Talking to the Media

Media Relations Standards

The Office of College Marketing and Communication (CMAC) is the contact for print and broadcast news media and media-related issues. CMAC advises the administration on policy issues that affect public perception of the College and develops appropriate communication strategies. CMAC is responsible for disseminating news, responding to requests for expert commentary and providing information to the media about Kalamazoo College people, programs, events and activities. 

CMAC must be contacted before any information is released to the media concerning internal or external matters that affect the College. If you are contacted by the media about such matters, please contact the news director.  

News Releases

All news releases, statements on behalf of Kalamazoo College and media notifications must be released through CMAC unless otherwise authorized by CMAC. CMAC works with media outlets on a daily basis and has established relationships with reporters and editors. It is more effective for the media to work with CMAC as a central campus contact. 

A request to write and issue a news release for an event or announcement should be made at least two weeks prior to the event date or announcement date. Email the news director or with the details. 

Requesting a News Release

When requesting a news release, please include as much information as possible: details of date, time, place, program content and background information for speakers. Include the type of audience you are trying to attract to the event. If you have a special publication you would like to see your story/event sent to, please submit the name of the publication and contact information if you have it. 

When submitting an idea, remember the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. Answering the five W’s will provide CMAC with a good start in developing the background and story pitches to the media. If submitting photographs, the names of everyone appearing in the image and a photographer credit must be included (for example: photo by Jane Smith ’21). 

All news releases issued through CMAC are written according to the APStylebook. And K’s Editorial Style Guide. All news releases will end with a standard boilerplate paragraph about the College. 

Opinions, Editorials and Letters to the Editor

Opinions, editorials, viewpoints (often called “op-ed” pieces) and letters to the editor of a publication or other news media outlet serve many roles. They can be informative, serious or light-hearted; they can spark a debate, highlight a neglected point of view, offer a new perspective on a current issue of interest or clarify the College’s position on a particular issue. 

A timely, well-written and provocative piece can establish the writer as an expert on a particular topic and gain media recognition for the author and Kalamazoo College. Editors at large newspapers and magazines receive hundreds of submissions each week, and must weigh several factors when choosing which to publish. The criteria include the article’s quality, timeliness, freshness of viewpoint and the number of articles already published on the topic. Priority is often given to a publication’s regular columnists. 

Letters to the editor are much shorter—a few paragraphs instead of several hundred words. Writers often express a personal viewpoint and may not be writing as experts or as representatives of institutions. If what you have to say is short, or offers another view of the newspaper’s coverage of an issue, you may consider submitting a letter to the editor.  

Your Kalamazoo College title or affiliation should be included only if your academic credentials or position at the College is pertinent to the letter’s subject.