NEWS AND INFORMATION Online guide
Location: Commissary 1st Floor
Phone: (956) 882-8231
Fax: (956) 882-3869
There are several forms of publicity offered through the Office of News & Information. The following is a description of each method used to promote UTB/TSC programs of study, and special institutional events. When utilizing the media for publicity, please keep in mind that all media have the option to use or not to use the information given to them. The only sure way of knowing that your information will be published, seen, and/or heard is through a paid advertisement.
The news media uses releases in several different ways. A news release may run exactly as it is written, or it could be turned into a news brief (which is generally a small paragraph). Or a reporter may do his or her own story. The Office of News & Information prepares and distributes all news releases to area television stations, newspapers, and radio stations. Every press release concerning UTB/TSC must go through the Office of News & Information.
To have a news release distributed to promote your event or activity, complete a Publicity Request form, which can be found on the Office of News & Information website. Submit the form at least two weeks in advance (sooner if possible). Be prepared to give “who, what, where, when, why, and how” information to News & Information staff.
TIP: Always try to spotlight the most interesting part of your story or event. What is unique about this story – is it a first, is it the only event held like it in Texas, did the student overcome significant obstacles on the way to success?
The Office of News & Information will send the news release to our list of local, state and national publications, as applicable.
The Office of News and Information has the responsibility of campus email messages to faculty, staff and students.
Every Monday an email newsletter is sent to the campus community. The newsletter lists events and messages from departments requesting to be included on the e-mail. Deadline to submit copy for the Monday weekly announcements will be the Wednesday before, at noon.
The following are standards for messages sent out to faculty, staff and students. This "mass email" must:
Information about activities by student organizations will be distributed via email to students only through the Office of Student Activities.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Public Service Announcements are similar to news releases, but they are shorter, and target broadcast media. PSA's are 30-second bits of information that are aired on radio and television stations as part of a service for nonprofit organizations. There is no guarantee if, or how much, your PSA will be utilized. However, most Valley media are looking for good PSA's to broadcast.
To have a PSA distributed, follow the same procedure as you would for a news release. Complete the Request for Publicity form found on the News & Information website or in the office. Submit the completed form two weeks or more in advance of the desired distribution date. Be prepared to give “who, what, where, when, why, and how” information to News & Information staff, as well as interesting tidbits about your project. The Office of News & Information will send the PSA to our list of local, state and national publications, as applicable.
Media Resource Guide
The Office of News and Information is developing a Media Resource Guide, and would like to invite you to share your expertise with us.
Several times a week our office receives calls from the news media asking for help finding experts on a variety of topics: immigration, gas prices, financial aid, local history, healthcare, etc.
By including your areas of knowledge in
· your job,
· your research or
· your hobbies,
we can also have a list of story ideas for slow news days.
To be included in the Media Resources Guide, please go to UTB/TSC Today at www.utb.edu and fill out the Media Resources Guide Form.
The Office of News & Information has a limited budget for advertising, which is used for college-wide purposes such as image campaigns and registration promotion. Individual departments are responsible for securing their own funding when a need for advertising arises. All UTB/TSC advertising must go through the Office of News & Information.
The Office of News & Information can help you get the most for your advertising dollar by coordinating the design and placement of your ads. News & Information can assist with newspaper, radio, billboard and television and can also coordinate specialty items such as pens, notepads, etc. We can help you identify your target audience, then coordinate the placement according to media ratings.
To secure advertising for your event or project, contact Lupita Molina, Communications & Marketing Representative in the Office of News and Information at 882-8237 or firstname.lastname@example.org
at least TWO weeks in advance for newspaper and three to four weeks in advance for radio or other productions (more if possible). Along with this information, a Request to Advertise Form and a Creative Brief must be completed and submitted.
The Office of News & Information can also help with advertising goals, timelines and budgets.
Newspapers and television stations are always looking for “wild art.” This term simply refers to photos or video that run in the media and are not accompanied by a news article. A good example of a photo opportunity would be the furniture being unpacked for the new Student Union, or students presenting visually exciting class projects.
If you know of something that would make good wild art, please submit a Request for Publicity form to the Office of News & Information at least two weeks in advance.
TIP: Be sure your photo opportunity will take place in a photographer-friendly environment with good lighting and easy access.
A Collection of Works
This publication is produced by the Office of News and Information once a year and includes information on new published materials by Faculty and Staff. Materials can be in the form of books, videos, journals or computer software. Staff and Faculty are encouraged to submit product information as soon as publications become available to the public. New entries or updated information should be emailed to email@example.com. For a sample format on how to submit your information, click here.
