Communications Protocol

One of Lock Haven University’s office of University Relations’ primary responsibilities is to develop and nurture relationships with local, regional, national and international media outlets. Below is an updated media protocol for the institution. This protocol is intended to define the approved channels and process for delivering information, news and public relations materials to the media and other external audiences.

Lock Haven University’s office of University Relations serves as the information liaison between the University and the external communities and is responsible for a broad range of public relations functions including developing and disseminating university information from all internal constituency groups including but not limited to the office of the president, senior administration, staff, faculty and students.  All press releases, media advisories and position papers intended for external audiences must be routed through the Office of University Relations, specifically the LHU Marketing and Communications Associate (Elizabeth Arnold earnold@lhup.edu) . The following protocols are intended to proactively facilitate the effective dissemination of news and information to the external community and media in a consistent and cohesive manner.

General Protocols

  1. Media Access to LHU’s Facilities: Although Lock Haven University is an open campus for visitors, access for media requires prior approval from the University Relations Office. In the event a reporter reaches out to you, please inform the Communications Office (earnold@lhup.edu 570-484-2293). In the event the reporter is requesting access to a faculty member, staff member, or program, a representative from University Relations must either provide approval and/or accompany the media representatives to facilitate the visit. Without prior permission from the University, access to classrooms, offices, and to all residence halls is strictly prohibited. Media personnel who interfere with or delay LHU’s normal operations may be asked to leave campus. In crisis situations, please do not make any statement on/or off the record to any media representative, please refer them immediately to the Office of the Vice President of University Relations ( rj2253@lhup.edu570-484-2253).  
  2. News Releases/Media Advisories: University Relations is the only office on campus permitted to distribute news releases on behalf of Lock Haven University and its administrative and academic units. By directing all communications to media through the University Relations department, the University will maintain a professional, journalistic communication style and ensure materials are reviewed for a consistent, appropriate public image for the institution. Additionally, the University Relations staff will have the opportunity to integrate key marketing information into the University’s messages.  For all news releases and media advisories, the Office of University Relations will either assist or create and distribute on behalf of the university. If you expect the Office of University Relations to draft the release please provide details with the request: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY and WHERE. Articles can be drafted and submitted for editing and approved for dissemination. 
    Release approval will be made based on the following:
    1. Is the release keeping within the University’s mission;
    2. Is the release appropriate to appeal to the news media or other intended audiences;
    3. Will the release help to meet University branding, communications, and marketing goals;
    4. Will the release produce the desired results?

      Note: Press Release: A complete description of an issue or event after it has taken place.
      Media Advisory: A brief announcement to the general media about an activity or upcoming event.

  3. Contact with External Media:
    1. Members of the faculty and staff are free to respond to requests from the media regarding their research, teaching, or professional experience. In such cases, the vice president for University Relations should be notified as soon as possible in the event there is a request for follow up or additional requests involving Lock Haven University personnel. This is done in an effort to coordinate a consistent university response. Faculty, staff, and students have the right to refuse to participate in any news opportunity. However, in an effort to respect the academic freedom of faculty, any faculty member who seeks to respond or develop a position paper or article can do so without the input of University Relations if they include the print media disclaimer either in a by-line, at the beginning or end of the article. “The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views of Lock Haven University, its president or any other representative.”

    2. All occurrences, both positive and negative, which involve the University, its employees, students, parents, alumni, and/or donors where a media outlet is seeking a comment, should be directed to the Office of University Relations.

    3. News Conferences: University Relations is the only on-campus entity granted the authority to call and hold news conferences on behalf of Lock Haven University.
    4. Spokespeople: The Vice President of University Relations is the official spokesperson for the university. However, where appropriate the president/vice president may allow other personnel to perform interviews or stand-in as a Subject-Matter-Expert for a specific story.  Although faculty are free to discuss topics related to their areas of academic expertise, no one is permitted to speak on behalf of the University, nor interpret University policy, unless designated by the administration as a spokesperson.
    5. Student-related inquiries: Any media inquiries involving students should be directed to Office of University Relations.
    6. Faculty/Staff inquiries: Any media inquiries involving faculty or staff should be directed to Office of university relations.
    7. Public Record inquiries: Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) currently has a public records protocol and all public records inquiries should be directed to the Open Records Officer, William Hanelly or his assistant Krissy Meeker 570-484-2505.

  4. Social Media: Lock Haven University utilizes several platforms of social media to connect electronically with all stakeholders of the University. Current social media channels are:
    1. Official LHU website: www.LHUP.edu
    2. Official LHU Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LockHavenUniversityofPA
    3. Official LHU Twitter account https://twitter.com/LockHavenUniv
    4. Official LHU Instagram https://instagram.com/lock_haven_university
    5. Official LHU LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/edu/lock-haven-university-of-pennsylvania-19279

  5. Social Media Policies: Although social media allows for fast and easy conversation, it also has raised questions and concerns regarding communication behaviors. Lock Haven University supports the use of social media and offers guidelines for connecting through such channels with stakeholders of Lock Haven University. The following policies will provide guidance on effective and safe communications.
    1. Use of University logos/seals: Use of University logos/seals by non-University entities or with non-University products or services without institutional approval is prohibited. Permission for use of logos/seals can be granted by contacting the Office of University Relations.  University logos/seals may not be used when the use:
      1. Conflicts with University policies;
      2. Is considered to contain obscene, indecent, or profane material;
      3. Adversely affects the University’s reputation;
      4. Promotes discrimination based on a person’s age, creed, color, national origin, race, handicap, religion, gender, or sexual orientation;
      5. Promotes illegal activities;
      6. Endorses or implies University support of any kind, be it professional, political, etc.
    2. Confidential information about Lock Haven University and all related affiliates should never be posted on social media.
    3. All posts on social media channels must be completely accurate and transparent. In the event that information is posted is incorrectly, corrections will be posted. Any posts that are threatening, obscene, abusive, or otherwise unacceptable will be immediately removed.
    4. Administrator contact information should be posted on the social media page/profile. If it is a team managing the account, at least one contact from the team must be listed.
    5. Opinions of administrators shall not be posted through University social media platforms. All administrators will use professionalism when acting on behalf of Lock Haven University.
    6. Attention should be given to copyrighted materials as well as the use of photographs or graphics. Use of the aforementioned materials should be accompanied by written permission.
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