Media Contact and Spokesperson Policy

The LWVUS and LWVEF will develop and carry out proactive media relations on LWVUS advocacy priorities and LWVEF citizen education programs with print and electronic media, with the long-range goal of enhancing the visibility and image of the League of Women Voters.

1.   The LWVUS/LWVEF President/Chair is the chief spokesperson for the League.  The President/Chair and national board members, when designated by the President, speak for the League for attribution by name on all League matters (including speculating, commenting on, assessing, interpreting and setting new policy).

2.   The Executive Director may speak for the LWVUS/LWVEF for attribution by name on all League matters.  While the President/Chair remains the chief spokesperson for the League, the President/Chair and the Executive Director shall consult on the circumstances under which it is appropriate for the Executive Director to be the League's spokesperson.

3.   Communications staff can and should speak for attribution on all matters known to be approved League policy, positions, strategy and rationale.  They should establish working relationships with media contacts and should initiate press calls to advise, update and make known League policy, positions, strategy and rationale.  In consultation with the President/Chair and/or Executive Director, communications staff may make the judgment to refer press to other staff.

4.   Lobbying staff are encouraged to develop working relationships with reporters covering their issues.  They may speak on background or for attribution by name on matters clearly known to be approved League policy, positions, strategy and rationale.  Lobbyists shall direct press to the President/Chair, other board members or the Executive Director when feasible and warranted.  Lobbyists may initiate press calls after first checking to ensure that efforts are coordinated.  They may respond to direct press calls for background or attribution by name but must coordinate with other communications staff on the nature of the call.

5.   Other LWVUS/LWVEF staff not mentioned above should not initiate press calls but should inform communications staff of ideas, press opportunities or press contacts as they arise.  Communications staff will assess how to proceed.  In response to press inquiries, if communications staff, the President/Chair and/or the Executive Director decide that the nature of the press inquiry requires particular expertise, staff will be encouraged to talk on background or for attribution on matters clearly known to be approved League policy or positions.  Division directors will be responsible when their staff is asked to respond to press inquiries.