It has been a long and challenging spring for campuses across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has required months of near-constant crisis response and communications, and many are desperate for a return to normalcy. Yet, even as some states begin to reopen, it’s clear that normal is still a long way off—and that includes traditional communications and media relations strategies. The usual cycle and topics for pitching media in the spring and summer months just won’t work this year. 

We know that institutions have important reasons for wanting to push non-COVID news and other positive stories, including the critical need to maintain enrollment and boost fundraising; however, this crisis requires a delicate balance and critical eye toward what news is pitched to the media and what content is shared with internal audiences.

Teresa and I wrote about this balance, what we’re seeing in media coverage, what we’ve experienced working with journalists in recent weeks and what to expect higher ed media relations, storytelling and communications to look like in the near future for Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog. We’d also love to hear about your experiences and how you’re handling the current media relations reality. Please share tips below or on Twitter with @tvparrot@kristinemaloney and @TVPComms.