Media Best Practices
The Highline communications team is here to assist you with news media. Here is what you need to know.
- Always alert the communications office as soon as you are contacted by a reporter. Communications staff will field media questions and coordinate media visits.
- News media are not allowed on campus without permission from the communications office and the principal. If a news crew shows up at your school to cover breaking news, alert the communications office, and politely ask the crew to move to the sidewalk or public right-of-way.
- Refer all questions to the communications office, especially in a breaking news situation. You are not obligated to answer any questions. Information in emergent situations changes quickly. We want to make sure any information given by district representatives is accurate and on-message.
- If a news crew is scheduled to do a story on your campus, please have staff check Synergy to identify any students who have photo restrictions.
If handled well, media coverage can put your school in a positive light, even in a tragic or negative situation. By following these guidelines, you can maximize the chances that news reports involving your school are an opportunity to share your story accurately while protecting student safety and privacy.
If you have questions, please contact us at 206-631-3002.
Media Interview Tips
In some cases, the communication office may ask you to speak to a reporter on an issue. Here are some tips for e successful interview.
- Anticipate the questions. Decide how you will answer ahead of time. (The communication office can help you with this.)
- What are the key messages you want to come across? If possible, limit yourself to one to three key points. Decide on these ahead of time. (Again, the communication office can help you develop key messages.)
- Know your key messages and be able to articulate them. It is your mission to work your key messages into one or more of your responses. Don't wait for the "right" question. Try to use a key message in response to every question.
- Capsulate your answer in a clear and concise statement.
- Do not use education jargon. Be conversational. Envision that you are having a conversation with someone who's not an educator.
- Sometimes the best answer is "I'm not going to answer that." It is absolutely acceptable not to answer if you feel the question is inappropriate or if the interview is taking a direction that makes you uncomfortable.
- If you don't know the answer to a question, don't fake it. Tell the reporter you will have to get back to him or her.
- Let your passion for educating children show.
- Take a deep breath, relax and have fun with it!
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW
Burien, WA 98166