The media can be a useful tool to create awareness of the University and its work. There are numerous outlets for stories, including:
- the local weekly and regional daily papers, who are important in keeping the local community informed about the University's activities
- national newspapers
- special interest magazines
- blogs and social media channels
- television and radio programmes
- internet-based news sites (see The Conversation below)
The University’s Press Office provides in-house news coverage and media-awareness services. We can help you, as staff, to promote and publicize your school's stories and activities through numerous media outlets. Contact the Press Office, for help with planning your story. The sooner you let us know about any stories, the better the chances are of getting media attention – see also ‘Making an Impact’ PDF.
What makes a good story?
Successful media stories tell us more about ourselves and the way we live our lives: they generally have a human interest of ‘novel’ element. Opportunities for creating good public relations offer themselves in many different situations:
It is possible to create stories based around research when:
- Research grants are awarded; media attention at an early stage can prove useful if your research or project requires public involvement (bearing in mind that too much detail could prejudice the results). (See Can ‘lay carers’ help more at the end of life?)
- During the research process, especially if the research involves interesting or unusual experiments which the public may find fascinating, or involves interesting or unusual field research which would make good visual stories. (See Children join in Dementia & Imagination- Lost in Art project)
- When the research is complete and there are results to be shared – consider whether clearance should be sought from the funders, or whether you need to work with research partners in announcing the results. (See Urgency scientific expedition to assess climate induced death of coral reefs)
It is possible to create stories about individual student projects which may be unusual or individual student successes. (See Students’ music video heads for viral fame)
Please inform the Press Officer if you have had a paper accepted by a prestigious academic journal to discuss the potential of issuing a press release.
The Press Officer would also like to know about innovative teaching methods, any major events being organised by your School/Department, and any notable visitors to the School/Department. (See Teaching students to survive a zombie apocalypse with psychology)
The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Their creative commons licence enables other media to share their content, bringing it to a wider audience.
Their team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public. If you have an idea for an article that you wish to write for The Conversation, contact your College Research Support Officer or the Press Officer, or contact The Conversation Wales Editor, or the appropriate subject editor.
The University currently provides a 500 word article to the Daily Post’s Universities page each Tuesday and has scheduled opinion pieces in the Western Mail and can also pitch ‘essay’ ideas to the paper.
The University is always keen to promote stories which illustrate the University’s links with both business and the local community. Projects involving a local business, a community group or any innovative work with industry (which is not confidential), may be of interest to various media outlets.
Some news will be more relevant to staff and/or students rather than the general media and would be best placed as either a MyBangor feature, or on the Staff Noticeboard. Your marketing contact within your School/Department can help you with this.
Student projects could be a source of interesting photos - which can be used locally or in the home area of the students involved. Any unusual research projects that have a strong visual content could also be of interest to various media outlets. These type of image-led stories may be best placed on the University’s Social Media channels – contact the Press Office in advance to discuss. Some circumstances may warrant the hiring of a professional photographer, however if appropriate, modern smart phones/tablets could also be used – see also ‘Tips for good photography’ PDF.
Contact with the Media
Press releases are the basic tool for relaying information to journalists. If you think you have a suitable subject for a press release, please inform the Press Officer by phone or E-mail including the basic points – see also ‘Tips for Writing a Press Release’ PDF.
Having received a press release, a journalist may wish to know more details or speak to the person directly concerned with the subject. That person should therefore be prepared to make time to talk to journalists. This may be to add further information to a printed story or to take part in a radio or TV interview on the subject. – see also ‘Tips on Talking to the Media’ PDF.
Journalists often need experts to comment on a wide variety of issues and often contact the Press Office to ask whether we have experts on a specific topic. Such comments can be very valuable in providing exposure for the University, and reinforcing our position as a "first-class" university.
Journalists often contact staff direct through coming across your details and subject expertise on-line. If you take part in a radio or television interview, please inform the Press Office of the following:
- Your name
- Programme and station or channel
- Date of interview/broadcast (if known)
- Your Twitter handle (if you have one) so that we can promote your interview on Social Media
If you see a story breaking in the news, which is related to your area of expertise, it is also possible to offer yourself as an expert. If you feel you can do this, please contact the Press Office to discuss.
Any enquiries you receive requesting comments on matters pertaining to the whole University should be directed to the Press Office in the first instance.
The above is not an exhaustive list but gives an idea of means of promoting your work.
An Introduction to Working with the Media short course is offered via the Human Resources Staff Development programme for staff who wish to learn more about promoting their work.