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Communication With Media

Chapter 3380

Issued March 7, 2022

Table of Contents

.010 Purpose
.020 Policy Application
.030 Authorization to Distribute News Releases
.040 Invitations for Media Coverage

.050 Requests for Official University Position or Response

.060 Scholarly or Professional Experitse Requests

.070 Personal Speech
.080 Enforcement

.090 Questions

.010 Purpose

The Division of Communications and Marketing, or DCM, is Kansas State University’s official liaison to media so that the university can communicate accurately, effectively and consistently with a variety of diverse audiences.

DCM is responsible for communicating about all aspects of the university to and through media outlets and the university's website and social media platforms. DCM is responsible for coordinating official university comment on all matters regarding the university, including both proactive interaction and responses to requests. DCM is responsible for distributing and pitching media releases and advisories; publishing the university's daily e-newsletter, K-State Today; responding to media inquiries; arranging interviews and visual productions; and handling requests for distribution of information on behalf of the university. DCM also works with safety personnel and others for various levels of crisis communications.

.020 Policy Application

This policy applies to all university employees at all campuses including administration, faculty, staff and student employees when they are acting in their capacity as employees of the university.

.030 Authorization to Distribute News Releases

Three units are authorized to distribute news releases on behalf of the university.

  1. DCM is the primary unit for university news. With the exceptions noted below, colleges, departments, and academic and administrative units must submit news releases to DCM for distribution.
  2. The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education is authorized to distribute news for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension, or KSRE.
  3. K-State Athletics Communications Office is authorized to distribute all news releases related to K-State Athletics.

.040 Invitations for Media Coverage

If an employee wishes to invite media coverage of university sponsored events, a request for a media advisory or invitation must be submitted to DCM. The request can be made by email to media@k-state.edu.

KSRE agents across Kansas may directly communicate with local media regarding topics arising in the normal course and scope of their employment.

.050 Requests for Official University Position or Response

All media inquiries seeking an official university response or a statement on behalf of the university are to be directed to DCM.

Authorization to speak to media on behalf of the university may only be given by the university President, Provost or the Vice President for Communications and Marketing. DCM will coordinate the university response with designated university employees.

University employees must adhere to relevant university policies as well as all federal, state and local laws and policies regarding the release of information about activities of the university, or its employees, students, volunteers, patients or research subjects, including those that apply to privacy and patient confidentiality such as HIPAA and FERPA.

.060 Scholarly or Professional Expertise Requests

If contacted for scholarly or professional expertise, employees should notify DCM or the other appropriate authorized news unit that a media representative has made contact. DCM can be contacted at media@k-state.edu. When a request for comment is outside the employee’s expertise, they should forward it to DCM to identify the best resource and coordinate the response.

DCM is available to consult with university employees about the most effective ways to work with the media.

.070 Personal Speech

Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict the freedom of employees to engage in their scholarly activities, their personal involvement in community activities, or the right to express personal opinions.

The university reaffirms its Statement of Free Speech and Expression and the right to freedom of speech protected by the United States Constitution.

.080 Enforcement

Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with policies outlined in the University Handbook, USS Handbook, and any other applicable university policies and procedures.

.090 Questions

Questions about this policy should be directed to the Vice President of Communications and Marketing at 785-532-2535.