Humboldt State University
Marketing and Communications
photo of campus

Media Relations

Media Relations Guide

Marketing & Communications is the campus office responsible for handling media relations, inquiries, interview requests, and similar.

Overview

It is important that media calls about campus policies, decisions, changes, and similar be reported to Marcom. You can refer them directly or take a message and contact us. The main news number, for both campus staff making referrals and for reporters, is 707-826-3390 and the email is news@humboldt.edu

There are two reasons Marcom needs to be informed about media inquiries. It 1) helps us identify trends and when reporters may be working on larger stories, and 2) allows us to offer advice to the person who may be interviewed.

Humboldt State University does not have a designated “spokesperson.” There are Public Information Officers available as needed – Frank Whitlatch, Jarad Petroske, and Arianne Aryanpur. In emergencies or in time-sensitive situations during evenings and weekends, Frank may be reached by cell at 707-599-6634 and Jarad may be reached by cell at 707-407-8206.

Our preference is that specific administrators or other campus experts be available for media interviews, though any Public Information Officer can also do interviews if necessary. Marcom staff is available to provide advice prior to a media interview, and we will use that time to discuss such things as the overall topic, key messages, possible pitfalls, and possible tough questions. See our interview tips for guidance on conducting interviews.

When reporters call faculty directly about their academic expertise, a referral to Marcom is optional. We are available to offer advice or help if the faculty member requests it.



Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of working with the media?

Media visibility helps educate the public about the success of Humboldt State University. It expands the university's name recognition, reinforces student recruitment and retention, boosts fundraising and maintains public awareness of HSU's many accomplishments. Media coverage shows our internal and external stakeholders what our state-supported institution is doing for its students, their families, the North Coast and California as a whole.

Timely and open communication is more than an end in itself. It is a strategic function, vitally important to HSU's growth and well-being. A positive relationship with the media makes is highly valuable.

Moreover, the public has a right to know the University's policies, plans, programs and activities.

2. Who is in charge?

The lead Public Information Officer of Humboldt State University is Frank Whitlatch, the Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, (707) 826-5110. He is responsible for communicating, or finding an appropriate campus officer to communicate, University positions on issues of general, campus-wide impact or significance. He deals with matters that are potentially controversial or sensitive. It is paramount that he be provided advance notice of significant situations — with appropriate background, written material and other information — to enable him to represent the University effectively and accurately, while minimizing negative reaction. Advance notice to Marketing & Communications also enables the University to speak with one voice, which the public expects. (The Department of Athletics is responsible for publicizing sports programs; the media contact is Assistant Athletic Director of Communications, Andrew Goetz at (707) 826-3631 or andrew.goetz@humboldt.edu).

3. When should I get in touch with
Marketing & Communications?

Humboldt State administrators, faculty and staff are asked to notify Marketing & Communications at 707-826-3390, when:

  • You are contacted by a news reporter about campus policy or a campus-wide issue
  • You can offer an expert opinion on current affairs
  • You or another administrator, faculty member, student, or staffer have won a major award
  • You have completed a research project and want to announce the results
  • You use innovative teaching techniques that would be helpful to outside educational institutions
  • You need to arrange media conferences

Also, see our Interview Tips for working with the news media.

4. What is HSU media policy in an emergency?

When a campus emergency occurs, media access will be controlled by special procedures set forth separately in HSU's Emergency Operations Policy.

5. What is HSU’s policy concerning
access to classrooms, labs, etc?

HSU welcomes reporters and photographers on campus the same way it welcomes the public. In general, news media representatives do not need permission to enter the campus or take exterior still or video photographs for news purposes. It is HSU policy to be as helpful as possible to the media. However, that does not constitute a right to indiscriminate access. Students, staff, and faculty have a right to privacy and neither reporters nor the public are allowed to disrupt classroom instruction or other educational functions.

If a reporter approaches you in person with an impromptu question, feel free to refer him/her to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 to set up an appointment with you at a mutually convenient time. Don't feel obligated to answer questions on-the-fly when you haven't had time to prepare.

News media must obtain prior permission from Marketing & Communications to enter classrooms, medical facilities, and teaching laboratories by dialing (707) 826-3390 or emailing news@humboldt.edu. Permission usually will be granted, as long as access does not disrupt university functions or jeopardize safety. Residence halls are generally closed to the news media. Any requests you receive to videotape specific campus activities or functions should be referred to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 or news@humboldt.edu.

All requests for commercial, non-news photography, filmmaking, or videotaping should be referred for review to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 or news@humboldt.edu. The campus policy related to this is here: HSU Visual/Sound Policy [PDF].

The news media should not be allowed to infringe on the privacy of students, parents, administrators, faculty, or staff. There are occasions when information will not be made public for valid legal, regulatory, or privacy reasons. For example, no statements will be made to the media concerning a legal matter, or a potentially actionable legal matter, until CSU's Office of General Counsel, or HSU's Office of Risk Management & Safety Services, has been consulted. Any statement concerning legal matters must receive prior review for its legal (as distinct from public relations) implications.

6. How do I share news tips about
projects, research, alumni, etc.?

You can share news tips about your department, faculty research, staff success, alumni updates and more by contacting Marketing & Communications at: news@humboldt.edu or 707-826-3390

Alumni can submit a class note by using this form: Submit a Class Note Form

You can also contact the Humboldt Alumni office directly:
Tiana Arriaga, Outreach Coordinator, at (707) 826-5107
Christy Khattab, Director of Alumni Relations, at (707) 826-5467

7. How do I promote my event?

There are several ways for campus groups publicize their events at HSU. Including posters, flyers, campus radio stations, the student newspaper and joining efforts with one of the hundreds of student-run clubs on campus.

Submit Your event to the Humboldt State Events Calendar Submitting your event to Humboldt State Events is easy and requires a university login. http://humboldt.edu/events

Keep in mind:

  • The event must be sponsored by Humboldt State University, department, program, student club or organization.
  • The event listing must include an event title, date, time, location, contact person, and admission fee (if applicable).
  • Events will be moderated by HSU staff

Announce Your Event on University Notices
University Notices are delivered every week to all campus email addresses and are managed by the campus’s Information Technology Services office. A login is required. To request a login or to submit your news item or event, click on: http://www.humboldt.edu/its/unotices

Posters & Flyers
Most campus buildings have at least one general bulletin board on which flyers can be posted. A list of these boards is available from the University Center Information Counter: (707) 826-4414.

Flyers and posters must be approved and stamped by the UC Info Counter prior to posting; otherwise, they will be removed!

Lumberjack Ads
Contact the Lumberjack Advertising Department for the latest advertising information.
Phone: 707.826.3259
Fax: 707.826.5921
Email: LJNPads@humboldt.edu

Campus Radio Stations
Contact KHSU-FM or KRFH about featuring your Public Service Announcement on the air.
KHSU: 707-826-4807 or online at http://khsu.org
KRFH: (707) 826-6077 or online at http://www.krfh.net

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Note: these guidelines apply to professional, commercial media outlets, and also to The Lumberjack student newspaper and campus radio. However, student reporters generally expect and are granted greater personal access to those in charge of University programs.