As the primary source of RIT news and information, University Communications has expertise in assisting students, faculty, staff, and alumni gain local, national, and global recognition.
Sharing Your News
University Communications uses a variety of methods to share news. How, when, and where news will be shared with the media is at the discretion of University Communications staff and the Chief Communications Officer. While there are no absolute rules, here are some guidelines University Communications uses to make those determinations:
Information will be issued to the media only if it is deemed to be of general public interest or promoting a significant RIT initiative. Speakers, for instance, must be highly visible or widely recognized, or appearing on campus as part of a signature university event. Events to be promoted must be open to the public. All public/media releases pertaining to university students, faculty, staff, and programs will be drafted and distributed by University Communications.
News and Events
The News and Events email newsletter is by subscription, and is sent to both the RIT community through RITmail and to subscribed others in the general public. Inclusion is at the discretion of University Communications. Anyone wanting information included in News and Events should contact the University Communications staff person who works with their college/area/program.
RITmail, RIT’s internal communication system, allows the sender to better tailor messages for simplified communications across multiple constituencies, which reduces the overall number of email messages sent to students, faculty, and staff. RITmail integrates with the RIT Events Calendar and allow users to set alerts such as daily or weekly email updates highlighting new additions to the event calendar. In addition, categories allow users to opt-in or opt-out of receiving specific types of information.
University Communications regularly provides opportunities for involved parties to review materials that will be made public via a news release or University Communications-directed publication.
While there are no absolute rules, here are some guidelines University Communications uses in the approval process:
Who is included in the review process is at the discretion of the Chief Communications Officer, Director of Content Strategy, and the editor and author of the material to be made public. Materials typically are sent to those directly involved either as the subject, subject matter expert, or quoted source within the material. Sharing with others is at the discretion of University Communications staff.
Materials under review should be returned with comments within three business days, unless other arrangements are made within that time frame with the appropriate University Communications staff member.
Review should be confined as much as possible to correcting/checking facts, approving quotes, and clarifying meaning. Any and all changes will be at the discretion of editors and writers of University Communications, based on their extensive experience in communications across a broad variety of platforms.
University Communications employs journalistic (Associated Press) style appropriate for a broad audience, and changes that do not fit that style will not be considered.
Talking to the Media
Sometimes the news media may bypass University Communications and contact you directly. In those situations, please contact University Communications so we can help you use the opportunity to your best advantage.
For instance, we can speak with the reporter to get a better understanding of the direction of the story. We can help you prepare and think through possible questions so you’re not caught off guard and unsure of how you can/should respond. We can also broker deadlines and turn down any requests you are not comfortable with or don’t have time for. And we can help leverage your efforts to garner even more publicity through our social media channels.
Sometimes University Communications will reach out to offer you a media opportunity. Please respond to our requests promptly, even if you can’t do the interview. Reporters work on tight deadlines and if we don’t respond, we may lose the opportunity.
Once you’ve agreed to an interview, here’s a few things to consider:
Don’t feel rushed to respond. Give yourself time to think through what you want to say.
Provide some background material that will help the reporter understand the topic you're discussing.
Give simple, direct answers. Be brief, as reporters are most likely to use short quotes and sound bites. Avoid jargon.
Remember that nothing is “off the record” unless it’s formally agreed upon.
If there are errors in the final story, contact University Communications to discuss a plan of action.
RIT has a partnership with The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. All RIT professors, postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. candidates are eligible to write articles.
RIT understands that social media is critical to communicating with and connecting to its various stakeholders. Social media should be used to disseminate important news and information, listen to feedback, and answer questions from our community as well as the general public. Social amplification helps tell the RIT story.
We can also help you plan your social strategy. One of the mantras we repeat around here is "goals before tools." Social media is, at its core, just another tool in a toolkit. With that in mind, before you create a new account, please use the following questions to set goals for your efforts:
What platforms is your office/college/division/group currently on?
What platform are you proposing to use?
Who is your audience?
What do you know about them? What are they asking you for?
Who will be in charge of the account?
How often do you plan to post?
Who will answer questions and comments addressed to the account?
Who will monitor the account?
What does success look like to you?
What are your goals for the account?
What is your budget?
What kinds of content do you need for the account? Images? Videos?
University Communications is responsible for alerting the campus community during an emergency situation. The team also proactively plans and executes issues response communications to protect the university’s reputation. For assistance on reputation management issue, contact Chief Communications Officer Bob Finnerty or Director of Public Information and Internal Communications Carl Langsenkamp.