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Sharing news about research discoveries, scientific expertise, and other big news from campus with the general public is a great way for members of the College of Natural Sciences community to demonstrate the impact of their work to Texas and the world.

Here are some tips to assist faculty and other spokespeople working with the media:

  1. Work with your College of Natural Sciences or departmental communications staff.
    We are here to help you craft a message, prepare for an interview, connect with reporters, and more.

  2. Have exciting research coming out? Let us know as soon as possible.
    Many science journalists will only consider publishing stories about research that they learned about at the optimal time. Giving the College of Natural Sciences communications office 2-3 weeks of lead time allows for a much more effective press release and media strategy (vs. having only a day or two to prepare before a paper publishes or a conference presentation happens). The team has plenty of experience adhering to embargoes and can work with you on that. Use this form to tell CNS News about your upcoming research: https://txsci.net/researchPR

  3. Have expertise in an issue that's being covered a lot in the news? Let us know that, too.
    Whether it's driverless cars, vaccines, climate change, or dark matter, when the media get excited about an issue, they are looking for experts. Call us and we'll work to make the connections.

  4. Jot down what you want to say. 
    What 1-3 points are most important to make about this issue? Write it down in plain language and practice saying it out loud. Make sure it is jargon-free. Technical terms get in the way of an ordinary person following what you're saying. Try using the Message Box tool, which was developed by COMPASS especially to support researchers who are working to communicate about their science.

  5. Be concise, and be honest. 
    Be prepared to give the brief and direct version of your answer first. It may be the only chance you get to convey your message! You can always add context after you've said what is most important to get across in the first place. Also, remember: you can always say "I don't know," when that's the case.
  6. Understand the media you're working with.
    See #1 above. Our team can help walk you through tips for that live interview, that in-depth print report, that Texas Perspectives opinion column, and more.

Ready to get started? Contact communications coordinator Marc Airhart: mairhart@austin.utexas.edu