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Media Training NSU Office of Public Affairs Who Are We? We positively promote NSU through: External publicity: press releases, opinion-editorials (op- eds ), letters to the editor, media interviews, subject-matter experts, social media, and events.

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media training
Media Training

NSU Office of Public Affairs

who are we
Who Are We?
  • We positively promote NSU through:
    • External publicity: press releases, opinion-editorials (op-eds), letters to the editor, media interviews, subject-matter experts, social media, and events.
    • Internal publicity:SharkBytes, SharkFins, SharkTube, Digital Signs, Horizons, Wellness magazine, and e-mail blasts.

the media
The Media
  • In every media contact, there should be participation by a Public Affairs representative, including interviews, press releases, and event promotion.
  • The Public Affairs representative keeps the media exchange on a favorable track, and helps you promote yourself, NSU and your event or story.
newsworthy stories
Newsworthy Stories
  • NSU is aggressively competing with other universities, private companies and nonprofits for a shrinking media.
  • Public Affairs wants to pitch the very best stories - NOT every story.
  • We will help you target the right media outlets for your story and maximize coverage by finding the best angles to tell them.
newsworthy stories5
Newsworthy Stories
  • Ask yourself these questions before you send us stories:
  • Will my story benefit NSU and the community?
  • Does it have mass appeal?
  • Does my story follow current events or developing trends?
  • Is it timely?
  • How unique is it?


newsworthy stories6
Newsworthy Stories
  • Is it something that is new to the public?
  • Does it convey something people need to know?
  • How will it affect South Florida, the state, the nation, the world? Does my story discuss local issues?
  • Is my story more of a SharkBytes item, rather than something that can run in The Miami Herald?


working with the media
Working with the Media
  • Make the news easy to read and use
    • Use a short, punchy headlines to attract attention
    • Don’t use jargon, unfamiliar acronyms or technical terms

(Ex: CBAP)

  • State the most important facts at the beginning (The inverted pyramid)
    • Get straight to the point with what’s happening and why it’s important


working with the media8
Working with the Media
  • You will not be able to see the story before it’s printed.
  • Be aware of DEADLINES!
    • Material that does not get to the media in time will NOT be used.
working with the media9
Working with the Media
  • If you don’t know the answer say so, and get back to the reporter later.
  • Tell the truth
    • Do not try to hide information, lie or give false facts.
  • Be prepared to provide collateral materials, statistics, etc.
press releases
Press Releases
  • A press release is an announcement to the media about NSU news and events.
  • Information for press releases need to answer the basic questions of Who, What, Why, When, Where and How?
  • Keep it short and to the point


press releases11
Press Releases
  • For press releases that promote events, give us at least three weeks or more lead time to work on them.
  • For breaking news, submit the info ASAP.
  • For events that have happened, submit the release ASAP.
opinion editorials
Opinion Editorials
  • Op-eds are used to express forceful opinions on an issue.
  • They should be related to a recent news event or press release.
  • Use between 400 to 600 words.
  • Ask yourself if the Op-Ed is relevant to the public?


letters to the editor
Letters to the Editor
  • Newspaper letter used to respond to a story or issue with 100 to 200 word rebuttal.
  • Public Affairs edits and sometimes write letters to the editor ensure they are newsworthy.
subject matter experts
Subject Matter Experts
  • A source for the media and the public to search for NSU faculty experts.
  • The media will contact Public Affairs for interviews.
  • We send out HOT TOPICS.


lead times for media
Lead Times for Media
  • Print

- Daily newspapers - 1 to 2 weeks

- Magazines - 2 to 6 months

  • TV

- Local news - 2 days

- Local talk shows - 4 to 6 weeks

- National Morning Talk Shows - 1 to 2 months

- Public Service Announcements - 6 to 8 weeks

  • Radio

- News - 2 days

  • Social Media - 2 days
  • Know your audience.
  • Choose no more than three main points to talk about.
  • Speak clearly, concisely, and be aware of the time. Do not talk nonstop!
  • Never lie, guess or speculate.
  • Don’t argue or get defensive. Use easy to understand language.
  • Don’t ever say anything is off the record (Just don’t mention it!)
  • Never say “no comment” – Instead, say why you cannot answer the question.


