In an effort to maximize positive coverage of our university, the office of Media Relations has adopted the following deadlines/guidelines for creating press releases, news tips and event calendar listings.
Press Release Deadlines and Guidelines
Multimedia Press Releases
Events Calendar Deadlines
Press Release Deadlines and Guidelines:
- For events, please request a press release no later than two weeks prior to an event.
(This should provide enough time for us to assign the release, draft a copy of the release, have sources review it, and still send it out to the media approximately a week in advance. Placement in some publications, such as the Standard-Examiner’s Go! Section, Morgan County News, Ogden Valley News, etc. require more than two weeks' notice.)
- When requesting a press release, please include answers to:
- How much does it cost (if an event)?
- Bear in mind that due to workload and other projects, we may not be able to honor all press release requests.
- In lieu of a press release, we may choose to promote your event or news as a news tip or brief.
New tips are typically sent out Thursdays prior to the week the event is set to occur. As a result we need notification of these events at least one week prior to the distribution date.
A news tip is an abbreviated press release, and needs answers to many of the same questions as a press release.
Multimedia Press Releases:
- The traditional press release is becoming somewhat passé. Today, multimedia components to press releases can increase awareness about an event or accomplishment. Here are a few ways to enhance interest in your news:
- Include high-resolution photos of your speaker or graphic element associated with your presentation or area of campus. These visuals can be included with the press release sent to local media or posted online.
- Most press releases written by University Communications are posted as headlines on the weber.edu home page. People searching or surfing the internet may find your release and learn about your event or news.
- Online press releases can offer additional content, such as video or audio files imbedded in the release, as well as links to other Web pages and sources referenced in the release. If you have content like this, be sure to let us know so we can include it with the online version of the release.
Events Calendar Deadlines:
- Weekly events calendars are sent out each Monday morning (except during the summer months). Final revisions to the calendar are completed by the previous Friday afternoon.
- Monthly calendars typically are sent out on the fourth Monday of the previous month.
(i.e. The April events calendar is sent out on the fourth Monday of March.)
Calendars can be viewed at weber.edu/WSUToday/EventsCalendar.html.
- If Monday is a campus holiday, the events calendar is sent first thing Tuesday morning, with final revisions to the calendar completed by the end of business the Friday prior.
- The deadline for submitting items for the calendar of events is typically the third Wed. of the previous month.
(i.e. Submissions for the October events calendar must be received by the third Wed. in September.)
- Melissa Bamfo in Media Relations sends out e-mail reminders at the start of each month in an effort to gather details about upcoming campus events.
- Please send your calendar items to Melissa Bamfo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Allison Hess at email@example.com.
- In order to be included in the calendar, events must have a tie or connection to WSU, one of its outlying campuses or centers, academic departments, programs, campus offices, clubs or organizations.
- Calendar submissions must include:
- Day(s) of week
- Date(s) (month and date) of the event
- Sponsoring organization or group that is putting on the event
- Name or title of event along with brief description or summary
- Time of event
- Location (include an address if taking place off campus)
- Cost associated with event
- Phone number, e-mail address and/or URL for more information
Why won’t you publicize our annual event?
A lot of factors go into news outlets determining what to cover. Annual events are important, but by their very nature (they happen every year) they don’t always lend themselves to being newsworthy. A new event or one that has a new wrinkle/angle is much more appealing to news organizations. Likewise, just because your event has attracted a lot of press coverage in the past, doesn’t mean it will receive similar coverage this year.
Can we get radio to do a live broadcast from our event?
Many times live radio broadcasts are the result of advertising deals between the station and the organizer of the event. Typically, in order to get live radio talent at your event, you need to work with radio promotions directors well in advance of your event, and have an event that will be of significant appeal to listeners up and down the Wasatch Front.
How come you don’t publicize performing arts or athletics events?
Performing Arts and Wildcat Athletics have their own publicists who write press releases and work with the local media.
Why didn’t I hear about that speaker who was on campus last week until after the fact?
In the office of Media Relations we do our best to learn about upcoming events and publicize them, but we don’t always learn of events in time to promote them. Hence, sometimes events occur on campus without us knowing about them or without enough lead time to write a release and publicize the event through the local media.
How do I get my event/news on TV?
Attracting television news coverage can be challenging. The physical distance between Ogden and Salt Lake City (where the four local affiliates are based) presents an obstacle to TV news coverage. Similarly, TV news is most interested in stories with great visuals. A successful pitch to TV generally needs a high-profile speaker or event, activities with lots of opportunities for action and strong pictures, and/or one that is exclusive to that television station (no other station is reporting that story).
Like radio, a successful news pitch to TV takes time, persistence and a fair amount of advance planning. Since most local newscasts are seen across the state, the story needs to be of interest to a large segment of the population.
Why isn’t my event listed on the weber.edu home page?
Space on the weber.edu home page is limited. The rotator and headlines offer a total of eight spots to promote events and campus news. During the semester (especially spring semester) the number of events we are asked to publicize often exceed the number of slots available on the main page.
Typically headlines are updated as events come and go, but during peak times, it may be impossible to place all events on the weber.edu page given the finite number of headlines available. The selection of items to include in the headlines is subjective, with priority given to items that advance the university’s image and/or have the greatest appeal to external audiences.