Video News releases
Video News Releases air twice a month on KRGV-TV, Channel 5 Eyewitness News. These VNRs comprise a series entitled "People Stories" and air during the Sunday evening newscast at 10:00 p.m. “People Stories” highlight a particularly interesting program or faculty projects at UTB/TSC. Frequent airing creates a dynamic presence of the institution's programs and faculty by offering a perspective not commonly associated with academia. To suggest a story, e-mail Letty Fernandez at Leticia.Fernandez@utb.edu
Not everyone at UTB/TSC has regular encounters with the media, but it is important to know what to do in a situation that warrants (or maybe does not warrant) media attention.
There are two major types of media coverage anticipated and unanticipated. Below is what to do when the media is involved.
• A pre-planned event (student orientation, fine arts event, arena registration etc.)
• For all of UTB/TSC’s major events, the Office of News & Information distributes press releases. If you are coordinating, participating, or attending an event, be prepared to be approached by a reporter. If asked a question, be friendly and remember that you are representing UTB/TSC. For those who feel uncomfortable on camera, or who would rather not speak to reporters, politely refer the media to a representative from the Office of News & Information or the coordinator of the event.
The Office of News & Information is always on the lookout for interesting stories to give the media. When we receive a good news tip from a colleague, we write and distribute a press release and follow-up with a phone call to the reporter. Usually, reporters will say that they will submit the idea to their editors, and get back to us if the story is needed. When and if the reporter will call back is difficult to determine. It is not unheard of for a story to sit on a reporter’s desk for a month or two then receive good coverage, long after you had forgotten about it. Other times an editor may have already scheduled reporters during our window of time, and sometimes the story will be scratched. In any case, be prepared if you are the source of our news tip. If you are coordinating a possible story through the Office of News & Information, let us know if you are going out of town in the near future, or if you anticipate being away from campus. It is a good idea to brief a colleague who wouldn’t mind talking to the media in your absence.
An Unexpected Encounter
Typically the media is very good about going through the Office of News & Information before approaching anyone on campus. However, the unexpected can happen. If you receive a call from a reporter keep the following in mind:
If the desired information is questionable, you don’t have to talk to the reporter right at the moment. Politely ask the reporter when his/her deadline is, ask for a phone number and tell him/her you will call back in time for their deadline. Contact a News & Information representative and we will help you with the situation. Most reporters don’t mind this at all. They are looking for accurate information as well – just be aware of their time limitations.
If a crisis does occur at UTB/TSC, the proper university officials will handle the situation. If you are needed for media interviews, the Office of News & Information will contact you.
All interviews between reporters and UTB/TSC employees should be cleared through the Office of News & Information. The following are tips and recommendations for media interviews:
If you are doing a phone interview with a reporter, you are probably being recorded.
When speaking with a reporter, don’t ramble. Answer questions directly. This should be kept in mind for two reasons:
• Reporters are looking for precise quotes. They don’t want a paragraph-long explanation, or a five-minute sound byte!
• Rambling on can only hurt you. It is natural to want to fill in the conversation, but don’t. You may end up saying more than you wanted to.
Reporters are very observant. If you are doing a face-to-face interview, the reporter is not just listening to what you are saying. For example, a feature story done on a College or School Dean may mention the many family pictures displayed in the office. The reporter may include observations about the surroundings. Make sure your surroundings are the way you want to be perceived.
Always respect a reporter’s deadline.
Do not feel pressured into talking to a reporter. You can always refer them to the Office of News & Information at 882-8231. We are located in the Officers' Quarters.
If you are a source for a reporter’s story, don’t take it personally if the story does not end up as you intended. It’s a reporter’s job to be objective. He/she may use other sources with opposing viewpoints.
Never expect that the media is going to cover your event or use your story idea. The Office of News & Information distributes numerous press releases that are never utilized. Reporters, editors, and news directors are looking for the best stories of the day to fill a very limited amount of space and air time.
NEVER say “no comment.” Saying those two little words gives the impression that you are trying to hide something. Better options are to ask the reporter to clarify the question or explain that you are not the best source for that information and helpfully direct them to the proper person. Again, if you do not know where to channel the question, direct the reporter to the Office of News & Information.
Remember. . .
It’s not coincidence that UTB/TSC has a very good relationship with area media. We work hard at it. So when working with the media, please keep in mind that you are representing the entire institution and upholding a very important image.
Questions or comments?
E-mail the Office of News and Information at: firstname.lastname@example.org