Addressing the Media
It is the responsibility of Public Relations to represent the MUSC community with the media. Members of the Public Relations team are available to assist faculty, staff, students, and administrators in understanding an inquiry from a reporter prior to responding. They are qualified to assist MUSC staff in making educated decisions about how to provide commentary on a particular topic.
Reporters are supposed to approach Public Relations first, but inevitably some requests do not follow this expectation. Employees are encouraged to send the reporter to PR first, before deciding to comment or making arrangements for an interview. This step is not meant to block interviews; it is meant to protect the university and individuals from bad experiences and/or press in the media.
Heather Woolwine of MUSC Public Relations stated, "Every little thing that staff, faculty and students do in a professional capacity reflects on the university as a whole. We've been entrusted to do our absolute best to monitor and preserve a good reputation, thus we need to know exactly how the university and its people might be portrayed. Everyone most certainly has the right to free speech, however, we ask that staff who use their MUSC association when commenting to the media let us know, at the very least, their intent to comment, what the story is about, who the reporter is, and any other pertinent details. At that time we can work with an individual to facilitate positive or neutral coverage."
If in commenting to the media you indicate that you work at MUSC, you are providing an opinion that is a reflection upon the university. If this is the case, it is advisable to contact Public Relations prior to commenting.
In addition to direct contact with the media, Public Relations offers media and interview technique training for anyone who feels they might find themselves participating in media coverage.