Geneseo’s media relations team works with faculty and staff to identify and generate News Center stories, explore media opportunities, pitch stories to reporters, arrange media interviews, and monitor press coverage of SUNY Geneseo.
This includes sending out press releases, assisting reporters’ queries for expert commentary from Geneseo’s faculty and staff, and assisting in editing and placing op-eds and guest commentaries in local, regional, and national media outlets. The team also assists with crisis communications.
Staff or faculty members should use the director of media relations to contact the press. If for some reason prior communication with the media relations team is not possible, please notify us as soon as possible.
Media Relations FAQs
- How do I promote my campus event?
Wherever you promote an event, think about what your audience will want to know. Plan ahead and do the following:
• Gather information: Who, what, where, when, and why.
• Get an image. Consider a headshot or environmental pic.
• Get the speaker’s or performer’s bio—ask for a tight one-paragraph bio, and be sure to have education credentials for scholars.
• Include in all promotional material:
—Cost, or free and open to the public
—Campus map (or link) with parking info
• Keep it short and sweet. Use simple messaging with NO jargon.
• Submit information to the Events Calendar.
—Have photo or poster design and all details ready
• Create a Facebook event posting if your department has a Facebook page.
—Include a feature image
—List the College (SUNY Geneseo) as a co-host of the event to amplify your efforts
—Share your event on other pages, being careful not to spam others
—DON’T create a Facebook presence just for events
• Tweet your event often if you have a Twitter presence.
—Be creative with recurring event notice tweets
—Use relevant hashtags
• Post your event on your department or program web page.
—Include additional information that may not be on other public-facing promotional material, such as a longer bio, event details, or reasons the event is relevant to your department.
—Include the link to the page in promotional material
• Use event list serves.
—Use events-l for employees, whatsapp-l for students
—Use targeted list serves to ping groups that will be most interested
—Send out on list serves 10–14 days before the event, and again 2–3 days before
—Be careful—more is not always better; it can also be annoying
• Print posters or handbills.
—Plan ahead to provide sufficient time for printing
—Trim info to just the basics of the event
—Provide the designer with only the text and image(s) you want on the printed piece
—Include sponsors on any printed material
—Remember that printed material is not a must. Consider the cost and potential benefits.
• Send invites targeted to individuals or groups who are likely to be interested
—Ask individuals or groups to share your info with their constituents
—Ask faculty to share the info with their students
Do all of the on-campus promotion, then use a few off-campus tools to push awareness of your event beyond campus.
• Post to local event calendars at least 2 weeks prior to your event, taking care to estimate your draw. Do include an image.
—Livingston County News (local community)
—Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester and the greater Monroe County area)
—Rochester’s alternative City Newspaper (arts and entertainment-focused audience)
• Distribute posters or handbills to Main Street merchants and others
• Send invites to interested individuals or groups***Note: events during business hours will draw from a smaller pool of possible attendees.***
—Consider sending invites to corresponding departments/groups at area institutions
—Reach out to relevant local nonprofits, schools, or companies
- What is a press release?
Essentially, a press release is a news story or idea that we share with outside media in hopes of news coverage. Press releases are often targeted to different media outlets depending on the demographics of their audience. Press releases are sent out by the director of media relations.
- Can I get media coaching?
Media coaching can help faculty and staff prepare for media interviews, whether for print, radio, or on-camera appearances. Media coaching can also help with conference presentations, public talks, and Q&A sessions. Coaching tips will help improve your comfort during an interview so you can maintain control yourself and the discussion.
If you would benefit from media coaching, contact Monique Patenaude, director of media relations.
- What is a good story idea?
The stories that we find most compelling are those that appeal to our target audiences, especially potential students and their families. We are interested in sharing news that is uniquely Geneseo.
• Published research (articles, book chapters, books) that appeals to a general audience
• Faculty research
• Undergraduate research
• Distinctive programs or compelling courses
• Town-gown partnerships
- How do I submit a story idea?
Contact: Robyn Rime, senior writer and editor
Publications and research: Monique Patenaude, director of media relations
Alumni story ideas: Carol Marcy, senior writer for advancement
- What should I do when a reporter calls?
Refer the reporter. Reporters should go through the director of media relations to schedule interviews with faculty, staff, and students. In fact, most do. But if you’re contacted directly, please refer them to Monique Patenaude, director of media relations at 245-5056.
Let us know. If you’ve provided an interview, call Monique Patenaude, director of media relations at 245-5056.
Get coached. Media coaching is available for on-camera, radio, and interviews that take place over the phone. Coaching can be arranged for a pending interview, or scheduled as practice for possible interviews in the future.
Keep it on your schedule. If a reporter calls you directly and you don’t have time to think through the topic at hand, call them back after you gather your thoughts. Do ask what their deadline is, and if you can’t or don’t wish to contribute to the story, let them know. Don’t ever feel obliged to give an interview.
Get the facts. Always get the reporter’s name, media outlet, and contact information—phone number and email address. Not everyone who calls for an interview is a reporter; verify their identity, especially if you’re not familiar with the news outlet. The college’s director of media relations can help vet any inquiries.
Get your message across. Use the interview as an opportunity to communicate what YOU want to say. Before you begin, decide what two or three key points you want to get across and have both data and examples ready to highlight each one. Take the opportunity during the interview to pivot the discussion to serve your agenda, as well.
Provide context. Reporters cover dozens of stories a week. Help them by offering context and background information on complex topics.
Prepare for the difficult questions. Anticipate difficult questions and prepare responses to them. Never say, “No comment.” Instead, explain why you can’t or won’t answer the question.
Give simple, direct answers. Be brief. Reporters likely will use short quotes, clips, or sound bites. Avoid jargon and explain the topic as simply as possible. It’s best to avoid flippant or joking comments that be acceptable in conversation but might be taken out of context.
Stay “on the record.” Don’t say anything you don’t want to read in the newspaper or see on the evening news, even when the formal interview seems to have ended and you are just chatting with the reporter.
Assume the camera is on. As soon as a reporter’s camera is visible, assume that it’s recording. Keep banter to a minimum, stay on topic, and watch your posture!
Ask questions. Although reporters are unlikely to let you review a story before it’s published or aired, they may let you verify specific information or quotes. It doesn’t hurt to ask.Give feedback. If a reporter makes a major mistake in the story, call the publication and ask for a correction. If the mistake is minor, it may be better to let it go.