Media Relations - Timelines
Unless it is a breaking news story, most editors ask for time-sensitive
story ideas and press releases well in advance. Ideally, information
should be sent to the Office of Marketing and Communications
a month to three weeks ahead of time. This allows time to
formulate your story, and to decide what other specifics should be
highlighted. Press releases may also
require photos, which are often a plus to attracting attention to your
story. Once complete, time-sensitive releases should then be
sent to the media at least 10 days in advance through the Office
of Marketing and Communications.
Advance planning is also essential for producing flyers, brochures
and programs related to your publicity efforts. The complexity
and purpose of the piece will impact the timeline for production.
For example, a direct mail piece should begin production four
months prior to its planned mailing. Please allow ample time
of these pieces.
Gathering Your Information
Part of planning your publicity is gathering your information.
When you meet with the Office of Marketing and Communications,
you will want to have the details of what you hope to publicize
well organized. Start by asking yourself the following questions,
tailoring them to your specific news:
What is my news?
Who does it involve?
When and where will it or has it occurred?
How/For what purpose?
What is the most important part of the story?
What would those reading an article about this like to know
first and foremost?
For example, if you have invited a guest speaker to make a presentation
on the Lewis campus, it would be important to know who the speaker
will be (name, title, and brief biographical information); the
title of the presentation including a short description of the
talk; the date, time and location of the event; how the talk might
relate to current local, national or world issues; whether the
presentation is open to the public; whether admission is free or
at a cost; and whether the event is an annual occurrence or part
of a larger series of events (for instance, Arts & Ideas; 75th
Anniversary Celebration of Lewis; or Touring Performing Arts Series).
A photo of the speaker is also a nice addition to any publicity
The more information you can provide to the Office of Marketing
and Communications at the start of the publicity process, the more
efficient your promotional campaign.
Remember, the Office of Marketing and Communications is here to
help, and can offer you ongoing guidance as you plan for your
publicity. Keep in
mind that it is never too early to let the Director know that
you will be looking for assistance with promotion. And again, one
to three weeks notice is essential to the process.