Guidelines for News Releases / Publicity / Communications
The Office of Alumni and College Relations in the College of Health and Human Development is available to help faculty and staff members of the college promote their research and academic endeavors, including those involving students, to the media. The office prepares press releases and works with the Penn State Office of University Relations to distribute them to appropriate media outlets that can include hundreds of print, television, radio, and Internet reporters.
Please contact the office of Alumni and College Relations upon notification of a newsworthy item.
Achieving publicity for research and academic endeavors has significant benefits. It benefits faculty and staff members by helping them gain recognition for their important work as individuals and members of groups, and it influences their chances of obtaining funding for ongoing research and new studies. In addition, publicity benefits Penn State and the College of Health and Human Development by maintaining their public images as institutions engaged in high-quality research and academic endeavors. The college feels strongly that the knowledge generated by its faculty and staff should be shared with the public, whose support is essential to its continuing success.
Requirements and Timelines
The Office of Alumni and College Relations will work with you to determine if a suggested news item merits distribution, in any form. Timing of the paper/event and the anticipated newsworthiness of the content are considered to identify the best methods with which to promote a news item and to determine a schedule under which to operate.
Requests for press releases should be made to the Office of Alumni and College Relations at the time of a paper’s acceptance by a journal, prior to the occurrence of a newsworthy event, or upon preparation to release a particular finding(s). Remember, journals often publish papers online well before (and without notifying the authors) of the print date so notification at the time of acceptance versus the time of print publication is critical.
What you and your faculty can do
Communicate with us regularly about:
- New grants
- Research findings
- Interesting collaborations
- Student activities
- Human interest angles
- Interactions with the press
Providing as much lead-time as possible allows for ample time to develop a release. The office will work with you to generate complete, accurate, and timely content that is ready-built for consideration by the media. Media outlets are increasingly understaffed and hurried. Research shows that well-prepared content has a significantly greater likelihood of gaining exposure. Additionally, where appropriate, it can allow time to acquire or develop assets (such as images, artwork, illustrations, etc.). Providing assets with a release can improve a news item’s likelihood of being covered by the media.
If a paper already has been published (including online) or an event already has occurred, its likelihood of being covered by the media is significantly reduced; therefore, the office will not write a press release.
To suggest a news item, please contact:
Office of Alumni and College Relations
215 Henderson Building
University Park, PA 16802