The News Services/Media Relations team acts as the liaison between the university and the news media, including local, regional and nationwide outlets in print, broadcast and electronic formats. Members of the media interested in stories about WCU and its students, faculty, staff and programs are encouraged to visit WCU's For the Media website. Faculty and staff members wishing to publicize university events, awards and honors, research activities, publications and student achievements through the news media, university website and campus publications are asked to submit a story through the WCU News website.
We prepare news releases about the university and disseminate them to the news media. Depending upon the significance of the news item, releases may be sent to news media locally, regionally, statewide and even nationally. We pitch story ideas to reporters, editors and news directors and issue media advisories alerting the press to newsworthy happenings on campus. We also publish news releases and feature stories at the university’s News Center.
We respond to media requests for information about the university and its people and programs, and we help connect members of the media with faculty experts on campus who can provide insight to help the public understand complex topics. And we are glad to assist members of the university community with newspaper opinion pieces (also called op-eds), offering editorial assistance and helping to get the op-ed published.
We also play an important role in crisis and emergency communication, working in cooperation with the Emergency Services Office, University Police and other university leaders to provide accurate information to the campus community as quickly as possible during a time of emergency. In addition to the WCU Alerts system, which allows students, faculty, staff and parents to receive a message via e-mail, cell phone or home phone in case of emergency, updated information is posted on the Campus Emergencies webpage.
When inclement weather forces changes to the academic schedule and other campus activities, we help inform students, faculty and staff of those changes through the Weather-Related Announcements webpage.
We write our content in accordance with the Associated Press Stylebook, the grammar and usage guide used by the majority of news media outlets in the U.S. We do so to help ensure that our stories are picked up and used by the news media. Please be aware that AP Style includes some rules about grammar and punctuation that do not correspond with those found in the Chicago Manual of Style or the scholarly writing styles including MLA and APA. For example, there is no Oxford comma in AP Style, and the courtesy title of “Dr.” is reserved for those who hold medical degrees. We use quotation marks around the titles of books, movies, songs and other compositions as opposed to italics. And, in keeping with the AP Stylebook’s admonition to “in general, avoid unnecessary capitalization,” we do not capitalize words such as professor, director or associate vice chancellor unless they are used as titles immediately before a person’s name. If AP Style says the stand-alone word “president” is not capitalized, even when referring to the president of the United States, we don’t capitalize the stand-alone word “chancellor.” (And he’s OK with that…we checked).