The Marketing and Communications department has ongoing relationships with local, statewide, and national news outlets, magazines, radio and TV stations, and specialty publications. Podcasts are also considered a media outlet.

To pitch to a media outlet or get an interview request, please consult the following guidelines before proceeding. If you are requested to be interviewed for a publication produced by a non-media company, such as a community partner, please refer to the "Requests from community partners" section of this web page. 

The Public Information Officer (PIO) and Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator manage media relations for the College. This includes creating and sending press releases and media advisories and pitches, coordinating interviews, and setting up on-campus press conferences. We also respond to media requests for information, story ideas, and staff and faculty experts.

Both print and broadcast journalists use seven major criteria to judge the newsworthiness of a story: impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, uniqueness, conflict, and currency.

Pitching a story to the media does not guarantee it will be picked up and placed. Paid advertising is the only guaranteed way to promote your program or event exactly when and where you prefer. Should you need to use the logo on any paid advertisement, please email the Creative Services Manager at remleyh@durhamtech.edu.

We encourage faculty and staff members to contact us to suggest story ideas. Please refer to the "Making requests" section under the "Media outreach documents" section of this web page for more information. 

For media questions, please contact Nancy Wykle at wyklen@durhamtech.edu or extension 2806.

Interviews

All media interviews pertaining to matters associated directly with the College must be coordinated through the Marketing and Communications department. This includes questions about your service and program at the College or requests to speak to an employee or student for comment about a current news issue. 

If a reporter or editor contacts you to request an interview, do not respond, and inform the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator immediately. This includes newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, specialty publications, and podcasts. 

If a reporter or editor shows up at any ʿⱦapp campus asking to speak to someone about a breaking news item, please contact the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator. If the matter is urgent and both parties are unavailable and you feel comfortable speaking with the reporter, proceed with the interview, but get the reporter's name and contact information to provide to the PIO and Media Relations Coordinator after the interview. 

The PIO or Media Relations Coordinator needs to be present if television or broadcast news is on campus. Other interviews can be conducted solely between the interviewer and interviewee, though the interviewee can request the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator be present.

Interview tips  

When being interviewed, observe the following tips:

  • Everything you say is on the record. If you need to explain something or want to share something privately, say "off the record" before sharing the information. Once you are done sharing, tell the reporter you are speaking on the record again to avoid confusion.
  • Speak honestly and be as transparent as possible. 
  • However, always speak positively about the College and its community partners.
  • When corresponding through email, always double check your thread and review your answers before responding. You do not need to clear your answers through the Marketing and Communications department unless you wish to or are specifically requested to.  
  • If you do an in-person or phone interview for a print publication, chances are you will be recorded. The reporter may not always inform you of this. If you have concerns about being recorded, let the reporter know, though generally the recording is only for note-taking purposes and will be deleted after the interview.

Media preparation

The Media Relations Coordinator is available to help prepare you for your interview no matter the outlet or format. This includes talking to you about what to expect from the process and walking you through sample questions. The media does not have to provide questions ahead of time. 

To request an interview preparation, email the Public Information Officer at mailto:wyklen@durhamtech.edu.

What happens after the interview

Once the interview is completed, it is the reporter's and their editor's right to pick and choose what gets or doesn't get used. Not everything you say or provide will be used due to time or space limitations. 

The Marketing and Communications department can not ask for a preview of the article or broadcast, as it is unethical to do so unless it is a paid advertisement. 

Media outreach documents

There are various types of documents the Marketing department will use in reaching out to the media:

  • News releases: These look like news articles and are used when needing to provide news in detail.
  • Media advisories: These are brief in nature and only meant to provide the very basic details of the news. This is commonly used when inviting media to events.
  • Media pitches: This is often a general email sent to a reporter to pitch a general story idea that might not necessarily be connected to an existing release or news item.   

All media have the option to use or not use the information distributed to them. The Marketing department does not have control over how the information will be used or how it will appear. Paid advertising is the only guaranteed way to promote your program or event exactly when and where you prefer.

In order to make any news coverage a success, be prepared to be contacted for an interview after the news has been shared.  

The Marketing department reserves the right to provide the department's photos and videos to media should they be requested. 

News releases

News releases concerning college programs, events, and personnel appointments are prepared by the Marketing and Communications department and are distributed to area, statewide, and national newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and specialized publications.

When requesting a news release or when contacted about a news release, please provide any pertinent information regarding your request, such as agreements, biographies, official documents, etc. You may also be asked to provide a quote. 

All internal and external appropriate parties will be asked to review the release before sending to the media. 

Once the release has been sent to news media, it is posted on the ʿⱦapp website for the media and public to access and shared on the College's social media pages. 

You may be asked to have a photo taken to be sent with the release and appear with the article online. You may also request for a photo to be taken for the release if the department does not request it first. 

Media advisories, pitches

Media advisories and pitches are not posted on the website and may not always be distributed for review before being released to the media.  

Sending materials

The Marketing and Communications department welcomes input on when to send the news, promotion, or announcement, but does reserve the right to send it at a different time should the requested time be a time that isn't optimal for media attention. 

Making requests

To request a news, promotion, or announcement, please complete the News Release and Story Request form on the ʿⱦapp website. The Marketing department should be notified at least two weeks prior to an event. 

Requests from community partners

More and more organizations are expanding their publicity outlets to include content articles on their websites and digital newsletters. 

If you are requested to speak on a ʿⱦapp matter for one of these publications, please notify the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator during the process, preferably before the article gets published. This will allow the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator to follow up or ask questions to ensure proper brand management. 

If you are asked to input on a document that will be sent to media, you must notify the PIO or Media Relations Coordinator or refer the requesting party to the Marketing department before the document is sent. This will make sure the news is being delivered to as many possible sources and ensure proper brand management.

Public service announcements

Several outlets have online community calendars that can be viewed by the public. These are often free advertisements and may be announced or shared in other ways by the outlet such as on the air or through a digital newsletter. 

Information should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. 

The local media is notified in certain emergency cases, including Inclement Weather announcements.


To see a full list of Marketing and Communications request options, please visit the Service Requests webpage.