Last June, John Follaco and I attended a public relations conference in Baltimore that featured national reporters and numerous academic panelists discussing how to get national media for your university. While I must admit I did have daydreams of going down to Baltimore and coming away with a CNN interview, I truly did not think anything more would come of it than some useful tips and a couple of e-mails to add to my press data base.
However, to my shock and delight, about two weeks ago I received a call from Howard LaFranchi, a reporter from the Christian Science Monitor who had spoken at the conference. He had kept my card and when he was assigned a story regarding foreign students going to New York universities he thought of RIT. I worked with John, who covers student affairs, to set up an interview with Yerlan Shildibekov an RIT student who recently moved here from Kazakhstan. LaFranchi ended up featuring RIT prominently in the story and quoted Shidibekov in the piece as well!
Again, I had no illusions of getting any press hits out of our trip to Baltimore, but I handed out business cards and talked up RIT’s expertise because you never know what might happen. Thankfully, those efforts paid off and I can guarantee I will remember this the next time I grumble about sending out a query letter or making that extra press call!