Faculty Experts & Media: “What’s In It For Me?”

The volume of major news stories in the past few weeks has been staggering. Headlines in recent days have included landmark Supreme Court decisions, Edward Snowden’s intelligence leaks, political unrest in Egypt, the George Zimmerman trial, new climate change initiatives announced by President Obama, deadly wildfires, a plane crash in San Francisco, and a train accident in Canada, among many others.   Chances are there’s an expert on your campus that has in-depth knowledge of these stories or related issues. But they’re not always eager … Read more…

Demystifying Media Relations

I spent the weekend (on the beach – yay!) celebrating the upcoming marriage of a friend with a new group of women. Pretty quickly upon meeting them, they asked what I did for work. When I said I was in media relations, I was greeted with a few blank stares and obligatory exclamations like “Oh,” or “Wow. That’s great!” Realizing I would have to give more details, I launched into my elaborated explanation, complete with examples.   It was a good conversation starter, but it … Read more…

The Supreme Court, DOMA, Prop 8, and Your Experts

This has been a big week for news from Supreme Court, but two of this year’s most highly anticipated rulings are still yet to be handed down. We will know tomorrow the Court’s opinions on two landmark cases related to gay marriage –Windsor v. U.S. (Defense of Marriage Act) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (Proposition 8).   And, whichever way the justices rule, the media attention is likely to be substantial—which will provide plenty of opportunities to get your experts’ thoughts and opinions on this topic … Read more…

Paying for Positive Coverage: Good Business or Breach of Ethics?

Last Friday, NPR’s All Things Considered reported on an arrangement between The Orange County Register in Southern California and three local universities—Chapman University, the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton—which essentially allows the institutions to pay for positive, feel-good feature stories and guest columns by faculty and administrators.   With a price tag of $275,000 annually, it’s an enticing proposition for both sides.  After all newspapers are struggling to bring in revenue and fill pages with fewer resources.  And colleges are clamoring … Read more…

MOOC Mania: What You Need to Know

If you feel like you can’t escape news about MOOCs, you’re not imagining it. People in academe were still wrapping their minds around Georgia Tech’s MOOC master’s program when Coursera burst onto the scene early this morning to announce its new partnerships with 10 state university systems. Unlike a lot of things in higher education, “MOOC Mania” is moving at lightning speed—and leaving many institutions, faculty and administrators very anxious.   That’s why, for me, today’s Inside Higher Ed webinar, The MOOC Moment, could not have … Read more…

In Aftermath of Marathon Bombings, a Salute to MIT’s Crisis Response

The City of Boston is home to more than 152,000 students at 35 colleges and universities—and all of them were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Many had alumni, students, faculty and staff injured in the blasts. All were in lockdown during the massive manhunt for the suspects. All needed to communicate critical, safety-related information to their communities in the hours and days after the bombings. But three institutions, in particular, were impacted in even more profound ways.   Boston University graduate student Lu Lingzi … Read more…

Be Ready When Big News Breaks: Start by Revisiting Your Experts Guide

Last week was a busy one for journalists across the country—and around the world. From the Boston Marathon bombings and Texas fertilizer plant explosion here in the U.S., to the earthquake in China, extended coverage of major, breaking news flooded the media landscape and journalists were scrambling to find expert sources to help make sense of things. Faculty from colleges and universities—with expertise in everything from seismology and architecture to Chechnyan politics and PTSD to chemistry and environmental safety—were in particularly high demand.   So, … Read more…