Utah Tech University

Media Relations


  • Anytime the media uses UT faculty, staff, students or alumni as sources, the university and its brand are promoted and strengthened.
  • When experts in the field — instead of public relations representatives — talk to the media, they lend more credibility to the story and university.
  • A year’s worth of being mentioned in stories is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.


  • Contact University Marketing & Communication to notify them of the interview and discuss key talking points.
  • Practice prepared statements out loud.
  • Ask the reporter for his/her name, publication, phone number, topic and deadline.
  • Respond to the reporter as soon as possible. You can set up a time to talk later if time is needed to prepare for the interview.


  • Expect to have a conversation, as print and online reporters usually will want to conduct interviews over the phone and TV reporters will want to meet on campus in person.
  • In sensitive situations, sources can request to answer questions over email; however, outlets will present quotes as prepared statements issued by email.
  • Stick to the predetermined talking points, emphasizing the relevant facts. Make sure to get the point across in a few minutes, as interviews are very short.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about mistakes.
  • Reporters usually end the interview by asking, “Is there anything else you’d like to share?” Use this opportunity to reiterate your key talking points.


  • Be honest. If you do not know the answer to a question, do not try to answer. Direct the reporter to somebody who does know the answer.
  • Be confident. Remain positive but realistic. Also, If you feel unable to comment, explain why. Do not say “no comment”.
  • Be accurate. Do not make up facts or accept the reporter’s facts as truth. Do not answer hypothetical questions. Support your main points with facts, figures or personal experiences.
  • Be respectful. You will not be able to approve a story before it is released.
  • Be calm. Even when discussing sensitive issues, refrain from reacting emotionally.
  • Be concise. As questions get harder, answers should be shorter.
  • Be quotable. Insert your personality into your answers and respond passionately with engaging words and descriptions.
  • Be focused. Keep the interview on topic. If a reporter uses an unexpected line of questioning, explain that you are prepared to only answer questions related to the agreed topic.
  • Be clear. Avoid technical terms and jargon. Explain your subject matter in a way that a sixth-grader would understand. Repeat your main points at the end of the interview.
  • Be professional. Nothing is truly off the record, so you should be comfortable with anything you say appearing in the story.
  • Be thorough. If you are promoting an event, share all the details someone would need to know in order to attend the event, such as the time, date, location and cost.


  • Be aware of your facial expressions and make sure they are appropriate. Do not chew gum.
  • Speak and act naturally. Do not use hand gestures near your face.
  • Make sure the setting is appropriate and well lit and that UT branding is visible. Branded items can be provided by the Office of Marketing and Communication if needed.
  • Look directly at the reporter, not the camera.