Media work: Tips for members of the University
And why does Ulm University spend money on it?
The public has an interest in and the right to know what the tax payers' money is used for. Interesting news reports also attract great researchers, teachers and students. Our work furthermore aims to draw the attention of (potential) third-party funds providers and cooperation partners to the University.
However, journalists receive numerous press releases every day. We strive to maximise the relevance of the information we provide to our media representatives. Our goal is to generate a great media response, not merely a lot of press releases. We therefore assess your topic based on criteria like newsworthiness and decide if it is suited for a press release or rather for publication on our homepage or the university magazine.
Higher news value comes with a higher expected interest of readers and thus with greater chances for publication. Media representatives are rarely impressed by the impact factor of the journal or high amounts of third-party funds alone.
Chances of success for your article
The following questions will help you estimate your article’s chances for success (you can find a comprehensive list of criteria at the Press Office):
- Is the topic in direct reference to Ulm University? Does Ulm University play a leading role in a research project?
- Is the message current and has not been published before?
- Is the topic relevant and interesting to the public/an audience beyond your scientific community?
- Does the message stand out with a superlative or a unique feature?
- Does it involve personalities that are well-known beyond your area of expertise?
Please understand that we cannot give you a guarantee to print or distribute your piece. Journalists decide on a day-to-day basis with regards to the overall news situation which topics they cover. Merely special announcements or adverts are printed with guarantee, but these are pricey.
What is the process?
Please contact us at least two weeks prior to the date of publication of your paper, event, etc. This gives us sufficient time to edit the topic in a professional way or invite journalists in a timely manner. We try to avoid technical terminology where possible and frequently use examples to explain complex issues. Promotional statements and exaggerations are unsuitable for press releases, as are promises of healing with medical topics. In many instances we will arrange to have a conversation with you (by phone or in person) or you will receive a questionnaire from us. In the case of a technical article we would like you to send us your paper.
Good graphic materials increase the chances of publication. We are happy to put you in touch with the university photographer or suggest existing images to you. Every press release is cleared with the expert scientist, of course, before it’s sent out. Because factual correctness is our top priority, together with comprehensibility!
If you are contacted by journalists in response to a press release, please get back to them as soon as possible as editors work under great time pressure.
We regularly create a press review and are happy to inform you about the resonance to your article.
We look forward to working with you!