News Tips

What makes news at UVU?

New academic programsLarge donations (both monetary and in-kind) to the UniversityInnovative teaching methods that feature a visual componentHuman interest stories, ex. a program has its first graduate who happens to be a 71-year-old non-traditional student; or a faculty or student who might have overcome odds to succeedExamples of trends in higher educationEvents (such as conferences, speakers, performances, concerts, etc.) which are open to the publicFaculty who can speak as experts on a current topic in the news or those who can answer press inquiries on various subjects.

How will you treat my news?

Part of our job is to provide expert guidance on whether a story is newsworthy. We will help to find angles to stories which would help you gain interest from the media. Our writers will produce with your help a newsworthy story, in a journalism style that can be used by the media outlets as is or may entice a reporter to develop an original article.

If you are promoting a conference with a small audience appeal or a speaker from a highly specialized field, it will probably have limited news value and therefore, we probably won't be able to use it. If a conference is particularly relevant to the public or if the research is unusual, we may be able to interest the media in covering the story.

Where are the stories sent?

News stories are sent to all television stations and newspapers in Utah, Salt Lake, Wasatch, and Summit Counties. Additionally they are sent to select radio stations and newsletter outlets. We can send to any media outlet if you have special requests.

What if the media contacts me first?

Many times, members of the media may call faculty members or administration before calling Marketing and Communications. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when media calls:

  1. Ask for the reporter's name and what media outlet he or she represents.
  2. If a reporter is calling for an interview, ask what the story is about, the deadline for the story, and if he or she has talked to anyone else.
  3. You can set the ground rules for the interview. You should decide the place, time and duration.
  4. Be ready for what you want to communicate. Don't wait for the right questions. Have something to say and say it early. Also, remember to keep your answers short and to the point.
  5. Anything you say during an interview can be used in a story. Never speak ''off the record.''
  6. Prepare for tough questions, especially if the topic you will speak about is controversial or sensitive.
  7. If you don't know the answer, say so. Be ready to refer the reporter to the appropriate person.
  8. Avoid technical or academic jargon. Provide relevant examples.
  9. Don't expect to approve a story before it is printed or broadcast. Do, however, tell a reporter that you are available to assist later if he or she has any follow-up questions or needs clarifications.
  10. Call us for help if you need it. The News Service can assist you in preparing for your interview.
For more information, contact

Melinda Colton   extension  6807.