October 23, 2014
Massachusetts is home to many of the world’s leading colleges and universities and higher education is a vital component to the state’s economy. As such, on almost a daily basis, one or more local news outlets carries a story on higher education trends or initiatives on local campuses. As a result, a key role of the communications office on campus is developing a relationship with higher education desks at local media outlets to help foster inclusion in these stories.
To help facilitate these relationships, AICUM frequently partners with local media outlets to host an “FYI” session where public relations professionals from our colleges can network with editors and reporters, while also learning more about the media outlet’s higher education coverage and story selection processes. This invaluable information helps communications offices better hone their story pitches to the higher education desk while dovetailing their messages with the interests of the reporter.
Yesterday we hosted an “FYI” with the Boston Globe’s Assistant Metro Editor Roy Greene and higher education reporter Matt Rocheleau. We were joined by over 40 professionals representing more than 25 of our college and university members. Roy and Matt opened the “FYI” by offering some insight into the trend stories in higher education that the Globe has focused on this year, which include college affordability, issues related to sexual assault on campus, the emergence of MOOC’s and challenges within higher education. In addition to covering industry trends, the Globe has a committed interest to covering human interest stories on campus. As examples, Roy cited recent human interest stories featuring Simmons College and Clark University as successful pitches to the Globe’s higher education desk.
Following their overview, Roy and Matt took questions from attendees and poised some question of their own regarding what trends are percolating on campuses. This back and forth provided attendees the opportunity to pitch newly-developing trend stories, including the increasing international student presence on campus, implications of the proposed federal ratings system and upcoming research on the Millennial generation. We look forward to reading about them in a future Globe edition!