Why You Need Publicity
To put it succinctly, nobody knows what you’re doing until you tell them. So take advantage of A&S and UA resources for spreading the news about your activities, accomplishments, and upcoming events. With enough advance notice, we can provide the following services free of charge to faculty and staff in A&S departments:
- Press releases/articles on as.ua.edu, in Desktop News: Campus Edition, and on the University news website
- A&S social media
- Digital signage in A&S buildings and throughout campus
- Video recording of lectures, panel discussions, and other events
- Short news/promotional videos
- Photos of events, classroom/lab activities, facilities, and people
Please note that not every news item or event will receive coverage in all of these media. Stories and events are assigned to publicity channels based on timing and newsworthiness, among other factors.
How to Get Help
At least three weeks prior to your event, complete our publicity request form if you’re looking for help with press releases/articles, A&S social media, digital signage, video, photos, Desktop News: Campus Edition, or other media. Completing this form DOES NOT guarantee coverage.
Anyone you go to for publicity will ask for the following information:
- A description of your event or news item
- Speaker or subject’s name
- Title of presentation, publication, award, or whatever you’re publicizing
- Date and time
- Contact information
- Large, high-quality photo/s of the speaker/author and anything else relevant to the news item (like a book cover)
You don’t need to have all of this information to make a request, but the more information you have at first contact, the more we can do to promote your event/story.
What Will Happen Next
Upon submission, the A&S publicity form will email your information to Stephanie Kirkland, director of College relations, and Lisa Yessick, director of digital content. You will also receive a copy for your records.
Stephanie will determine whether the story merits a press release, an article on the A&S website, or some other treatment. If you’re requesting publicity for a public event, she will add the date, time, and location to the appropriate issue of Desktop News: Campus Edition, which goes to current faculty, staff, and students.
Lisa will pass along pertinent info to the eTech staff members who produce the College’s social media and digital signs. She’ll also flag noteworthy items for use on the front page of the College website. If you requested photos or video of an event, she or someone else from eTech will contact you to pin down details.
Not sure what you want/need? Contact Stephanie Kirkland (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about articles, press releases, and inclusion in the campus edition of Desktop News. Contact Lisa Yessick (email@example.com) with questions about social media, digital signs, video, photos, or the A&S website calendar.
Things You Can Do Right Now
Post your event on the UA calendar.
At least six weeks before the event, put it on the UA calendar (ua.edu/events). To put an event on the UA calendar, go to ua.edu/events/submit and create a calendar entry (assuming nobody else in your department has already done so). Make sure to check the box for your department or for “College of Arts and Sciences.”
Posting your event on ua.edu/events will accomplish four things:
- get the event onto the UA online calendar, where the general public can see it
- put the event on the College of Arts and Sciences calendar, provided you check the College of Arts and Sciences box
- get it on your department website’s calendar, if your department’s website has been set up to pull from ua.edu/events
- create a web presence for your event, so we have something to link to
If your department’s website isn’t set up to pull in events, find out who manages the site, and ask that they post your event in the calendar.
Start working on any printed pieces you’re planning.
Do this at least eight to 10 weeks before the event. You may design and print posters or flyers in-house, or you may contact University Printing (205-348-5200), whose staff can design and print posters and flyers for you for a small fee.
Whatever option you choose, be sure to follow UA’s graphic guidelines (strategiccommunications.ua.edu/standards/graphic). Before printing, your poster or flyer must be reviewed by Strategic Communications to make sure it complies with University brand standards. Submit your artwork for approval at ua.edu/brandapproval.
Decide whether you need the event photographed and/or recorded on video.
If you want video or photos of an event, you must request that service at least three weeks in advance. You can do that via the request form on the eTech website, etech.as.ua.edu, under “Services”; there are separate forms for photo and video.
Please start early: Videographers and photographers are in high demand, and you might be surprised how many events are scheduled on a given day. (For some reason, Thursdays are very popular.)
As soon as possible, ask the speaker if they’re OK with video. We will not book a videographer for your event until we know it’s OK with the speaker or speakers. This is to avoid embarrassing situations. Speakers really don’t like being surprised by the presence of a video camera, particularly when they’re planning to talk about unpublished research or promote a recently published book, or when they make significant income from speaking engagements. Often, it’s the book publisher or publicist, not the speaker, who objects to the recording. Sorting that out can take some time, so please ask early.
We will need a signed release form before we’ll edit or distribute the video, but we’ll go ahead and schedule your event if we know you have the speaker’s spoken or emailed permission to proceed. You can download the release form from itunes.ua.edu, or we can email it to you upon request.
While you should also get a speaker’s permission to be photographed, of course, most speakers expect a photographer to show up.
When you’re scheduling lectures in a series, send info about everything you’ve scheduled so far, even if it’s months away. Our schedule fills up fast.
Ask your colleagues to help.
According to a survey distributed in spring 2017, students are most likely to attend events they learn about via email and in-class announcements, so ask your fellow faculty members to announce the event in class or via email about a week or two in advance.