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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.