The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences (CVM) recognizes the importance and benefits of
communicating through various media outlets. Media is a powerful
vehicle through which the CVM disseminates relevant news and
information to Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M
University System, and to local, state, national, and international
audiences. Media also allows us the opportunity to listen to
perceptions about the CVM and connect with the public in various
Navigating through multiple outlets using various forms of media
can be confusing, as there are constant changes in platforms,
technologies, and communities. Using guidelines can help us all
steer clear of any obstacles.
**Any calls received from the
media or organizations with questions or concerns about CVM
activities should be directed to Megan Palsa, PhD, executive
director of communications, media, and public relations, at (979)
862-4216 or MPalsa@cvm.tamu.edu
PURPOSE OF THESE
- To provide members of the CVM community with contemporary
guidance about using media resources to communicate about the
college, including the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
- To clarify work-related and personal uses of media, including
- To clarify the relationship between existing university and CVM
guidelines and contemporary uses of media
These guidelines provide information for CVM faculty and staff
who interact with media—including radio, television, video,
articles, newspapers, blogs, Facebook, personal websites, Twitter,
YouTube, LinkedIn, Vine, Snapchat, and other, yet-to-be-developed
media in a dynamic communications field.
CVM employees may find that many of these guidelines can be
helpful when thinking about personal social media accounts, but
these guidelines are not intended to govern or restrict personal
presence on the web, nor are they intended to restrict employee
rights to engage in concerted, protected activity with fellow
employees over the terms and conditions of employment.
Similarly, these guidelines are not intended to abridge or
otherwise restrict principles of academic freedom.
This will be a living document, which will reflect the CVM’s
current needs and adjust to future changes in media.
With these parameters in mind, here are some principles to guide
employees who use media to speak on the CVM’s behalf:
- Confidentiality: Confidential or proprietary
information about the CVM and its faculty, staff, students,
clients, patients, affiliates, and alumni must be protected as
outlined in university and local policies, applicable federal and
state laws, and regulations such as the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Family
Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), among others. Supervisors
should be consulted for guidance on restrictions related to the
release of confidential information.
- Privacy: Please do not post anything that you
would not present in any public forum. In particular, please
refrain from discussing situations involving named or pictured
individuals (or animals) in the media or on a social media site
without the individual’s express knowledge and permission (or the
permission of the owner, in the case of animals, or
parent/guardian, in the case of minor children).
- Permanence: Remember that whatever you share
(either on the university/college’s behalf or your own personal
account) may be public for an indefinite period of time, even if
you attempt to modify or delete information.
- Audience: Be careful what personal information
you share, as it could be available to anyone.
- Association: Keep in mind that on many
websites, your name and photo or icon may appear next to the
content that you post and will be associated with you and may also
reflect on the CVM or the university, as you may be seen as
representing them in an official capacity.
The CVM encourages the use of media to enhance education and
research through collaboration, communication, and publication of
our research and programs, while ensuring that the authorized use
of media does no harm to the CVM or to university faculty,
students, alumni, or employees.
When responding to an inquiry from the media, please inform the
reporter that the CVM’s policy is to refer all media inquiries to
the media and public relations team. Please provide the media with
the phone number for Megan Palsa, PhD,executive director of
communications, media, and public relations: (979) 862-4216. She
may also be reached by e-mail at MPalsa@cvm.tamu.edu. The CVM
media and public relations team can assist you in formulating a
response, which is helpful to have prepared in advance of talking
to any reporter, in order to provide accurate and relevant
PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM, OR VIDEO
If you receive questions or requests for photographs, film, or
video, please refer the caller to the media and public relations
team. We have a variety of responses prepared based on a number of
considerations. If you encounter someone taking photos or videos,
please keep in mind:
- Media can take exterior photos of our buildings, but we have
the right to ask them for a contact person in their newsroom so we
can verify their credibility.
- Media from outside of Texas A&M University cannot enter our
facility to photograph or film without permission, and a member of
the media and public relations team will typically accompany them
while they are in the building.
- Media cannot block entrance to our facility or prevent people
from entering our facility or conducting business as usual.
- Should you come upon a reporter, keep in mind that they may be
filming or otherwise recording your conversation. Feel free to call
the media and public relations team to handle the situation.
At the discretion of the clinician in charge of a particular
case and with the written permission of the client, photos of an
animal may be taken for teaching purposes and authorized official
college use. However, students, faculty, or staff are NOT to
distribute these photos through electronic or social media sites
without consulting the media and public relations team.
CONSIDER THE IMPACT
ON STAKEHOLDERS AND CONSTITUENTS
Consider the college’s internal and external stakeholders and
constituents before we move forward in the decision-making process
regarding press releases, news stories, interviews, and similar
SEEKING MEDIA COVERAGE
We encourage educational, inspiring, and enlightening news
stories from CVM faculty, administrators, staff, students, clients,
and alumni. If you have a story of potential interest, please
contact the media and public relations team at (979) 862-4216.
To ensure the accuracy of information, the CVM media and public
relations team—to include the executive director of communications,
media and public relations and the communications specialist—is
responsible for discussing each story/article/release with the
department head/administrator of the respective department/unit
before a story goes to the media or is otherwise released to the
public. The approval process will be conducted in a timely manner,
so if the department head/administrator is unavailable for approval
of the story/article/release, a designated person from each
department will be contacted for approval. Furthermore, all media
releases will be reviewed by the individual/s quoted in the release
Note: Although these guidelines cover the appropriate use of
media resources by CVM employees, the use of media resources
by all employees remains subject to Texas A&M
University policies governing employee conduct. CVM media
guidelines do not supplement the university guidelines; they work
Megan Palsa, PhD
Executive Director of Communications, Media and Public
Office: (979) 862-4216; Cell: (979) 421-3121
Jennifer G. Gauntt, MA
Office: (979) 862-2489; Cell: (936) 661-2028