-6160 (office) or 713-542-7729 (mobile); or the senior communications coordinator at 281-991-2633 (office) or 713-858-8248 (mobile).
- The incident management team will keep the vice president, marketing and public relations apprised of the status of all emergencies.
- Employees should be wary of video cameras or photographers on campus that are not accompanied by a member of the College public relations staff. Employees should contact the vice president, marketing and public relations; or the senior communications coordinator, if media is seen on campus unaccompanied.
- Under no circumstances shall anyone other than the designated spokesperson(s) release the names of victims or details about the emergency situation. The spokesperson(s) shall not release any information about the victims without direct authorization from the incident management team to ensure family members have been appropriately contacted.
- Family members affected by a crisis situation on campus are discouraged from agreeing to provide media with an interview. However, if they choose to grant an interview, it is recommended that the vice president, marketing and public relations; the senior communications coordinator; or a member of the incident management team be present during interviews with family members to ensure that media follow ground rules and that inappropriate questions are not asked.
The vice president, marketing and public relations; or the senior communications coordinator will disseminate communication approved by the incident management team to the campus community through the Emergency Notification System, SJC AlertMe, as well as through news releases to the media. The College website and official College social media outlets will be updated throughout an emergency situation, as well as the emergency notification phone line 1-877-316-8308. It is important to remember that the College website and emergency notification systems are the official form of communication. Students and employees should not rely solely on media for information during a crisis situation.