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How Communications Director Mark Couch Helps Represent the Hard Work of SOM Faculty


Mark Couch
Imagine this: You’ve just published a study … and you have a voicemail from a reporter from the Denver Post who has questions. Or, you’ve published a study the media should be interested in … and no one is calling. Or, you gave an interview that you thought went fine … yet you see your remarks misrepresented in the printed piece.

What’s a faculty member to do? According to Communications Director Mark Couch, the answer is easy:

Give him a call.

Couch’s primary role is to ensure SOM information is disseminated accurately and appropriately. After more than 25 years of working in and with the media, Couch understands that working with the press is both an art and science. Media coaching is an essential aspect of his job, and he can help you deliver your key messages in the best manner for the medium the reporter represents. And he can help you to pinpoint the interviewer’s goals—before the interview begins.   

Maintaining good relationships with local media is an important aspect of Couch’s job. These relationships are essential for informing the media of SOM stories—and ensuring media represent the SOM fairly should the need for crisis communication emerge. “I used to handle media relations for the Colorado Department of Revenue Tax Division,” says Couch. “So as you might imagine, I’m used to handling difficult questions.” Couch also worked as a reporter for the Denver Post from 2001-2007.

In addition to his media work, Couch is responsible for:

  • The Dean’s weekly email. Couch helps Dean Krugman prepare his weekly "What's Going On Here?" message to School of Medicine faculty members, students, staff and alumni. Couch encourages faculty to contact him if they have something they want considered in this communication.
  • CU Medicine Today. Couch serves as editor of this twice-a-year publication that promotes and emphasizes the missions of the school and is distributed to friends of the SOM, including alumni, donors and students. “A 28-page publication is not enough to communicate all of the fabulous work of our 3,000 faculty members ,” says Couch. Yet Couch says he’s always looking for story suggestions of interest to a broad audience.
  • Serving as a liaison to the university’s communications departments. Couch ensures the SOM is equitably and accurately represented at the university-level. This often includes collaborating on special projects, which can involve coordination of interviews and oversight for the production of videos.

Above all, Couch wants faculty members to understand that he’s here as a resource for promoting all the good things you do teaching, in your labs and with your patients. 

“Colorado has an institution it should be very proud of. The hard work of our faculty is among the world’s best. My role is to ensure people in Colorado and beyond know that we’re doing great work here.”

Contact Couch at 303-724-5377 or mark.couch@ucdenver.edu.