Zina L. Carter
Director of Marketing and Communications
Wharton County Junior College
Hutchins Memorial Center, Office 113
911 Boling Highway
Wharton, Texas 77488
Office: (979) 532-6417
Fax: (979) 532-6493
The Office of Marketing and Communications is responsible for preparing and releasing any official college news.
The Office of Marketing and Communications must prepare and release any official College news, which will be sent on WCJC newshead. Media are advised not to use other items.
The Director of Marketing and Communications (or designated representative) is the official spokesperson for the college in dealing with the media, unless otherwise designated by the President. All reporters requesting information about WCJC must begin their inquiry in the Office of Marketing and Communications. Marketing and Communications will then refer the reporter to the appropriate staff if questions cannot be completely answered.
Marketing and Communications will contact staff immediately if a reporter is referred. The referred person will be provided as much information as possible about the reporter’s request.
If a reporter contacts a staff member and the staff member did not receive a Marketing and Communications referral, the staff member is requested to refer the reporter to Marketing and Communications.
Employees may speak to the media upon receiving an approved media referral from the Office of Marketing and Communications. Employees may initiate contact with the media or respond to a media request to promote college activities or programs in their departments or to speak regarding an area of expertise once they have received a referral. When the media contacts an employee for a comment, the employee should refer the media to the Office of Marketing and Communications. Once the Office of Marketing and Communications has spoken to the media regarding the nature of the news story, and has determined that the request is one that does not require an official college response, the employee will be forwarded an approved media referral.
Vice Presidents are not required to obtain an approved media referral in order to respond to inquiries from the media. Vice Presidents are required to notify the Office of Marketing and Communications immediately after they have responded to the media for the purpose of informing the office about the nature of their discussion with the media.
Sponsors or coaches for student associations, organizations, honor societies, intercollegiate sports, and fine arts activities (art, drama, band, choir and speech) are not required to obtain an approved media referral in order to respond to inquiries from the media as long as the inquiries pertain directly to the students or student groups they sponsor or coach and are not regarding controversial issues. The sponsor or coach is required to notify the Office of Marketing and Communications immediately after they have responded to the media for the purpose of informing the office about the nature of their discussion.
Sponsors or coaches may mention their student group’s affiliation with Wharton County Junior College. However, they may not provide information specifically about the college to the media, for example, enrollment figures, operations, programs, and procedures. The media should be referred to the Office of Marketing and Communications to receive information about the college.
Sponsors of student associations, organizations, and honor societies are responsible for preparing and distributing press releases for their student groups. Copies of such press releases should be provided to the Office of Marketing and Communications in conjunction with or prior to their release to the media.
Press releases for the college’s intercollegiate athletic teams and fine arts activities (art, drama, band, choir, and speech) must be submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications for approval and release.
Employees should not respond to media inquiries requesting them to explain, clarify, describe, or react to an institutional policy, action, or position. Employees should refer the media to the Office of Marketing and Communications for these types of inquiries.
Employees are not to provide College documents, student information, or employee information to reporters. These types of inquiries must be requested formally as a Request for Public Information via the Office of the President.
In cases of public record involving injuries, the nature of the injuries should not be discussed by college personnel. Media representatives requesting such information shall be referred to the appropriate medical facility or agency. (Even in public-record cases, information about individuals is restricted. Media representatives may be told, for example, that, yes, an ambulance was on campus; but further inquiries should be directed to the medical agency.)
In writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, magazine, or other publications, college employees are not to use their college titles or otherwise identify themselves as representatives of the college without authorization from the Office of Marketing and Communications; and employees should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the college.