The Integrated Media Relations team pitches to campus, local, national and international news organizations stories on distinctive faculty research and initiatives that are tightly connected to the university’s strategic goals and Framework for Our Future, and connects faculty with media outlets seeking expertise on topics in the news.
One of our most effective tools for doing this is The Conversation, an online publication that exclusively features articles written by scholars in partnership with experienced editors. You may reach out to any of our media staff for assistance in connecting with The Conversation.
The Conversation is an online publication that exclusively features articles written by scholars in partnership with experienced editors. While you can submit a pitch online at any time, The Conversation also makes editors available for office hours every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. Email editor Kalpana Jain for more information or to set up a meeting at another time that works for you. You may also reach out to any of our media staff for assistance with The Conversation.
When you are contacted by a reporter, we recommend you connect with a member of our media team before responding. We can help you maximize the opportunity or spot potential concerns and help you mitigate them. Even if you have worked with a particular reporter before, we recommend connecting with us first. We know that reporters are often working on tight deadlines and will follow up with you as quickly as possible.
We would still recommend that you first connect with a member of our media team. Often, stories that get picked up by external media start in student newspapers. We can help you craft your message to ensure that it will be understood by the audience. Remember the student newspapers are online and searchable by the general public; they are not internal-to-Brandeis outlets.
Getting an op-ed placed is no easy task. Opinion sections at many traditional publications are getting smaller and the competition is strong. Think you've got a good idea for an op-ed? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself in the process.
What is your angle? Being an esteemed expert is not enough. You need a clear idea or argument that is unique and lends itself to your expertise or scholarship.
Is your piece timely? Does it tie into a current event or an issue that's in the public eye? If not, is there a way that it could?
Are you familiar with your target publication? Read through the opinion section published by the magazine, newspaper or website where you are hoping to be published. This will give you an idea of the style and length they are looking for in op-eds. Check the bylines. Are most of the pieces written by staffers or contributors? This can help gauge the chances your piece will be accepted. Sometimes, the publications will provide policies for op-ed submissions.
Are you writing in the right way for the audience? Avoid jargon; remember your audience does not primarily consist of other experts in your field, or in any academic field. Keep your paragraphs short and simple. This is not a paper for an academic journal.
Who is the right person to connect with at the publication? Search the publication's website to find the opinion or commentary editor. If you're having trouble the university's media team can help, but it is almost always best if the author of the piece ultimately sends the submission.
Unless you have well-established relationships with the reporters you'd like to pitch to, we suggest you begin by contacting one of our media team members. We have a number of contacts in the local, state and national media as well as access to an online database of media members sorted by state, organization and reporting beat.
Before you pick up the phone, we'd suggest you think about the following:
Timeliness: It's always ideal to connect to something else that is currently happening in the news.
Definitiveness: Many studies conclude by saying that more study is needed. To pitch research, you need to be comfortable stating definitively what your research has found, and what it means.
Relevance: General news outlets are fighting for readers' and viewers' attention (and for advertising dollars). You need to be able to convince reporters why their readers will care about your idea or information.
- Reinforcing the brand: How does your story idea support the university's goals and aspirations?
Reach: Are there ways to repurpose your pitch for other media outlets, whether on or off campus? Think BrandeisNOW, Brandeis Magazine, Heller Magazine, etc.
You can contact any of our media staff at email@example.com. Or you can reach out to us directly using the links below:
You may also wish to contact one of Brandeis' school-based media members:
The Integrated Media team can offer media training on a variety of levels — from providing proactive interview tips and advice on evaluating opportunities to more intensive training to prepare for a round of interviews on a particular topic. Contact a staff member to learn more.