Procedure VII.7001.A.a, Public Relations
The purpose of the San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department is to tell the story of the College’s students, employees, alumni and programs through multiple communications channels. The department provides strategic counsel, creative solutions, and timely, responsive services to internal and external clients.
All media relations requests and actions flow through the Marketing, Public Relations, and Government Affairs department for three reasons:
- To ensure consistency in messaging from all areas of the College with news media.
- To maintain a high level of credibility with the media.
- To protect the reputation of the College, its students and its employees.
The Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department will always be an honest provider of information to the public. One of the College’s eight values is integrity – acting in ways which instill confidence and trust – which is vital to maintaining successful public relations efforts for the College. Failure to provide accurate information to the public in general -- and specifically to the news media -- could damage the credibility of the College and diminish the effectiveness of its relationships with news media.
I. Public Relations Staff Responsibility
The public relations staff has primary responsibility for "coverage" of news and information throughout the College. Communications coordinators work closely with each campus and College departments to produce news items concerning activities, events, students, programs and employees. The public relations staff is also responsible for sports information to promote the College’s athletic programs.
II. Event Coverage
- News releases for events are prepared in advance when events are open to the public, or at least open to news coverage. The only exception to this would be when the event, in the judgment of the Vice Chancellor, Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs; or Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, is of such overriding importance to the public that an advance release in itself would be news.
- San Jacinto College employees and staff are encouraged to provide the public relations staff with three to four weeks advance notice of events. This allows the public relations staff ample time to research, interview and disseminate the event information to the news media to garner interest and coverage.
III. Contact with the Media and Preparing for Interviews
Opportunities exist outside of crisis situations (see section IV for crisis communications) for members of the College community, including students, faculty and staff, to be interviewed and tell the story of San Jacinto College. Employees must refer all media requests to the Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations; and public relations staff will prepare employees and / or students for interactions with reporters.
Reporters are professionals attempting to communicate information to their respective audiences in the most interesting and accurate way. Reporters represent the public's right to know and they attempt to be as objective as they can. However, the constant pressure to meet deadlines makes their job extremely difficult. Deadlines force reporters to prepare a story by a certain time or date, whether or not they can present both sides. They look to experts to describe the "bottom line" of what the issue is and why it is relevant.
Things to know
If a reporter contacts an employee directly, the employee should direct the reporter to the Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations. The public relations staff will then make arrangements for the appropriate staff or students to interview at a mutually agreeable time, including any necessary time on campus.
Beware of talking "off the record." Even though employees or students can ask that what is said not be used, even if a reporter agrees, that information may still turn up in print or on-air.
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.
San Jacinto College public relations staff members will disseminate College news to the media, but under no circumstance does the media have an obligation to print or air any news, photo releases or briefs.
IV. Crisis Communications
The College has established two basic guidelines for communicating with the media, which should be observed by employees and students, 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.
- 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.
V. Filming and Photography on Campus
Filming and photography will be permitted at San Jacinto College locations, campuses, grounds, facilities, or properties (whether owened or leased) in accordance with this information and provided that such activity does not interfere with the educational or normal business operations and program functions or previously scheduled events of the College, and does not pose a security or safety risk. Further, the use or re-use of the filming or photography output must not be deemed inconsistent with College values or in violation of the policies of the College. All activities requiring College resources, such as police, grounds restoration, traffic control, parking, and any other College services rendered shall be charged to the user.
a. External Use Filming or Photography
For purposes of this information, External Use shall include filming or photography on campus for commercial or non-commercial purposes and for which San Jacinto College will not own the copyright to the work created. No campus images may be used without prior written authorization from the Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department.
b. Internal Use Filming or Photography
For purposes of this information, Internal Use shall include all filming and/or photography on any campus which is not incidental for non-commercial use by a San Jacinto College employee or student, or contracted for by a San Jacinto College department or unit and for which San Jacinto College exercises artistic, creative control.
