Media relations policy

Policy and procedure

Promotions and Media Relations at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

The following policy is based on the MUHC Promotions and Media Relations policy. Slight modifications were made to reflect the specific needs of The Children's.

Guidelines for the media

Reporters must identify the Montreal Children's Hospital staff by their HOSPITAL title and not just their university title in stories related to their work or to their role at the Children's.

Reporters are asked to use the complete name of the institution - Montreal Children's Hospital or Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC - when referring to the hospital or its staff in a print or broadcast story. On second reference the hospital may be referred to as the MCH or as the Children's.

Advance notice of on-site interviews is necessary so PRC staff can arrange for a room for media interviews or shoots, notify the patient care areas involved and line up the appropriate patients, families and MCH staff for the story.

Even if family members consent to speaking with the media permission from the hospital is required if that interview is to take place within the hospital or on hospital grounds. The hospital reserves the right to decline media interviews when there is a medical or other justification.

A member of PRC or an individual designated by the department must accompany all media while on MUHC premises.

It is the responsibility of the MCH to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all patients and research subjects. PRC will ensure patients and research subjects have given their written consent prior to being interviewed, photographed or filmed by the media, other external agencies and the hospital's internal audiovisual services. In the case of a patient younger than14 years of age written consent must be obtained from a parent or legal guardian. In the case of a child younger than 14 years of age who is under youth protection OR a child 14 years of age or older but who is deemed mentally incompetent, written consent must be obtained from the appropriate legal authority. If a minor child is not comfortable with the process it will be stopped. PRC will keep signed consent forms on file in compliance with the applicable privacy legislation and with the MUHC Security and Confidentiality Program.

Hospital policy

The Public Relations and Communications Department (PRC) of the MCH and MUHC will coordinate all media relations and promotional activities. If the media contacts a member of the MUHC or RI MUHC directly, these calls should be forwarded to a member of PRC who will make appropriate arrangements to respond to the request. The PRC extension at The Children's is x24307.

PRC will prepare and distribute all information to the media pertaining to the MUHC and to the RI MUHC including press releases and media advisories. When an external partner, funding body or communications agency wishes to prepare information for release to the media related to an MUHC or RI MUHC activity, permission must be pre-authorized by PRC. PRC must also approve the final product prior to release. Any material prepared by a funding body or communications agency pertaining to MUHC or RI MUHC activities must include the appropriate hospital logo and must refer to MUHC staff including researchers by their hospital title, not just their university title.

PRC will work with MUHC personnel, physicians and scientists to prepare all communications related to their activities.

Members of the MUHC and the RI MUHC who wish to publicize events or activities must contact PRC for support and advice. PRC has the authority to approve or reject proposed promotional activities.

All uses of the MUHC name and logo for external promotion must be authorized by PRC.

About The Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC