About the Office of Communications
The overall mission of the Office of Communications is to disseminate information about the college to our constituencies using local and national media outlets. From local student news to national recognition of a Westminster faculty member, using the media to tell our story shows the public that Westminster College is a positive force for education in the local and national community.
Another aspect of our relationship with the public is our desire to help educate and stimulate the minds of our local community. This office promotes the many cultural and educational events presented at the college: from our locally acclaimed theatre productions and summer concert series to our well-known Anne Newman Sutton Weeks Poetry series.
Production & Printing
The Office of Communications provides professional publication design and printing services to college departments, staff, and faculty. From a simple 1-color postcard with line art to a full-color custom designed-project with original artwork and photography, we can help you produce the right printed project for the right audience. For more information on the publication process, visit our Print Project Request page.
Westminster College Media Relations
The Westminster College Office of Communications is responsible for increasing the visibility of Westminster College nationally, regionally, and locally and for communicating key messages such as the quality of Westminster's faculty and students and the value of a Westminster College education. By placing stories about Westminster in the news, we increase the visibility of Westminster and enhance appreciation of the College among alumni, parents, current and prospective students, current and potential contributors, professional colleagues, and the local community.
We are here to assist you at any time with communicating with reporters, publicizing a story or responding to a media call. The following information is intended to help you when you are asked to work with the media on behalf of Westminster. Please contact the Office of Communications at (801) 832-2682 or 2680 if you have any questions.
It is the Westminster media policy that all media calls and inquiries are routed through the Office of Communications. Sometimes, however, a reporter may call you directly. In that case, we ask that you forward all calls from the media directly to us first and in return we will ask your permission before forwarding a reporter to you. We will then talk to the reporter more specifically about his or her needs, the angle of the story and their deadlines. With this information we will be able to help you prepare for your interview with the media, or if necessary re-direct them to another source.
When you do speak with a reporter, it may be useful to remember these tips.
Tips for working with the media
1. Respond promptly to requests
Please respond promptly. Reporters operate on tight deadlines from a few hours to several days, and not respecting those deadlines will damage Westminster's credibility with the news media.
2. Ask for the reporter's name and media outlet
It is always acceptable to ask reporters about the type and angle of the story they are pursuing, and when they expect it to be published or aired. If we are able to talk to the reporter first, we will do this for you before we direct a reporter to you.
3. Be prepared
If you aren't prepared to talk on the spot, tell the reporter you will call them back, then follow through on that promise. Have a short list of points or messages you want to convey. Be brief and concise, and stop talking when you've made your point.
4. Be patient
Some reporters will know a great deal about the subject; others may not. You can help a reporter tell the story accurately by suggesting what you believe is important. If you do not know the answer to a reporter's question, say so, and then offer to find the answer for them, or refer them to an appropriate spokesperson.
5. Don't go off-the-record
Anything you say could be quoted, though only a portion will likely be used. Avoid saying "no comment," which implies you have something to hide. Instead, refer the reporter to another source or to the Office of Communications.
How to publicize events and news
Media Relations at Westminster:
We seek out positive stories about Westminster and work to publicize them through the media, increasing Westminster's visibility. To do this, we:
- Distribute information and stories about Westminster to the media outlets (newspapers, magazines, radio, television and Internet).
- Cultivate relationships with reporters and media outlets.
- Monitor news to find the right fit for stories we place and locate stories about Westminster.
- Write content for press releases about newsworthy stories.
Contact us when:
- You find out about an event that your department is hosting that is open to the public.
- You hear about a professional accomplishment of a member of your department.
- You have an idea for a story about Westminster people or programs.
- When appropriate, we will pitch releases to specific media contacts.
Please don't assume that we know about your news and events. Be sure to inform us so that we can inform others.
Work with us well in advance. To get the best publicity, we try to send press releases out at least two weeks in advance of an event. We would like to have information at least four weeks before an event. Sometimes a press release might need to go out or a story idea pitched a month or more in advance. We recognize that some events are planned at the spur of the moment. In those cases, we will do our best to get information out, but short notice does put a strain on our schedules and makes it less likely that the media will run the story.
Always give us as much information as possible. It is easier for us to edit down information than to try to fill out a story.
We can help...
Because we work with media outlets on a regular basis, we have established relationships with the reporters and editors there. It is easier for those reporters and editors to work with our office as a central campus contact rather than with individual departments and/or offices.
All press releases issued through media relations are written in Associated Press style. A press release that is ready to print is far more likely to get media exposure than one that needs extensive editing.
We keep track of media deadlines and make sure that information reaches media outlets in time for publication.
Other ways of publicizing events...
If you would like to investigate posters, programs or photography for your event, please contact Robin Boon in our office at 832-2684.
Westminster Office of Communications
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2680
Fax: (801) 832-3104
Email: contact us