Increasing the U of M System’s Media Presence: New Communications Tools
Over the past few months, the University Public Relations team has launched new communications tools to increase the U of M System’s presence in Minnesota and national media by sharing faculty subject matter expertise and research. Along with news releases and media alerts, we are collaborating with our communications colleagues across the system to draft and distribute Expert Alerts, Research Briefs and Media/Expert Guides.
In a series of weekly blog posts, we will feature each of the communications tools, ending with ideas for amplifying content. We start this week with Expert Alerts. Next week, please watch for Research Briefs.
Expert Alerts are shared with local, state and national media and posted to social media on timely or trending topics in the news, as well as stories we see as underreported. Expert Alerts can also be pegged to a noteworthy event or commemoration.
Working with communications colleagues, we draft headlines for the Expert Alerts that grab the media’s attention. We open with a lede on the newsworthiness or hook. Participating faculty provide their perspective on the topic through quotes. These quotes are broader statements that give journalists an insight on how the expert approaches the topic. Additionally, one of our objectives is for journalists to simply pull the quote from the Expert Alert and drop it into their stories.
Experts Alerts also consist of faculty contact information and a downloadable photo that can be used to accompany the quotes.
Expert Alerts have been met with great success - several faculty have appeared in Minnesota and national media outlets as a result of journalists using the Expert Alerts for sources for their stories. Another benefit of the Expert Alerts is that they are a good vehicle to introduce our expertise to journalists, while also offering them a resource for their reporting and sharing ideas that may spark a future story.
Please let us know if you have any questions or have ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!