  • NSU’s weekly electronic newsletter for faculty and staff, used to promote events, awards, new hires, new programs, high test scores, etc.
  • Information should be relayed in one or two paragraphs.
  • Runs weekly during the school year and biweekly during the summer.
  • Photos are encouraged but not required with your submissions. Photo captions are needed.
  • Example: John Smith, D.O., professor of internal medicine at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) (left) and Jane Doe, D.O., professor of cardiology at COM (right) at the 2010 Ft. Lauderdale International Medical Convention
  • SharkFins is used to promote student news that goes out to students.


sharktube and digital signs
SharkTube and Digital Signs
  • Internal communication television network in 13 different locations across NSU campuses.
  • TV screens across campus used for promotion of NSU events, academic and research achievement, and to recognize outstanding NSU students, student organizations, and faculty members.
  • Four digital signs on campus are used to promote NSU events such as:
    • University-wide events for students, faculty, staff and events open to the public.
    • Intercollegiate athletic contests.
    • Entrance/qualifying exam announcements covering substantial numbers of students.
    • Public service activities, such as health fairs, blood drives, library events and community fund-raisers.
social media
Social Media
  • Facebook

More than 500 million uses worldwide.

Used by a majority of high school and college students.

NSU’s page has more than 7,500 fans.!/NovaSoutheastern?ref=ts

  • Twitter
  • NSU’s Twitter site has more than 1,200 followers.
  • Messages are 140 characters max.
  • Almost all news media use it (ex. CNN, Miami Herald, New York Times)
  • 4 billion Tweets recorded in the first quarter of 2010.


Good way to promote your colleges, events, etc.

There are 660 videos posted about NSU. Some we posted and some were posted externally.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine was one of the first to produce an outstanding video on how interview for medical school.


think big picture
Think BIG picture

Positive publicity about NSU will help us achieve three goals:

  • Become a leading university in Florida and beyond.
  • Become a financially sound university
  • Continue providing high-quality academics and serve the community.
the 3 rs
The 3 Rs
  • Recruitment

Good PR helps us recruit more and better students. Remember, NSU is 85% tuition driven. Therefore, NSU needs students!!!

  • Reputation building

Stories about research, subject-matter experts, cutting-edge academic programs, renowned faculty help expand NSU’s reputation throughout Florida and beyond.

  • Resource development

Positive press help engage our alumni, who might make a monetary donation, hire an NSU grad or mentor a student. It helps us form more partnerships with the community. It help builds our endowment by triggering corporate giving and individual giving.




public affairs staff
Public Affairs Staff
  • Director Julie Spechler
  • Associate Directors: Ken Ma, Felecia Henderson, Alan Hancock, and AndraLiwag


  • Ken Ma: Health Professions Division, Oceanographic Center, NSU Research and Technology Transfer.
  • Felecia Henderson: Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Psychological Studies, Mailman Siegel Institute, Criminal Justice Institute, and Graduate School of Humanities and Social Services, Don Taft University Center, and Museum of Art.
  • Alan Hancock: Huizenga School of Business, Shepard Broad Law Center, NSU Athletics, SECs, and student affairs.
  • AndraLiwag:Fischler School of Education and Human Services, Alvin Sherman Library, University School, and Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences.
  • Office of Public Affairs: 954-262-5357
  • Julie Spechler: 954-262-5348 or
  • Ken Ma: 954-262-5408 or
  • Felecia Henderson: 954-262-5315 or
  • Alan Hancock: 954-262-5385 or hancocka@nova.eduy
  • AndraLiwag: 954-262-5309 or

If your college has a communications liaison with the Office of Public Affairs, please contact them first.

the end