Share Your Good News

Start Here

Share Your Research

We want to know if you are doing research or have written an article that you think is of interest to the media. Contact Kristal Griffith with questions.

What Makes a Good PR Story?

Timeless PR advice from Media Guru Dick Jones

Note: Dick Jones is one of the most experienced experts in the higher-ed communication world. His advice below is glib and blunt, but rings true.

The news media like stories with results. A study published in a journal qualifies. So does a new book, if you discuss the substance of the book and not just the fact that there is a new book. Numbers help. Admission applications are up by X. Deposits are up by Y.

The news media usually yawn at process. The faculty is debating a new core curriculum? Wake me when it’s over. A task force has been appointed? Call me when they have a report. We’ve received an NSF grant? Remind me about it when you’ve completed the research.

The news media like advice from experts. And all faculty and staff are experts in their fields. If they aren’t, why do you allow them to teach and serve students who are paying for the privilege? Take every opportunity to make your institution the advice-giver to the world.

The news media aren’t interested in qualitative judgments. Your college has a better freshman year experience than your competitors? Maybe so, but your competitors claim otherwise. And the news media have neither the time nor the inclination to dig deeply enough to settle the question. Now if you are the biggest, the smallest, the oldest, the newest something-that-can-be-quantified, that’s different. (Tip: use advice stories to advance qualitative claims. “Here are four things students and parents should look for in a good freshman experience program, says Dean of Students Joe Blow.”)

The news media are less interested in covering or publicizing events than you think. This has always been true. Now that there are fewer people in newsrooms, it is even truer. Getting coverage for (positive) news events is no slam-dunk even if the president and the deans think otherwise. Under exceptions, see “football teamsundefeated.” Postscript: Social media is maturing quickly, and these rules apply to these media as well.

Tips for Working with News Media

Working with media can be a rewarding part of the Daniels College of Business news process. But if the thought of going “on the record” stresses you out, never fear, these helpful guidelines will make the process a breeze.


  • Media requests are typically routed through the Daniels or DU public relations representative. They will then forward your request to the appropriate Daniels faculty or staff member.
  • News agencies are on tight deadlines, so return their calls promptly.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for sample interview questions.
  • Gather facts, figures and anecdotes to support your points.
  • Do not be offended if an interview gets canceled or rescheduled on short notice.

During the Interview

  • Avoid academic or technical jargon. For example, the word “cohort” has a different connotation when used outside of the context of Daniels and higher education.
  • Be brief, but speak in complete thoughts. Think 30-second sound bites.
  • If you don’t understand a question, or you don’t have an answer, say so. It’s okay to tell a reporter that a particular question is not in your area of expertise.
  • Avoid saying things “off the record.” Nothing is ever off the record in an interview or conversation with someone from the media. Be aware of this fact even in “innocuous” social settings. No matter where you are, if you end up in a conversation with a reporter, always be aware that you represent Daniels and DU.

Tips for Broadcast Media

  • For television interviews, wear solid-color clothing and avoid jewelry.
  • Screen out extraneous noises and avoid nervous habits (such as pen tapping).
  • Pause briefly before answering a question.
  • In edited interviews, it’s okay to start over again if you don’t like the way you worded your answer.

After the Interview

  • Ask to be identified as being affiliated with Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.
  • If you misspoke or gave incorrect information, call the reporter as soon as possible and let him or her know. You can also let the Daniels or DU PR representatives know if you have any further thoughts. They’ll be happy to pass your ideas to the reporter.
  • Give positive feedback to reporters, if merited, after a story appears.