Departments or units that engage the services of non-College staff (e.g., a commercial photographer or film company) for any Internal Use filming or photography must ensure that terms governing the use and re-use of any campus images are clearly spelled out in the agreement with each contractor. Departments should pursue all ownership rights and interests in the work created on behalf of the College and paid for with College funds.
c. News Reporting
For purposes of this information, news reporting is live or recorded filming or photography and transmission (with or without audio recording) as “active” or “breaking” news or pre-recorded for a later newscast, by a qualified news reporting service. All requests for news reporting should be referred to the Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations. News organizations must receive verbal permission from the Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department before news reporting can commence.
In most cases, a public relations staff member will accompany television news film crews. Any disputes involving news reporting should be referred to the Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, for resolution.
d. Incidental, Non-commercial Filming or Photography
No special permission is required for the incidental filming or photography by San Jacinto College faculty or staff creating work to be used for non-commercial, educational or administrative purposes provided such incidental filming or photography can be done unobtrusively without interrupting campus programs, classes or activities and will not require any special campus services (Campus Police, maintenance, etc.).
In addition, no special permission is required for the incidental, unobtrusive non-commercial filming or photography by visitors or tourists to the campus. Any such filming or photography may not be used for commercial purposes at any time without the express written permission of the Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department.
e. Non-News and Commercial Filming or Photography
San Jacinto College does not allow the use of its campuses and facilities for the purpose of non-news and commercial filming or photography. However, the Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department may consider specific requests. Express written permission is required at least 30 days in advance of the projected filming or photo shoot date. Requests must include the following information:
- Name and description of the individual, company or organization making the request.
- Project description, which may include scripts and / or storyboards, and the manner in which San Jacinto College will be represented.
- The specific sites on campus, including buildings and / or facilities, to be included in the filming or photography.
- Proposed date(s) and time(s) for the filming or photography shoot, including set-up and breakdown.
- A list of all equipment that will be used.
- A copy of all releases, agreements or other legal documents proposed by the production individual, company or organization.
- Proof of liability insurance.
If a specific facility is required for the filming or photography shoot, the requestor must obtain a contract with the respective campus services department. A fee may be required.
f. San Jacinto College Identification and Appropriate Use of Campus Images
No identification of San Jacinto College as the location of external use filming or photography will be permitted, except that which has been approved in advance by the Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department.
No trademarked icons, images, logos, or widely recognizable landmarks or highly sensitive locations of the College shall be filmed, photographed, or otherwise reproduced for any commercial purposes now or in the future.
San Jacinto College staff and faculty should become familiar with the provisions of this procedure and avail themselves of appropriate departmental and campus resources in all instances of filming and photography on campus. The Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs department is ultimately responsible for reviewing all requests for filming and photography on College campuses.
VI. Social Media Guidelines
San Jacinto College has established guidelines for students and employees to consider when establishing a social media online presence. The social media guidelines for employees and students are available on the College website.
Campus Image: A still or moving image of San Jacinto College property that can be readily identified by the public as College property by architecture, landmarks, signage, the presence of prominent individuals, the inclusion of logo clothing or athletic uniforms or any other means.
College Name and Graphic Marks: Any use of the College name or any form of the College name including the campuses or district office. Graphic marks include the college logo, tagline, advertising campaign, seal and campus mascots.
Filming: The capturing of moving or still images of San Jacinto College property by any means on any media now known or that may be invented in the future including, but not limited to, film, videotape, digital disk or any electronic transmission to another medium or to the Internet.
Photography: The capturing of still images onto any compatible medium, or posting to the Internet, by any means or devices now known or that may be invented in the future including, but not limited to, film cameras, digital cameras, electronic devices such as personal computers (PC), mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), etc.
Public Information Officer: The Public Information Officer, or PIO, is the designated spokesperson during a crisis situation at San Jacinto College. The PIO is a member of the incident management team.
Date of SLT Approval
November 28, 2017
February 6, 2018
Policy VII.7001.A, Public Relations
Primary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure
Vice Chancellor, Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs
Secondary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure
Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations