Media Relations Policy

Sherburn in Elmet Community Trust (SIECT) is committed to the provision of accurate information in respect of its functions, decisions and actions. SIECT may communicate with those whose work involves gathering material for editorial publication in print, broadcast and electronic form, and including all social media platforms (“the media”). Where information is not available via SIECT’s published documentsSIECT shall endeavour to assist the media with enquiries about SIECT’s functions, decisions and actions.  

The purpose of this policy is to 

  • establish a framework for achieving an effective working relationship with the media  
  • ensure that the views and policies of SIECT are presented accurately
  • clarify who is authorised to speak on behalf of SIECT  
  • provide guidance for Trustees, Volunteers and Staff on how to deal with some of the practical issues that may arise when dealing with the Press and Media  
  • ensure consistency in SIECT’s dealings with the Press and Media  
  • ensure that all elements of the Press and Media will be treated equally 
  • agree an approach for responding to comments on social media 

Press releases / approaches made to/from the Press / Media  

  1. Volunteers and employees must not communicate with the news media on any matter relating to the Trust, the Library or the Old Girls’ School unless they are authorised to do so by the Chairman. Forthcoming events at the Library or OGS can, however, be promoted by authorised persons* by way of media announcements or via Facebook and other social networking platforms, without the prior consent of the Chairman and Trustees, provided that the editorial content is restricted to describing the event. 
  2. The current members of the SIECT sub-committee delegated to deal with media releases and approaches are Paul Doherty, Andrew Robertson and Andrew Potts.  
  3. Press releases may be issued proactively to alert the media to a potential story, provide important public information or to explain SIECT’s position on a particular issue.  
  4. A response to any allegations made via the news media is provided to the media only by the Trust Chairman or by someone authorised by the Chairman to speak to journalists on the Trust’s behalf and with adequate briefing.
  5. In the event that a journalist visits the Library or Old Girls School and requests information on any topic (other than published information about planned events), the duty team leader must not provide any information but should courteously advise the journalist to contact the Trust Chairman providing contact details. 

Social media 

  1. We will adopt appropriate social media channels to keep our customers involved in our work. This is currently Facebook (OGS, Library, SCAG, SIECT), LinkedIn (SIECT) and Instagram (OGS). 
  2. In line with our equality and diversity policy, we will not tolerate offensive comments or bullying on our social media channels. We may delete public comments without notice, block followers and/or report them to the social media platform. In some cases, we may not reply to comments or questions. 
  3. We appreciate the support of our volunteers to share details of our activities and events on social media to help us reach more peopleInformation and comments shared by our volunteers on personal social media accounts reflects the views of the individual and may not represent the views of the SIECT. We ask volunteers not to respond to negative comments or questions about SIECT or our activities, but pass to an authorised persons* to consider how to respond. 
  4. We will always try and use alternative channels (eg posters) to reach our customers as we recognise not everyone uses social media. 

*Authorised persons: 

  • Trustees of the Community Trust; Community Development Manager. 
  • Library Management Group; Library Supervisor; Outreach Librarian. 
  • Community Centre Manager; Community Centre Co-ordinators; Old Girls’ School Management Group; Chair of Friends of the Old Girls’ School. 

Policy adopted by SIECT Trustee Meeting held 22nd March 2021