Media Guidelines

Branding, Marketing and Communication

Procedure for university related media inquiries and crisis guidelines

Branding, Marketing and Communication -

  • Coordinates and oversees all media and public relations activities
  • All media inquiries should be reported to Branding, Marketing and Communication’s staff
  • Determines University information to disseminate to the media
  • Determines media outlets for notification of University status to students and personnel
  • Acts or assigns an expert spokesperson as appropriate
  • Provides pertinent information to the Executive Management Team for decision making

General Crisis Guidelines


Crisis management has historically encountered three problems: 1) All crises are different. There are no 10 steps that if religiously adhered to will solve the crisis. 2) Crises happen too fast. Conventional plans involve a slow-to-evolve pace. Crises do not allow for the same deliberation. 3) Plans create a false sense of security. While it is important to think ahead, there is no substitute for careful, immediate response to a situation. A fourth should now be added — 4) News of crises spread rapidly via social networking. Now, as never before, the news of a crisis can be shared within seconds of a situation/event through bystanders posting it social media such as Facebook and Twitter.


Crises at Murray State University should involve the following general procedures for difficult emergency situations.

Protect human life. While it is the responsibility of Murray State University to protect property, the protection of human life has been top priority. This means using the Murray-Calloway County Hospital Ambulance Service for medical emergencies. Standard practice should be to immediately notify Murray State Police Department and Emergency Management (911) of all emergencies (fire, ambulance, police). Murray State Police dispatchers should make the necessary emergency calls for off-campus assistance and send security officers to the scene of emergencies.

Notification. In the event of death or serious injury, notification of the family will follow proper procedure. Crisis situations involve the notification of Murray State Police Department and Emergency Management (first), then the president of the university and the public information officer in Branding, Marketing and Communication. From that point, the provost and vice presidents, and the university general counsel, as well as other officials related to the crisis situation should be informed.

Collecting information. Senior officials of the university, officials related to the crisis area and safety officers are involved in the collection of crisis information. In many cases they will work closely with outside authorities in the gathering of facts.

Reporting information. The Murray State Police Department and Emergency Management office prepares a Serious Incident Report when appropriate and distributes copies to university officials and to Branding, Marketing and Communication. The release of verified information to media and the campus is done as it becomes available. Media information, approved for release by the President’s Office, is handled through Branding, Marketing and Communication. All users email notification is handled by the office of the vice president for administrative services.

Review of the crisis. When appropriate, crisis meetings will be held to discuss what has happened, what should be done and what specific information can be released.

Original document created; March 2008
Updated April 2010, May 2012, April 2015

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