This Media Protocol was adopted by the Crofting Commission on 3 April 2012 and revised on 2 November 2012 and 22 July 2013.
The guiding principle of the Protocol is to ensure that the Convener and the Chief Executive are consulted and kept informed.
The Commission is a public body and an agent of the Scottish Government. As such, it needs to ensure all its communications including with the media are factual; non-party political; in accordance with Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation; and in accordance with the Code of Conduct. That said, the Commission should always aim to be as transparent as possible and as helpful as is reasonable to all press and media enquiries. The Commission must avoid any preferential or detrimental treatment of any one publication or media outlet.
The principle spokesperson for the Commission is the Chief Executive or, in her absence, the Convener. It is the Chief Executive's contact details which will normally be given in any Commission Press Releases, and to whom requests for interviews or quotes would normally be directed. The Chief Executive may ask the Convener, or a Commissioner to comment or be interviewed instead of her.
Where a press request specifies the need for a Gaelic interview, the Commission Gaelic spokesperson is Murdo Maclennan. Interviews conducted in Gaelic will normally be covered by Mr Maclennan.
Requests for factual information
The Head of Communications will normally take general Press enquiries, and may direct them to an appropriate officer for the supply of factual information only. If in doubt, she will undertake to ring back and will consult the Chief Executive before reverting to the enquirer.
Requests for quotes
As noted above, quotes should normally be cleared by and attributed to the Chief Executive or Convener.
Requests for interviews
As noted above, interviews will normally be given by the Chief Executive or Convener or a Commissioner specifically nominated by the Chief Executive and Convener for a particular interview.
Press releases will normally be planned in advance. Depending on their nature, they will either be cleared with the Chief Executive and the Convener or by all Commissioners. As a matter of course they will be copied prior to release to the Scottish Government (Sponsor Division) as a matter of courtesy; but in some instances it may be appropriate to consult on a draft with the Scottish Government and/or other partner organisations. Press releases will normally be completed by the Head of Communications.
Letters to Editors
Letters to Editors in the name of the Commission – whether for publication or otherwise – are cleared and signed by the Chief Executive or Convener.