Click here to return to the James Madison University main page 

Media Relations

CALL THE OFFICE OF MEDIA RELATIONS (ext. 3474) IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE

ON CAMPUS EMERGENCIES DIAL EXT. 6911

OFF CAMPUS EMERGENCIES DIAL 911.

The University has two basic guidelines to observe in crisis situations:

  1. Only authorized spokespersons (University Media Relations Officer or designee) may provide information.

  2. Only factual information is released; no speculation is to be offered.

OTHER GUIDELINES:

  1. All administrative and supervisory personnel are notified to report emergencies to the President and to the spokesperson. They should also be reminded not to speak to outsiders, especially to the media on behalf of the University.

  2. The President and other top administrators and the Media Relations Officer are to be informed immediately of existing emergencies. Complete details are to be made available to them, including what the incident is, how it began, who is involved, what is happening now, and what help has been called for.

  3. The President and the University Media Relations Officer and any other person involved shall confer and decide on the appropriate action.

  4. All calls from the media are referred directly to the Office of Media Relations at ext. 3474.

Reference the companion policy "Crisis Communications Plan for JMU" prepared by the Director of Media Relations for primary use by the Media Relations Staff. Important telephone numbers are included in this Media Relations policy that would be a useful resource in this Public Safety/Facilities Management Emergency Response Plan.

Public Safety/Student Media Relations

  1. Designate agreed upon Departmental liaison officer(s), otherwise known as "police spokespersons" IN ADVANCE.

  2. Provide specific and comprehensive training and guide lines for such spokesperson(s). Familiarize superiors with the tenets of police/media relations while identifying their policy orientations, accommodating their concerns.

  3. Indoctrinate all personnel in importance of following established rules in dealing with media through police spokesperson(s) and University's Media Relations office.

  4. Establish contact with student editor and media faculty advisor. Re-establish these contacts periodically, but, especially at the beginning of the fall term and whenever there are staff changes in the editorial "masthead."

  5. Establish ground rules and understandings, set mutually agreed upon information freedoms, restrictions and limits consistent with pertinent laws and prevailing practice, i.e., the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (aka FERPA Law, Buckley Amendment), Virginia laws and rules pertaining to protection of criminal records and histories as well as dissemination of related information as promulgated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and appropriate release of information as set by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

  6. Stress with editor importance to University, student media, and Campus Police the need to have one "police reporter" appointed each year for generally exclusive, ongoing, and immediate contact with designated staff liaison officer(s).

  7. Establish importance of coordination meetings between designated police liaison and police beat reporter.

  8. Support routine "police file" and "court file" columns to help minimize "sensational" stories and to facilitate weekly awareness information to the community.

  9. Constantly culture and maintain relationship with editor and police beat reporter.

Reference the companion policy "Crisis Communications Plan for JMU" prepared by the Director of Media Relations for primary use by the Media Relations Staff. Important telephone numbers are included in this Media Relations policy that would be a useful resource in this Public Safety/Facilities Management Emergency Response Plan.

JMU Division of Administration and Finance James Madison University Website