Public Relations Guidelines for Staff
The Media Relations team works under the Department of Government & External Affairs, and Community Impact (DGEA & CI). Its role is to promote Wheelock College and the expertise encompassed by its experts. The DGEA & CI works to:
- Identify, build, broker and nurture external institutional relationships.
- Manage public-relations-seeking opportunities that further position Wheelock and its experts.
- Engage internal and external audiences by identifying strategic partnerships.
Media Relations is responsible for recommending, organizing, capturing and directing media relations activities. The office devotes resources to promoting and advancing the college's mission, which is a strategic priority for the institution. The team collaborates with others across the institution to help position Wheelock, promoting its best assets to the public at large via television, print, online and social media. Media Relations serves as a clearinghouse for information about programs, events, faculty and staff. The office may also provide research, contacts, or subject matter experts to support media requests. The following procedures explain the department policies regarding the work of the office.
When to Partner with Public Relations at Wheelock
- When planning a Wheelock-sponsored event. Media relations should be notified at least 2-3 weeks in advance, preferably earlier, and will participate and advise as time permits.
- When you have research to share, media story idea, and/or an expertise you think is a good response to an issue that has been in the media.
- You have a student, project and/or an opportunity that the world ought to know about and is aligned with Wheelock's mission.
The Public Relations Team provides the following services to the Wheelock College community:
External Communications & Community Relations
- Calendar listings for Wheelock-sponsored events
- Please see the Marketing department for any design needs for promotional flyers
- All press releases, media advisories and outside publicity of Wheelock-sponsored events should be shared with the Media Relations Team prior to distribution.
- Press Releases: the Media Relations Team drafts press releases for notable accomplishments, Wheelock-sponsored events, new programs, appointments, and other highlights from Wheelock and distributes them to the appropriate media outlets.
- Only Wheelock-related news and sponsored events can be distributed through official Wheelock media channels.
- Media relations should be notified of events least 2-3 weeks in advance of events, preferably earlier, and will participate and advise as time permits.
- Op-Ed positioning and placement: Our office has experience placing op-ed articles in national and local news outlets and we offer services to help faculty members, students and other members of the community write and place their articles.
- Emergency PR services when necessary: the Media Relations Team will lead you through best practices and coaching for handling possible negative situations. Please proactively contact Marta Rosa the moment a possible situation arises to allow us to put a response plan into action quickly.
- Media coaching (as needed) - guidance on best practices and preparation for interviews.
- Strategic thinking regarding opportunities - providing cohesive plans for publicity.
- Public Relations support on direction and management of PR opportunities.
- Tracking and monitoring of key issues; facilitating connections with experts.
The Public Relations Team at Wheelock
The PR Team consists of:
Marta T. Rosa
Senior Executive Director of Department of Government & External Affairs and Community Impact; Chief Diversity Officer, provides leadership and oversight
Communications and External Affairs Manager
How do you know something is newsworthy?
- Local: Most news organizations cover a specific geographic range.
- Extremes or superlatives: the first, the last, the best, the worst, the biggest, the smallest. If your story contains one, highlighting it will usually make it more newsworthy.
- New: News stories have to answer the question, "why now?" or "so what?" Stories that are considered "old news" or just not that interesting often will not receive coverage.
- Timely and Relevant: Timely stories, often about an upcoming event, are often considered newsworthy, as are stories relevant to the news organization's specialty.
- David vs. Goliath: In many stories, there is a "big guy" and a "little guy."
- Surprising: Stories with an unexpected hook.
Wheelock Expert Data Base
This data base is an invaluable tool for our PR efforts. It was developed primarily to better facilitate our ability to connect reporters/journalists to Wheelock College experts. Included in this data base are profiles of Wheelock faculty and staff members featuring scholarship, research, important achievements and areas of expertise.
Link to Expert Database
It is an easy process to get setup in the data base. Wheelock Communications Manager Beth Kaplan will serve as your contact for facilitating the process to enter in your information or any troubleshooting. Your information will not go live until you feel comfortable with it. You can reach her at: