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Guidelines for Responding to the Media
Director of Public Relations
Phone (225) 578-9922
The presentation of accurate, timely information to the public is critical to institutional advancement. For the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, an effective public relations program is a critical component to encourage interest and investment in the School’s programs; to educate the public in both veterinary medicine and public health matters; and to respond to public inquiries in a forthright, professional and truthful manner. The following guidelines are provided to assist and ease School of Veterinary Medicine personnel when called upon to respond to media inquiries.
SVM personnel and students should refer any type of media inquiry (phone call, fax, email, etc. from either print, online or broadcast media sources) to the Public Relations Director (Ginger Guttner, 225-578-9922, firstname.lastname@example.org), prior to responding to the request for information or an interview. SVM personnel and students should not make statements to the media without contacting the SVM Public Relations Director, regardless of media deadlines.
If necessary, the Public Relations Director will assist the dean or the appropriate faculty, staff or students on formal written statements in response to or in preparation of events that may involve media attention. The Public Relations Director will serve as the SVM spokesperson when appropriate.
The Public Relations Director is available to meet with SVM personnel and students prior to interviews and will attend interviews if necessary. No photos for media stories are allowed inside the LSU SVM building without the approval of the Public Relations Director.
All responses to the media should be confined to that person’s area of expertise and responsibility, without providing personal speculation or opinion. Issues of a sensitive nature (police investigations, zoonotic disease outbreak, bioterrorist or animal rights threats, etc.) will be discussed in advance to determine the level of confidentiality that must be maintained. In all cases, the response must be sensitive to protecting privacy issues of LSU students—see PS-30, Privacy Rights of Students (Buckley Amendment)—faculty and staff and hospital clients, as well as sensitive to matters that might compromise research or investigations.
A patient’s medical record is considered a legal document owned by the School of Veterinary Medicine. Information contained in a patient medical record in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital can only be released upon authorization by the owner and the attending clinician, or upon court order or subpoena.
The Public Relations Director will notify and work with the LSU Division of Strategic Communications on responses to media inquiries.