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How to publicize events and news

Media Relations at Carleton

We seek out positive stories about Carleton and work to publicize them through the media, increasing Carleton's visibility. To do this, our office:

  • Distributes information and stories about Carleton to the media outlets (newspapers, magazines, radio, television and Internet).
  • Cultivates relationships with reporters and media outlets.
  • Monitors news to find the right fit for stories we place and locate stories about Carleton.
  • Writes content for and maintains Carleton’s news Web site.

Contact a member of the media relations staff when:

  • you find out about an event that your department is hosting that is open to the public.
  • you hear about a professional accomplishment of a member of your department.
  • you have an idea for a story about Carleton people or programs.

Most event press releases and campus event calendars are sent to almost 75 media outlets in southeastern Minnesota. This list includes both Carleton and St. Olaf student newspapers and radio stations. When appropriate, we will pitch releases to specific national or regional media contacts.

Information gathering

  • Please don’t assume that we know about your news and events. Be sure to inform us so that we can inform others.
  • Always give us as much information as possible. It is easier for us to edit down information than to try to fill out a story.
  • Work with us well in advance. To get the best publicity, we try to send press releases out at least three to four weeks in advance of the event. We would like to have information at least one month before an event. Sometimes a press release might need to go out or a story idea pitched months in advance. Our student writers have limited schedules, so the further advance notice we have, the better.
  • We recognize that some events are planned at the spur of the moment. In those cases, we will do our best to get information out, but short notice does put a strain on our schedules and makes it less likely that a media outlet will run the story.

News distribution

Depending upon the news item, we distribute information through our Web site, e-mail, fax, U.S. mail, etc. Following are four tools we used for publicizing the college, on-campus and off:

  • Press Releases: Our office sends out news releases announcing on-campus events, highlighting student, faculty and staff accomplishments, and announcing developments and changes at the College. Ideas for press releases come from a variety of sources, and we are always looking for these ideas.
  • Events: Carleton’s monthly public events calendar is distributed in hard copy and PDF format once a month (toward the end of each month) to selected media sources, Northfield community contacts and on-campus constituents. To be added to our distribution list, please send a request to media@acs.carleton.edu
  • Carleton in the News: We work diligently to spread the news of Carleton by placing stories about the College’s people and programs in the media. In the News highlights a few recent examples of Carleton’s appearances in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. We update In the News regularly on our Web site.
  • Professional News: This portion of the Carleton News website highlights significant achievements by Carleton faculty, staff, students and alumni. Appropriate items include papers presented, awards or grants received, articles and books published, and offices held. Submissions should include the name and title of the honoree, as well as a brief description of the accomplishment and can be e-mailed to media@carleton.edu. We update Professional News regularly on our Web site, and also check the Carleton Weekly and updates from corporate and foundation relations for fresh content to cross-post on Professional News.

We can help...

  • Because we work with media outlets on a daily basis, we have established relationships with their editors. It is easier for those editors to work with our office as a central campus contact rather than with individual departments and offices.
  • All press releases issued through media relations are written in Associated Press style. A press release that is already ready to print is far more likely to get media exposure than one that needs extensive editing.
  • We keep track of media deadlines and make sure that information reaches media outlets in time for publication.

Other ways of publicizing events...