Working with Media

Marketing & Communications (MarCom) is the campus office responsible for handling media relations, inquiries, interview requests, and similar situations.


It is important that media calls about campus policies, decisions, and changes, and similar be reported to MarCom. You can refer them directly to Marcom or take a message and contact us. The main number, for both campus staff making referrals and for reporters, is (707) 826-3390 and the email is

There are two reasons MarCom needs to be informed about media inquiries. It 1) helps us identify trends and keeps us informed of when reporters are working on stories, and 2) allows us to offer advice to the person who may be interviewed.

Cal Poly Humboldt does not have a designated “spokesperson.” There are Public Information Officers available as needed – Aileen Yoo and Grant Scott-Goforth. 

Our preference is that administrators or other campus experts with knowledge pertaining to the media request be available for interviews, though any Public Information Officer can also do interviews if necessary. MarCom staff is available to provide advice prior to a media interview, and we will use that time to discuss such things as the overall topic, key messages, possible pitfalls, and possible tough questions. Download this tip sheet from the CSU for help conducting interviews.

When reporters call faculty directly about their academic expertise, a referral to Marcom is optional. We are available to offer advice or help if a faculty member requests it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of working with the media?

Media visibility helps educate the public about the success of Cal Poly Humboldt. It expands the University's name recognition, reinforces student recruitment and retention, boosts fundraising, and maintains public awareness of Humboldt's many accomplishments. Media coverage shows our internal and external stakeholders what our state-supported institution is doing for its students, their families, the North Coast, and California as a whole.

Timely and open communication supports Humboldt's growth and wellbeing. A positive relationship with the media is valuable.

Moreover, the public has a right to know the University's policies, plans, programs, and activities.

2. Who is in charge?

The lead Public Information Officer of Cal Poly Humboldt is Frank Whitlatch, the Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, (707) 826-5110. He is responsible for communicating or finding an appropriate campus officer to communicate University positions on issues of general, campus-wide impact, or significance. He deals with matters that are potentially controversial or sensitive.

3. When should I get in touch with Marketing & Communications?

Cal Poly Humboldt administrators, faculty, and staff are asked to notify Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390, when:

  • You are contacted by a news reporter about campus policy or a campus-wide issue
  • You can offer an expert opinion on current affairs
  • You or another administrator, faculty member, student, or staffer have won a major award
  • You have completed a research project and want to announce the results
  • You use innovative teaching techniques that would be helpful to outside educational institutions
  • You need to arrange media conferences
  • You have a special event that will be of broad interest or service to the community

Also, see the CSU’s Interview Tips for working with the news media.

4. What is Humboldt media policy in an emergency?

When a campus emergency occurs, media access will be controlled by special procedures set forth separately in Humboldt's Emergency Operations Policy.

5. What is Humboldt’s policy concerning access to classrooms, labs, etc.?

Humboldt welcomes reporters and photographers on campus the same way it welcomes the public. In general, news media representatives do not need permission to enter the campus or take exterior still or video photographs for news purposes. It is Humboldt policy to be as helpful as possible to the media. However, that does not constitute a right to indiscriminate access. Students, staff, and faculty have a right to privacy and neither reporters nor the public are allowed to disrupt classroom instruction or other educational functions.

If a reporter approaches you in person with an impromptu question, feel free to refer him/her to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 to set up an appointment with you at a mutually convenient time. Don't feel obligated to answer questions on the fly when you haven't had time to prepare.

News media must obtain prior permission from Marketing & Communications to enter classrooms, medical facilities, and teaching laboratories by dialing (707) 826-3390 or emailing Permission usually will be granted, as long as access does not disrupt university functions or jeopardize safety or privacy. Residence halls are generally closed to the news media. Any requests you receive to videotape specific campus activities or functions should be referred to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 or

All requests for commercial, non-news photography, filmmaking, or videotaping should be referred to Marketing & Communications at (707) 826-3390 or The campus policy related to this is here: Humboldt Visual/Sound Policy [PDF].

The news media should not be allowed to infringe on the privacy of students, parents, administrators, faculty, or staff. There are occasions when information will not be made public for valid legal, regulatory, or privacy reasons. For example, no statements will be made to the media concerning a legal matter, or a potentially actionable legal matter, until CSU's Office of General Counsel or Humboldt's Office of Risk Management & Safety Services has been consulted. Any statement concerning legal matters must receive prior review for its legal (as distinct from public relations) implications.

6. How do I share news tips about projects, research, alumni, etc.?

You can share news tips about your department, faculty research, staff success, alumni updates and more by contacting Marketing & Communications at or (707) 826-3390.

Alumni can submit a class note by using this form: Submit a Class Note

You can also contact the Office of Alumni & Engagement directly: 
Stephanie Lane, Director of Alumni Relations at (707) 826-3132.

7. How do I promote my event?

There are several ways for campus groups publicize their events at Humboldt, including posters, flyers, campus radio stations, the student newspaper, and joining efforts with one of the hundreds of student-run clubs on campus. For details, go to the MarCom Word Out Marketing Guide



Note: these guidelines apply to professional, commercial media outlets, and also to The Lumberjack student newspaper and campus radio. However, student reporters generally expect and are granted greater personal access to those in charge of University programs.


Campus Media Contacts

Main Office
(707) 826-3390

Aileen Yoo

Director of News & Information
(707) 826-5105

Iridian Casarez

Communication Officer
(707) 826-5142

Drew Grewder

Sports Information Director
(707) 826-3631