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Student media guidelines

University Public Affairs routinely works with mass communications students as they endeavor to become journalists. Student journalists are treated as professional media. Here are some guidelines and tips for working with us when your story involves interviewing a VCU or VCU Health source.

Student media representatives must contact University Public Affairs in advance to arrange interviews and photo shoots with VCU faculty, staff or patients. Do not procrastinate. Many of our faculty and staff members have busy schedules that fill quickly. To ensure confidentiality, privacy and appropriate sensitivity to students, patients, and families, reporters, video crews and photographers must be accompanied by a University Public Affairs staff person.

Contacting us

Please view the complete list of staff, which includes contact information and areas of responsibility. If you are uncertain who to contact, call our main office number at (804) 828-1231. You will need to provide us with the following:

  • The nature of the information you are seeking (Do your research before you call us. Focus questions so that they are specific. We cannot respond to vague questions and inquiries that indicate no goal for a story. Exploratory interviews to gather background information should be conducted via telephone prior to meeting faculty on campus. Staff members can help arrange this as well.)
  • Your deadline
  • The type of interview you are seeking (i.e., print/broadcast/photo shoot/video crew) and the media you are representing (i.e., Commonwealth Times/VCU Insight/class project)
  • Reliable telephone and email contact information, allowing us to reach you quickly to confirm details of an appointment, seek additional information about your inquiry or inform you of last-minute changes.

On the day of your interview

Your University Public Affairs contact will recommend an ideal meeting spot, and it is your responsibility to arrive on time. Allow time for transportation, parking and equipment setup. If you are going to be late, please call so alternate arrangements can be made. Arriving late likely will result in cancellation of the interview.

Professional attire and behavior

Student media representatives should dress professionally and neatly, i.e., business casual. You are entering a professional working environment and should dress accordingly. In addition, student media representatives should communicate in a professional, businesslike manner whether conducting an interview in person, on the phone or through email.

Please check your email regularly and respond quickly to phone messages from your University Public Affairs contact or from faculty and staff. It is your responsibility to stay on top of your story.