Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Media Relations FAQ

Q: What is Media Relations?

Media Relations refers to the symbiotic relationship that an organization develops with journalists in targeted media in order to effect a flow of information from the organization, through the media, to its various audiences.

A core element of the marketing and communications mix, media relations has particular implications at Thompson Rivers University given the profile and scrutiny of TRU within the local community. As such, strategic media relations management is critical to advancing and protecting TRU’s reputation among its audiences and markets.

There are two main types of media relations.

  • Proactive media relations means taking the initiative to provide information in an effort to influence the tenor and timing of coverage in the media. A typical example is making a phone call to a local newsroom, letting a camera crew know of an event, pitching a new program to local and regional media through a media release or targeting specific journalists or media with a specific pitch.
  • Responsive media relations seeks to respond to media requests for everything from expert commentary on current events (a significant value-add that universities can provide) to reaction or clarification on potentially contentious issues.

Q: Do I have a part to play in TRU Media Relations?

Yes. You can help make sure that information provided to the media is accurate, appropriate and timely. Here are some of the ways in which you can help:

If this happens:

Do this:

And we will:

You are contacted by the media to comment on a topic on which you are a subject matter expert.

Contact Michele Young: micyoung@tru.ca

250-828-5361

Develop key “talking points” prior to speaking with media. Rehearse or help you prepare for phone or in-person interviews. Adapt and post to TRU Newsroom to maximize media coverage.

You are contacted by the media to comment on a topic about a sensitive or contentious topic (Past examples include: cancelled programs, dean departures or construction delays).

Contact Michele Young: micyoung@tru.ca

250-828-5361

The Media Relations & Communications team may already know of the issue and have worked with the executive on key points, know who is prepared to speak to the issue, and whether this is a matter that requires a response by TRU’s official spokesperson, Christopher Seguin. See TRU’s Spokesperson policy.

The MR&C team will also provide support as needed including briefings, talking points and backgrounders focused on representing TRU’s point of view effectively and accurately, advise on best timing for press conferences and ensure submission deadlines for various media outlets.

You wish to let the public know of a major development, achievement, opportunity or wonder if you have a story idea

Send us a project request form and we will review it and get back to you.

Edit for style, format and media appeal. Suggest ways to strengthen the proposition, and specific media to approach. Leverage internal channels such as the TRU Newsroom to strategically disseminate news through the week or month in order to avoid conflicts, and to maximize media coverage. Return this to you for action.

Q: Can I comment on TRU matters as a regular citizen and not as a TRU employee?

Separating individual vs. institutional points of view is not a priority for media. If you are a TRU employee commenting on TRU matters, your comments will be seen as representing TRU as a whole – even if other TRU stakeholders, including colleagues and students, do not share your views. Before you provide a comment, please ensure your manager or dean is aware and has had an opportunity to discuss this with you, and contact Media Relations & Communications to talk it through.

Q: If I have other questions regarding Media Relations who do I contact?

Michele Young
Media Relations & Communications
250-828-5361
micyoung@tru.ca