Working with the Communications Unit - what you need to know
- Agreement from the relevant Head of School/Director should be sought before approaching the Communications Unit with your story.
- You should give at least three weeks advance notice to the Communications Unit about your upcoming event, paper being publicised, awards ceremony etc. It is never too early to let the Communications Unit know about an event. Email details of your story to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9097 3091.
- Communications Officers are in touch with Schools regularly but if you would like to ensure a continuous flow of stories about your School or Directorate then we would suggest making ‘Items suitable for publicity’ a regular agenda item in your key School or Directorate meetings, particularly those involving Directors of Research. A regular flow of strong research papers can help ensure international and national media coverage for the University.
- If a particularly exciting breakthrough has been made or you have another strong scientific story, the Communications team can work in advance with the Science Media Centre (part of the Royal Institution) in London, to organise a press briefing at their offices to promote this to national science correspondents. We can also work with Schools in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on a London-based press event for major stories.
- The Communications Unit understands that many members of staff have their own links with the media and can be approached directly by journalists. If you are approached by a member of the media to undertake an interview, the Communications Unit would be very grateful if you could let us know so we can keep a record of the coverage for your School. Monthly reports on media activity are circulated to the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of Schools and Directors by the Communications Unit each month.
- The Communications Unit delivers Media Awareness Training for staff. This session is not traditional media training but aims to raise awareness of how the media functions. The course will look at how to work with the Communications team in identifying news worthy stories, what makes a good news release, how you get a story placed and building media relationships. The session will also touch on crisis management and includes input from a local journalist with a question and answer section.
- Full one-to-one/group media training is also available with an external provider, at a reasonable cost. Email email@example.com or telephone 028 9097 3091.
- Please note that specialised lectures or events of interest to a limited audience, internal gatherings for staff, the arrival of visiting professors or students, are usually not suitable for wider publicity, but may be suitable for inclusion as a news item on www.qub.ac.uk/news or as an article in Queen’s Now.
- If you are not sure what ‘angle’ to take with your story or even if you could get some publicity for your work, then please fill out this form or give the Communications Unit a call. They will gladly see what angle/s might work for you and how best to promote your work.