Media/Public Relations

University Marketing and Communications works proactively with the news media in order to maintain positive, mutually beneficial relationships on behalf of the University. University Communications is responsible for garnering local, regional and national media coverage for the University and its divisions, departments and units through the distribution of press releases and media pitches; responding to media and public information requests; and serving as University spokespersons.

Media releases are submitted to appropriate local, regional, state, national media outlets to promote upcoming events, projects, achievements, programs, etc. All media releases are added to our news database for display on our website as well. Please contact Carolyn Farr Shanesy at 864-503-7419 with information.

News Media Policy

To provide clear, concise and consistent communications, all media inquiries must be channeled through the Office of University Marketing and Communications. This policy was established to describe the University's position with respect to interacting with members of the media, which may include representatives of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online publications, television and radio. Only the Chancellor and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Marketing and Communications serve as the official University spokesperson to the media and handle all crisis communication.

An employee or department that seeks to publicize a program, event or achievement should contact the Office of University Marketing and Communications, which has access to numerous news media contacts and will work with employees to coordinate publicity or visibility for programs, events or newsworthy issues.

It is the responsibility of the Office of University Marketing and Communications to initiate and/or respond to news media requests and to manage those interactions. When an employee or department is contacted by the news media, he/she should notify University Marketing and Communications immediately, before providing any information or responding to questions.

While on University property, news media representatives should, if necessary and appropriate, be accompanied by a University Communications staff member or a University employee designated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

To gain access to the residence halls, news media representatives must be accompanied by a University Communications staff member or a University employee designated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

USC Upstate adheres to all applicable federal and state laws regarding the retention and release of personal and/or educational records of all current employees and students, and complies with all privacy and security laws including FERPA.

If an event attracts news media interest, all news releases and statements to the news media will be handled through and disseminated by the Office of University Marketing and Communications. It is the responsibility of each department head to implement procedures to comply with this policy, while also ensuring that academic freedom, free inquiry and freedom of expression within the academic community are respected and observed.

Photographs or videography taken with the intent to publicize the University do not need signed consent as long as the individual are in the public domain (classrooms, labs, events, etc.) where there is no expectation of privacy. These images may be incorporated in situations appropriate to the image of an academic institution including release to the news media, publications, website, social media, and in other recruitment or promotional materials including paid advertising.

What is newsworthy? Students, faculty, staff and administrators at the USC Upstate represent a variety of diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, with countless potential stories to be told. University Marketing and Communications strives to identify those stories that will appeal to a variety of media outlets.

Faculty and Staff Experts

As part of our media relations efforts, we are often seeking faculty or staff members to speak as experts on their subjects in response to specific media requests. As a routine procedure when seeking faculty and staff experts, we will contact the appropriate department chair or dean first for recommendations of the best person to speak on a particular subject.

Media Relations Best Practices

In order to effectively maintain professional, open lines of communication with media outlets, University Marketing and Communications recommends that all faculty and staff adhere to the Working with the News Media: Tips and Guidelines.

Please note that this office cannot guarantee that a story will be highlighted by local media on broadcast news or in the newspaper. This office sends media releases regularly to the media, and then they decide what, if anything, will be featured.