Connecting with Key Media Through Virtual Roundtables

August 3, 2020

Hosting a roundtable is one good way for a select group of journalists to hear directly from our experts about their research and for our experts to learn about journalists’ beats and reporting methods. An extra benefit is that our experts become sources for journalists’ future stories.

Agility—the systemwide tool available through University Relations—shared six tips to help make hosting a virtual media roundtable a success. The first, and one to always keep in mind when engaging journalists who work on deadlines, is:

Identify the theme
Your media invitees may not have to factor in travel time for a virtual roundtable, but they’ll still need a compelling reason to attend. Anchor your event on a newsworthy development with the promise of new information that has real value for them. Make your theme highly focused and convey it clearly in the invitation.

Knowing the theme, University Public Relations advises that the list of journalists invited be targeted. Public Relations staff can assist with identifying which journalists to invite, based on their beats and reporting interests.

On a related subject, the media roundtable tips can also be applied for editorial board meetings with System leadership. Newspaper editorial boards meet regularly to discuss the news and choose topics and opinions for editorials. These meetings are an opportunity for leaders to meet with editorial writers to share important updates, priorities, current events, and other issues of importance to the System.

To help you prepare for interviews and roundtable/editorial board meetings, University Public Relations offers media training for leaders, faculty, staff, and others. Additionally, we recently posted important tips to help experts prepare and conduct virtual media interviews.

If you would like to learn more about media roundtables and/or media training, please contact Brad Robideau in University Public Relations at brobidea@umn.edu.

Keywords: