Mohawk College’s relationship with the community is affected in large measure by how it is portrayed in the media. All employees and students share responsibility for contributing to good media relations; however, it is important that consistent protocols and procedures are followed when sharing newsworthy events with the media.
Communication of Information
- 1. The President and the Director of Communications (or designate), are the only authorized spokespersons for the College.
- 2. The Director of Communications (or designate) is responsible for all media contacts and media advisories/releases. Any event or news that reflects positively on the College should be reported to the Communications and Public Affairs (CP&A) Department as soon as possible. The C&PA Department will determine the best way to share the information.
- 3. When an employee is contacted by a representative of the media, the employee should defer comment and consult with C&PA before responding to the media request.
Media Visits to the College
- 4. Mohawk College is committed to cooperating with media visiting the College to cover an event. Such media activity is encouraged and employees should notify and provide C&PA with details prior to the media coming on site.
- 5. Employees contacted directly by the media in relation to a specific event should inform C&PA and provide all relevant details as soon as possible.
- 6. Although photography is usually permitted, the following protocols must be observed:
- a) Anyone may decline an opportunity to be photographed for the media or College print and/or online materials.
- b) The entry of a news photographer into the classroom requires the consent of the professor or instructor.
- c) Participants must sign a ‘Photo/Video/Story Release Form’ (Attachment 1) giving permission to publish their photograph.
- 7. All advertising must be approved and placed through the Marketing and Recruitment Department and in accordance with Brand Identity Guidelines.
- 8. See SS-3300-1978 Corporate Brand Adherence for procedures covering all external printed material.
Personal Opinions Shared Through the Media
- 9. As private citizens, employees are free to express their opinions both through traditional media such as letters to the editor, or online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs; however, in doing so employees must not present themselves as a spokesperson of the college unless they are authorized to do so by the Director of Communications. All social media activities should be in adherence to the ‘GC-4200-2013 Social Media Policy.’
- 10. Employees and third parties operating on College property should inform C&PA as soon as possible if they become aware of anything that could reflect negatively on the College. C&PA will investigate and determine what actions, if any, need to be taken.
- 11. OPSEU and OCASA officials are free to make statements regarding the business of their union. When OPSEU or OCASA business warrants a reaction from the College, the Director of Communications in consultation with Human Resources will issue official statements or respond to media requests on the President’s authority.
- 12. Administrative staff members outside the bargaining unit should refer all news queries concerning OPSEU to the Director of Communications.
- 13. Media questions concerning the Mohawk Students’ Association should be referred to Association’s Executive Director. The Vice President, Student Services and the Director of Communications should be informed if the potential for media coverage exists.
- 14. Third parties are not authorized to speak to the media on behalf of the College. All media inquiries should be referred to C&PA Department.
- 15. The Athletics and Recreation Department may communicate with the media concerning athletic events. C&PA should be informed and be ready to advise and assist on major events if required.
- 16. Emergencies as defined by the Emergency Response Policy CS 1403-2008 should be handled in accordance with Mohawk’s Emergency Response Plan.
Snow and Storm Emergencies
- 17. Decisions on cancellation or closure of campuses are made in accordance with – ‘ERP803 College/Campus Emergency Closure Procedure.’ The Director of Communications (or designate) is responsible for communicating with the media regarding storm or emergency measures, cancellation of classes or the closing of campuses or the College.