The Democratic National Convention this summer presents an opportunity for UWM faculty and staff to share stories about their world-class research and compelling work to national and international audiences. As the largest university in southeastern Wisconsin, UWM is positioned to be the lead source for expert commentary and analysis for stories about Milwaukee and the region.
We, in particular University Relations & Communications, need your help to make this happen.
Last year, the Media Services team in University Relations & Communications received more than 450 emails or calls from reporters seeking interviews with faculty and staff. Through the first seven weeks of 2020, the Media Services team fielded more than 80 interview requests – a pace that amounts to some 600 calls by the end of the year.
University Relations & Communications anticipates that the pace will pick up as we draw closer to the convention. Some of you have already been in contact with the Media Services team regarding outreach and working with media. Our hope is that more of you will volunteer to help take advantage of these opportunities and raise the profile of the university among legislators, the public, donors, parents and even prospective undergraduate and graduate students.
This opportunity isn’t just for political scientists. Media Services team members have reached out to peers at other research universities in convention host cities and expect to receive calls on a wide range of topics, including:
- The economy (local, regional and national)
- Criminal justice
- Climate change
- Urban affairs/urban policy
- Education, including the achievement gap
- Topics specific to Milwaukee and Wisconsin (including beer and cheese)
I encourage any of you who are interested in contributing in any area to get in touch with the Media Services team. Here’s how:
- If you haven’t done so already, contact Senior University Relations Specialist Genaro Armas, who is coordinating UWM’s DNC-related public relations efforts, and let him know of your interest in serving as a media expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please include pertinent topics or potential story ideas that you are comfortable discussing. For instance, if you’re an economist, can you talk about the dairy industry? Are you comfortable talking about policies proposed by candidates in your research area?
- Please include your cell phone number, as well as any non-university email accounts that you use if you don’t check your UWM email account regularly. The Media Services team will not give out cell phone numbers or personal emails to media unless authorized by you.
- If it’s easier to contact you by phone or text, please note that in your email. Reporters often work on tight deadlines, and the Media Services team needs to know how to reach you quickly.
Once your email is received, Genaro or another member of the Media Services team will follow up on next steps, and the Media Services will hold sessions on working with external media in March to help you prepare.
In the meantime, if you do receive an interview request from a Media Services team member, please respond promptly to let them know if you can or cannot do the interview. The team will relay your response – yes or no – to the journalist. This allows the team to maintain courteous, professional relationships with media so journalists continue to tell stories about faculty and research at UWM. A lack of response can affect whether a media outlet reaches out to UWM again.
Thank you for your help in telling the UWM story.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs