Working with Your Public Information Officer


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* Are any of these folks in the audience today?

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Out of the Chancellor’s Office Unit called University Communications and Public Affairs

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• With misinformation, mistrust of science, and the state of funding as it is, it’s more important than ever to be able to explain your research to journalists, legislators, program officers, donors, etc.

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* Bulk of years at University spent at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, publicizing ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences. Climate change, earthquakes, sharks

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• New opportunities to help you translate your research to the public.

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* Started workshops at Scripps

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Working with Your Public Information Officer Dennis Meredith Mario Aguilera Kim McDonald

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Public Information Officer

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Public Information/Educational Information Officer

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Your PIEIO is not an “alien.”

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What PIEIOs can do for you: Write and distribute news releases Pitch/write feature stories Provide photos, video, web packages Access social media Offer clipping service Brief journalists, offer strategy Coach communication skills Manage crisis communications

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News releases serve many purposes Statement of record Explains implications Useful for administrators An investment Background material Ammunition for funding agency Alert colleagues, collaborators Media alert

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U.S. networks don’t cover science news: U.S. Foreign Affairs (15%) Health & Medicine (8%) Crime (6%) Government (5%) Science (2%) *Pew State of the Media, 2008

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Source: Pew Research Center

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Source: Pew Research Center

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News releases make you a news outlet! PIEIO distribution reaches public Funding agency disseminates Journal distributes Department, school web site Your web site Video syndication sites (YouTube, etc.) EurekAlert! (Also reaches Google News)

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You are a news outlet!

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You are a news outlet!

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What PIEIOs hate to hear:

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What PIEIOs hate to hear: “My paper came out yesterday.” “Can you talk to my postdoc?” “Can you do a release on my new grant?” “I’ll have the draft back next week.” “No, we didn’t produce any visuals.” “We need to include [technical term].” “Why didn’t [article X] mention my work?” “Why isn’t my release in the NY Times?”

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What PIEIOs love to hear:

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What PIEIOs love to hear: “Come visit my lab/take a field trip.” “Here’s a cool story in another lab.” “I want to invest in great visuals.” “I want to write an op ed.” “I’ll get the release back ASAP.” “Communications is in my grant budget.” “Can you edit this lay-level summary?” “Can we do communication training?”

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Giving a Good Interview

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Grab the reporter So what/what’s new: Significant problems? Worthwhile benefits? Needed solutions?

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A good interview has: Grabber beginning Compelling “so-what?” Pithy, prepared quotes Engaging stories Quality visuals Vivid metaphors and similes

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Vivid metaphors and similes “Shotgun” synapse

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Vivid metaphors and similes “Anaconda” receptor

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Vivid metaphors and similes “Jellyfish” cells

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Vivid metaphors and similes “Artificial dog”

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Make the interview work for you: Give the reporter background Answer your questions Speak deliberately Give credit and document Distinguish fact, opinion Emphasize caveats Follow-up with email

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Your PIEIO: The Journanator

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Research Communications Program Working with Your Communications Directors Mario Aguilera Director of Communications Division of Biological Sciences June 23, 2017

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Who are your university’s communications directors?

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UC San Diego University Communications and Public Affairs Jeff Gattas Executive Director 858-822-6914 Cynthia Dillon Arts and Humanities 858-822-0142 Mario Aguilera Biological Sciences 858-822-5148 Daniel Kane Jacobs School of Engineering 858-534-3262 Kim Mcdonald Physical Sciences 858-534-7572 Lauren Wood Scripps Institution of Oceanography 858-534-3626

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UC San Diego University Communications and Public Affairs Inga Kiderra Social Sciences 858-822-0661 Laura Margoni Resource Management & Planning The Preuss School UCSD 858-822-2485 Anthony King School of Global Policy and Strategy 858-822-7824 Judy Piercey General Campus, Alumni, Advancement Christine Clark Student Affairs 858-534-7618 General Information 858-534-3120

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Scott LaFee Director of Media Relations 858-249-0431 Heather Buschman Senior Public Information Officer 858-249-0417 Yadira Galindo Public Information Officer 858-249-0423 Michelle Brubaker Senior Public Information Officer 858-249-0416 Jackie Carr Assistant Executive Director of Communications/ Media Relations 858-249-0420

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• Let your communications director know when interesting developments are coming • Point to remember: Not all items result in news releases… Other options: Campus newsletters (such as ThisWeek@UC San Diego), web stories, social media, etc. So let’s discuss…

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• Also let your communications director know when you have interesting opportunities coming • Field research is one way comms directors can become immersed in your research; excellent way to gather story content

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Field Research at Scripps

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Coming This Fall: Media Training

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Media Training • How to work with the media • Tips/tools on giving interviews • How to effectively deliver your message • Video practice sessions • Small number of participants

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Thank you!

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KIM McDONALD Director of Communications Division of Physical Sciences (858) 534-7572

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Good News

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What Do You Say When a Reporter Calls About Something You’d Rather Not Talk About?

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What Do You Do When a Leak, Spill or Accident in Your Laboratory Brings TV News Crews to Your Building?

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How Can You Avoid Having Your Comments Misinterpreted or Worse?

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What Should You Do When the News Media Get it Completely Wrong?

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How We Can Help Your communications directors are the first responders to your building in emergencies. Contact them ASAP if news media are present. News media need ACCURATE information in a timely manner. We work closely with campus police, EH&S and campus communications to provide that information within laws governing student privacy. Not sure how or if you should respond to a call from a reporter? Contact us! Have questions or problems dealing with the news media? Contact us! Has someone requested to film or photograph you on campus? Contact us!

Summary: Presentations by Dennis Meredith, Mario Aguilera and Kim McDonald at June 23, 2017, UC San Diego Research Communications Program panel "Working with Your Public Information Officer"

Tags: communication