New Communications Tool: “Talking ... with UMN”

Five Questions with an Expert
March 29, 2019

What is it?

Created to highlight the expertise of University faculty and researchers, “Talking ... with UMN” consists of five questions about a topic. The highlighted topic replaces the ellipses in the title of each finished product (e.g., “Talking opioid crisis trends with UMN”).

The questions are collaboratively developed between communicators and experts. They are broad in nature and designed to provide readers a high-level overview of the topic.

The answers to the questions are written by experts in lay terms, with a goal of no more than 175 words per answer. Along with the five questions, a short paragraph introducing the topic and expert is included.

What is the purpose?

“Talking ... with UMN” shines a spotlight on University expertise, similar to Expert Alerts. However, unlike Expert Alerts, it doesn’t need an immediate news peg.

“Talking ... with UMN” allows for more flexibility: it can be a topic of general interest, it can offer topical expertise around an annual event (e.g., Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month), or it can highlight unique expertise that may generate news interest.

This new tool also allows us to be more planful, working weeks in advance to prepare for distribution.

To whom is this distributed?

Depending on the topic, “Talking ... with UMN” releases will be sent to news outlets locally, across the state and, potentially, nationally with the offer that they can republish or reach out for an interview. Here's an example of a republished release.

Please feel free to repurpose this content for your websites, social media accounts, and other  distribution channels.

If you have any questions about “Talking ... with UMN,” reach out to your University Public Relations consultant or reach out to the University Public Relations team at