This procedure sets out the steps that members of the CERN personnel should take if they are contacted by the media with questions or requests for visits to the CERN site.
CERN’s Press Office is the main point of contact for media from all over the world. It is also responsible for the Organization’s official communications. Its mission is to disseminate CERN’s key messages among the media and to protect the Laboratory’s good image and reputation. The Press Office can also provide coaching and advice on media relations. Each year, the Press Office welcomes around 400 media teams, puts out 30 press releases, indexes thousands of articles identified by its media monitoring service and organises events to coincide with what’s happening at CERN.
1. Notify the Press Office
If a member of the personnel is contacted directly by a journalist wishing to arrange a visit to the CERN site, he or she must contact the Press Office, by e-mail or by telephone, to explain the nature of the request before setting a date for the visit. The Press Office will be on hand to facilitate and enhance the journalist’s visit.
The Press Office is the only body that can provide journalists with the accreditation that they need to access the CERN site, and must be contacted in advance of every media visit to the Laboratory. For this reason, it needs to be told as early as possible the nature of the request, the journalist’s needs and the desired visit date. The Press Office can take care of all aspects of the organisation of the media visit; it is familiar with the needs of journalists and of different forms of media (audiovisual and written press) and with the procedures for accessing the various CERN sites.
Deadline: Please contact the Press Office at least one month before the visit date, or as soon as contacted by the journalist if this is less than one month in advance.
In general, it is essential to inform the Press Office of any event or any information published or broadcast so that it can arrange appropriate media monitoring.
N.B.: The CERN Press Office can be contacted with any requests relating to communication with the media, for example regarding conferences, events, announcements of scientific results or publications, etc. Each request will be evaluated and handled by the Communication group according to its level of importance.
2. Answering questions
Members of the personnel are permitted to respond in a personal capacity to questions from journalists concerning, for example, explanantions of scientific facts, life and activities at CERN, personal work, etc. They should take care not to provide information that is confidential or political in nature or that commits the Organization to a particular future course of action. If you have any doubts about how to respond, do not hesitate to contact the Press Office. Only the Press Office is authorised to deal with requests for official information.
The resources provided at the following link include sample responses to the questions most frequently put to members of the personnel : The Press Office and you: how we can work together.
Members of the personnel can also develop their media management skills by signing up for the “Dealing with Media Questions” course through the CERN Training Catalogue.