Working with the media can be beneficial for many reasons, particularly when you have some news of your own that you would like to see publicized. The Office of Marketing and Communications can assist you in spreading the news about an event, program or recent recognition. This office can promote your internal news through the online University News employee newsletter. It can also assist you in the creation of fliers, brochures and programs to promote your events. News that is of external interest as well can be publicized through the News and Events section on the University’s main Web page, and through press releases, guide notices and, when appropriate, notices sent to local parishes for inclusion in their weekly church bulletins.
At times, it may be difficult for you to determine whether your news should be publicized to the external public. If it’s news, everyone should want to know about it, right? One good measure of whether news should be publicized outside of the Lewis community is to focus on the breadth of the story’s appeal. Who will be affected by the news? Who might take an interest in what you are reporting? Is the news unique in itself?
For example, if the news is about an event that Lewis is hosting that is open only to faculty, staff or students, generally this is not a story that warrants external attention. Events open to the public should be publicized externally. However – even when publicity is sent to the media – keep in mind that many factors will determine the scope of its appeal with the press. For instance, the type of event, the cost of admission, and the particular medium’s audience will ultimately have an impact on whether your news gets attention.
The Office of Marketing and Communications can assist you in assessing the best course for publicity.
Once you know who your audience is, you can then begin thinking about what your main message should be. What will catch your audience’s attention? What would be the most interesting aspect for those with whom you want to share your news? What is most important for your audience to know? In reality, you have two audiences: Those with whom you want to share your news and those who make decisions about how your news gets shared (editors, reporters, producers, etc.).
Even when you have what you think is a really exciting story to tell, it may not always receive the press that it deserves. Editors have numerous stories pitched to them every day. Unfortunately, they also have limited resources (manpower, time, pages, airspace, etc.). In the end, the media themselves will make the decision to run with your story, to save it for another day or to let it go entirely. However, careful thought and planning on your part can increase the chances for publicity.