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 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, and on the University news website
- A&S social media
- Digital signage in A&S buildings and throughout campus
- 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, photos, Desktop News, 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 Kellie Hensley, director of College relations, and Jessica Porter, editorial manager. You will also receive a copy for your records.
Kellie 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, which goes to current faculty, staff, and students.
Jessica 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.
Not sure what you want/need? Contact Kellie Hensley (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about articles, press releases, and inclusion in Desktop News. Contact Jessica Porter (email@example.com) with questions about social media, digital signs, 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 (calendar.ua.edu).
Posting your event on calendar.ua.edu 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 calendar.ua.edu
- 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 (brand.ua.edu). 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 brand.ua.edu.
Decide whether you need the event photographed and/or recorded on video.
If you want photos of an event, you must request that service at least three weeks in advance. You can do that using eTech’s Bookings page.
Please start early: Photographers are in high demand, and you might be surprised how many events are scheduled on a given day. (For some reason, Thursdays are popular.)
While you should get a speaker’s permission to be photographed, most speakers do expect a photographer to show up.
If you want to record a video of your event, please keep in mind that eTech no longer offers equipment or video recording and editing services. There are a couple of other options on campus, including the Sanford Media Center (which allows students to borrow equipment), and eTech offers a few resources to help with video editing.
If you decide to forge ahead with recording the event, as soon as possible, ask the speaker if they’re OK with video. 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.
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.