The Office of External Affairs as a Resource
The Office of External Affairs provides strategic communications counsel to faculty, staff and students with the goal of maintaining and further enhancing the reputation of Weill Cornell Medicine. External Affairs is charged with overseeing engagement with the press and other media. Our team protects confidential information and patient privacy and promotes compliance of WCM policies while preserving academic freedom.
Interaction with the media
Faculty, staff and students must consult External Affairs in all dealings with the press, including prior to responding to inquiries from members of the media; agreeing to, arranging or conducting an interview; or soliciting any other coverage by or interaction with the news media. External Affairs must escort any reporters for interviews on campus.
The External Affairs media relations team is the primary conduit and contact for all media on behalf of the institution. All departmental communications staff must contact the media team directly about story ideas and queries.
To contact the Weill Cornell Medicine media relations team, call us at (646) 962-9564, email us at email@example.com or fill out our contact request form. Additionally, the Press Room page provides media team beat assignments to help you connect with a team member directly.
The Weill Cornell Medicine media relations team offers a professional development course that provides tips and techniques on navigating and maximizing media interviews to translate scientific concepts to a lay audience. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the media team or go to the Office for Faculty for more information.
Publicizing Research or Patient Testimonials
Faculty members are advised to alert External Affairs with new research or patient story development. The Communications team (editorial content and media relations) will evaluate the topic and recommend the appropriate Weill Cornell Medicine and external vehicles for dissemination, including Weill Cornell Medicine magazine, the institution’s online newsroom, donor publications, media outreach and social media. Faculty and staff are advised to provide four to eight weeks advance notice to External Affairs regarding upcoming publications, presentations at medical meetings or other news; this allows for strategic counsel and smooth and clear editorial development of a story. Our teams work frequently with embargoes and confidential material, and have relationships with journal press offices.
Any requests for filming and photography on campus (e.g., wet/dry labs, patient areas, classrooms) must be reviewed and approved by the External Affairs. A member of the External Affairs team must escort all crews on campus. There two general categories of filming queries: 1) media/press interviews with news outlets and 2) documentaries or videos for websites. Occasionally, External Affairs will deputize a member of your office to provide the necessary oversight on location.
Please alert External Affairs to any requests for interviews on Weill Cornell Medicine property; the media team will then inform security and meet the reporter and/or crew before entering campus. Per institutional guidelines, the media team must be present for any interview (print/online/TV). On-site media requests require at least 24 hours of advanced notice.
Documentary or other filming on campus requires four- to six-week notice to allow External Affairs to execute a location agreement. Filming requests that incorporate patients require a six- to eight-week notice and must have a signed HIPAA consent form.
External Affairs must have a copy of a signed HIPAA consent form prior to any interviews, filming or photos with patients for all mediums: Weill Cornell Medicine videos/websites, social media, news media, external documentaries and website videos.
External Companies (including PR Firms)
Public relations firms must reach out to External Affairs before approaching faculty for media interviews, quotes in press releases or educational awareness activities. External Affairs works with various departments to facilitate review of activities with external companies and public relations agencies to protect the reputation and credibility of our faculty and institution. To submit a request, call us at (646) 962-9564, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact request form.
External Press Releases
Any written material distributed by external companies that includes Weill Cornell Medicine affiliation must be reviewed and approved by External Affairs. When an external organization or company requests to issue a press release citing our research, quoting our faculty, or using Weill Cornell Medicine’s name or branding, the press release is reviewed by various departments, including: External Affairs, department chairs, the Office of Research Integrity (e.g., Conflicts, Institutional Review Board) and Legal. All press releases — those issued by Weill Cornell Medicine and external organizations — must be vetted through this process. To offer sufficient time for all approvals, please allow at least 10 business days for review and approval.
Faculty-authored articles for media (not peer-reviewed/scholarly articles)
External Affairs does not monitor or regulate op-eds, letters to the editor or other faculty-authored articles; our department supports faculty self-expression and academic freedom.
The Weill Cornell Medicine media relations team offers a professional development course that provides tips and techniques on writing and placing Op-Eds. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the media team or go to the Office for Faculty for more information.