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Office of Communication & Marketing - Media Relations, Web Management, Welcome Ceter

> Communication & Marketing Guidelines


Tools for Communication

ALL work order forms and tools for communication are now located on

For all mail-related inquiries, please call (845) 257-3122

Office of Communication & Marketing

Phone: (845) 257-3245
Fax: (845) 257-3345
Haggerty Administration Building 411
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561-2443

Staff Directory

(Marketing, Media Relations, Digital Media)

Design, Print & Mail Services

Haggerty, 511
(845) 257-3971
(845) 257–3997 Fax

Print and Mail Services

Haggerty, 8
(845) 257-2646
(845) 257–3997 Fax


Other Campus PR Contacts:

Brian Savard
Sports Information Director, Athletics
Phone: (845) 257-3927

Smulcheski, Fran
Art Services Assist
Office: CT118B
Phone: (845) 257-3858

We manage:

To read our comprehensive guidelines, visit the New Paltz Style Guide.

All of us in Communication & Marketing look forward to working with you. Please feel free to stop by our office located in Haggerty Administration Building, Room 411 or call us at (845) 257-3245 if you have any questions.

Media Relations Training

In the event that you are to be interviewed by the press, being well prepared can make a difference. This section is designed to provide you with important information specifically designed to assist you in preparing to successfully complete news media interviews.

Rules of the Game

  • Who Agreed to the Interview?
    The decision to do the interview is yours. In considering a request to do an interview, ask yourself:
    • What do I hope to accomplish by agreeing to the interview?
    • How will I accomplish that . . . what will I say?
  • Communication Points/Key Messages
    • Define the two or three most important points YOU want the audience to hear.
    • Anticipate the full range of questions and prepare your answers - always explore how you can use your communication points in your responses.
  • Control
    • Be positive in your attitude; don't be passive.
    • Answer questions with your messages in mind - remember, you agreed to do the interview because you have specific points you want the audience to hear.
    • Be prepared.
    • Be concise.
  • Body Language/Appearance/Cosmetics
    • Look your best.
    • For television, eye contact is with the reporter, not the camera.
    • Posture is important - don't slouch, but don't be a stiff either.
    • Commandment
    • Thou Shalt Not Lie.

Types of Media Interviews

Newspaper and broadcast reporters work in vastly different worlds. Understand the needs of each and your message will be easier to communicate.

  • Print interviews afford more elaboration and allow for in-depth coverage. Print journalists spend more time developing a story than broadcast counterparts. Use this to your advantage. Provide background materials to substantiate your position and add credibility.
    • Print reporters may opt to talk to you by telephone. This cuts out a lot of the "leg work" for them. Our staff is an important resource to help you determine if you should talk with a reporter "over the phone" or insist that they come to your office.
    • Most print media journalists will come to your office. If your office is large enough and it's convenient, try to arrange your surroundings so you won't be sitting behind a desk or other "obstacle." Sit in a chair next to the interviewer.
  • Most radio journalists will prefer to telephone you for an interview. Radio news departments are often very lightly staffed, and if you are to get your message across, you'll have to do it via telephone. Be concise and to the point. You usually get only 15 seconds of airtime!
  • Television interviews that you might be involved with take three basic forms: talk show, on location, and ambush.

    The talk show format is friendly and very non-threatening because the focus of this type of show is generally light news and feature stories. It presents a perfect opportunity to control the interview and get your messages out. Your objectives:
    • Find out who else will appear as a guest and what their positions or issues are.
    • Arrive early; any contact with the host or producer can help you gauge your interview and relax...and prepare to deal with distractions.
    • Ask for water, if needed.
    • Take control; get your message out!
    • Use vocal variety. Use inflection, be enthusiastic, relax and smile.
    • Use analogies or personal experiences an audience can relate to.
    • Don't go off on tangents and bring in extraneous, gratuitous material unless you believe the question will allow you to take control.
    • There are no simple "yes - no" answers and no question is stupid . . . treat all questions seriously. Otherwise you risk looking like the bad guy.
    • Avoid using "we;" use "I."

    The edited news interview, or "stand-up," is one of the most common you would ever have to deal with. Its total air time averages about a minute and a half. Your objectives:

    • Look at the reporter, not the camera.
    • Your time is brief for a response so get your message up front. Remember, the interview will be edited!
    • Choose a setting or background that visually supports your story.
    • If you make a mistake, stop and start over.
    • Avoid time-wasting phrases - "that's a good question," "I'm glad you asked me that" and don't repeat the question.
    • Take a second or two to form your answer if you need it. Don't speak while you are forming your answer.

    The ambush interview is designed to keep the victim off-balance and usually concerns a controversial subject. The reporters and camera crews can be physical in their approach. Your objectives:

    • Remain calm - easier said than done! The cameras are rolling, so don't say something you'll regret - that's what they're looking for.
    • Take control and be gracious.
    • You are under no obligation to comment. Refer the reporters to the Office of Communication and Marketing and exit as gracefully as possible.
    • Notify the Office of Communication and Marketing as soon as possible.