Media and Public Relations
The media and public relations staff are the primary contact and source for print, online and broadcast news media and media-related outreach and response. The team welcomes the opportunity to work with USA faculty and staff to publicize the achievements, initiatives and work of the University community.
The media and public relations staff include Lance Crawford, Director of Media Relations, and Joy Washington, Director of Public Relations. They are responsible for developing communication strategies, disseminating news, responding to media requests for expert commentary and providing information to the media about University of South Alabama people, programs, events and activities. They also advise faculty and administration on policy issues that affect public perception of the University.
All news releases, statements on behalf of the University and media notifications — with the exception of sports information, which is supervised by Athletics Media Relations — should be released through the Office of Marketing and Communications. The office works with media outlets on a daily basis and has established relationships with reporters and editors, so it is more effective for the media to work with the office as a central campus contact. USA employees must contact the Office of Marketing and Communications before any information is released to the media concerning internal or external matters that affect the University. The director of media relations serves as USA’s general media spokesperson.
The media and public relations team provides the following services:
- Coordination of interviews and media visits for faculty, students and staff
- Coordination of news conferences and other media events
- Preparation and dissemination of news releases
- Publicity for events, speakers, activities, awards, honors and achievements
- Management of crisis communications and media responses
- Management of the USA Speakers Bureau
- Print and broadcast media training for faculty and staff
- Assistance in writing and placing op-ed pieces by faculty experts
In the event of a crisis situation that affects the University — such as a weather emergency, serious criminal offense or hazardous situation — it is critical that the public and the media receive accurate and appropriate information about the situation and the University's response. Thus, the Office of Marketing and Communications will act as the sole point of contact for all media inquiries and the release of any and all information to the public and the media.
Before speaking to the media during a crisis or emergency situation, USA employees must first contact the Office of Marketing and Communications to receive clearance to release information on behalf of the University. This requirement applies to media interviews as well as the release of any information via social media.