About News Media Services
Media coverage plays a major role in shaping the Beach brand.
The university's News Media Services unit, part of Strategic Communications, is a primary point of contact for journalists.
With limited exceptions – namely Beach Athletics and formal visual and performing arts units within the university – only News Media Services may issue news releases to the media and facilitate other outreach. As part of its work, News Media Services coordinates the pairing of faculty subject matter experts with national and local journalists for potential stories.
Members of the campus community who receive inquiries from the news media are encouraged to notify Strategic Communications’ News Media Services office to discuss the request and response options.
Many times, inquiries are best handled by the subject-matter experts closest to an issue. At other times, inquiries are best handled by News Media Services.
Submitting a Potential News Story
To recommend a story concept to be pitched to external news media outlets, please email the Director of News Media Services.
If your college, department or program has a designated communications staff person, please confer with them first. Strategic Communications already has a working relationship with many of the campus communicators.
Strong story submissions
- Stories that have a news peg. A news peg is the why or the reason a reporter decides to cover a story. News pegs are usually stories that are timely, historical, unusual, controversial, human-interest or a discovery.
- Timely- meaning your research, event or expertise is relevant right now but before a topic is past its peak
- New- meaning your research, event or discovery did not exist before, or you created a revolutionary new way to do an old thing.
- Historical- meaning your submission coincides with the anniversary of something major that happened a long time ago.
- Unusual- meaning your submission is out of the ordinary or unique.
- Controversial- meaning your viewpoint goes against the general consensus of an issue.
- Human Interest- meaning your story has a human element to it, and can put a face to a concept or issue.
- Discovery- meaning you have discovered, uncovered, unearthed some form of research or ancient artifact that has never before been seen.
Ideally, recommendations would also relate to one of the university’s brand meanings or reflect its values. (Please see Brand Central for details).
Stories proposals that are discouraged
Submissions that do not align with the university’s brand-meaning themes or values. Stories that do not have a news peg. Submissions about awarded grants that do not meet the university’s threshold to issue a press release ($5 million or more). Proposals that focus on the receipt of a grant vs. the deeper meaning or impact of the grant.
Please copy and paste your word document into the body of your email.
Information to submit
Less is more, however, it is important that information crucial to the story be included in your submission (funding, entities involved, people involved, timing etc.). Your story submission must include the following details: name, contact, department, brief description, date, and name, title and cell phone numbers of the person(s) who would potentially be interviewed.
Deadline to submit a story
We understand that various circumstances affect when a pitch is made, however, we encourage story ideas to be submitted no earlier than a month in advance and no later than two weeks before your desired coverage of submission.
Opposite Editorial (Op-Ed)
Most op-ed pieces are between 700-800 words and always uses AP format. News Media Services can assist with editing and helping to narrow down which outlets would be best suited for your piece.
- Mentally prepare key points to address in the interview.
- Stay focused throughout.
- Avoid jargon specific to your field, speaking instead in layperson terms for a general audience.
- Do not feel compelled to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Say part of the question in your response.
- If you do not know the answer, admit it, and let the reporter know you will follow up with him or her.
- Speak slowly, and try to reduce filler words like “um.”
- Illustrate your point with an example the general audience can relate to.
- Speak in soundbites.
- Do not be afraid to ask for clarity when a question is asked you do not understand.
- It OK to politely correct an inaccurate statement.
- Do not answer any questions about broader policy positions or other information about the university unrelated to the interview, and instead refer those questions to News Media Services.
- For television interviews, sit upright and relax.
- If your interview is on Zoom or similar video service, be mindful of your camera angle, background and surroundings. Also, make sure you have on headphones so your audio is clear.
- For radio interviews, try to use a landline for a clearer, more stable connection.
- Remember everything you say to a reporter is on the record.
News Media Services can assist community members with interview preparation by helping to draft talking points and conducting mock interviews.