Work With Us
The Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing is here to help promote the expertise and research excellence of UF's faculty. We can help you share your work through traditional and social media or assist you with establishing yourself as an opinion leader in your field. Please review the resources we have available below, and get in touch if you would like to work together to share your work with the wider world.
- Research Promotion Initiative
The Research Promotion Initiative is intended to attract newsworthy research before it publishes, so UF’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing can assist faculty with promoting their work to top media outlets when attention to new research is at its highest — publication time. Winners receive $1,000 in research funding.
Submit to the RPI
Enter your work in the Research Promotion Initiative contest by filling out this form.
Research is eligible if it has been accepted — or is soon to be accepted — but not yet published. Work from any field in eligible. UF faculty should be a senior author or have made significant credited contributions.
If your research is scheduled to publish in the next two weeks, please contact Eric Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure we can respond before publication. Your research will still be eligible for the RPI grant.
You should also contact your college's local communications office to let them know about your work and that you have submitted to the RPI. They may also be able to help promote your research
The news team meets every two weeks to discuss entries and will decide on a winner. Multiple winners can be selected, and entries that don’t win the research grant can also be selected for media promotion through written articles, media pitching and social media. You will be notified via email whether you win or not.
An SCM team member will work with the winners to prepare promotional materials that help share the significance and widespread interest to the broader public and the media. We will identify reporters who may cover the work and can provide media training to prepare faculty for successful interactions with journalists.
In your submission, describe your work in plain language that explains why the work would be of interest to people outside your field.
What makes new research newsworthy?
- A clear impact on society beyond your field of study; a so what?
- A useful lesson people can apply in their own lives
- A timely or trending topic
- Findings that are unique, surprising or counterintuitive
- Potential for compelling photo or video content
- Topics of strategic focus for UF, such as artificial intelligence
Some examples of past winners and corresponding media coverage include:
- Misleading prices on Amazon, featured in Bloomberg
- Chincoteague ponies really do come from Spanish shipwreck, featured in The Atlantic
- Why you’re attached to your favorite Game of Thrones character, featured in Forbes
- Conserving sea turtles with DNA left in the sand, featured in USA Today
- Experts Center
Become a UF Expert
The UF Experts Center features hundreds of UF faculty who want to share their expertise in their field with reporters at major news outlets. Joining the Experts Center is an excellent way to develop or hone your media relations skills, enhance your reputation and provide the world with accurate and timely information about your field.
Joining the Experts Center
You can join the Experts Center at this site.
Fill out all of the fields. Note that while your email, social accounts and faculty webpage will be public, your phone number will not be. However, having your phone number can help us contact you in case of a time-sensitive request.
When describing your expertise, consider what keywords a non-expert would use to search about your field, and use those terms in your description. This will help reporters find your profile when they are working on a story about your area of expertise. Describe your unique knowledge, but use everyday language that avoids jargon, confusing acronyms or other alienating terms.
If you have questions about joining the Experts Center, please contact Blake Trauschke at email@example.com.
Responding to requests
Reporters may contact you directly by email or by submitting an inquiry on the Experts Center website, which will also arrive by email.
In order for you to be used as a reliable source in stories, timeliness is of the utmost importance. Reporters are usually working on a short deadline meaning they may need to hear back from you same day, depending on the story. It is best practice to respond as soon as possible to acknowledge that you have received the request, even if you cannot speak with them immediately.
Usually, reporters will want to interview you over the phone or by video. Sometimes they may email questions and ask you to respond in writing instead. To prepare for the interview, you can ask the reporter for the questions in advance; however, they may not always provide them for you.
Regardless of the interview format, it is helpful to take a moment to gather your thoughts and pull up any important data you might like on hand. Prepare a few bullet points to remind yourself of the message you want to convey during the interview. Avoid straying off topic or sharing any information you don’t want to appear in the final story.
If you can’t respond fully in time or don’t feel you are the right source for the story, share the name of a colleague who you think could help. Reporters will remember who has been helpful and will turn to you again when they have a story that is a good fit.
If you would like additional training on how to successfully work with reporters, please see our media training page and reach out for assistance.
- Opinion pieces
Want to publish an opinion article?
Our team in the Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing is happy to assist UF faculty members and senior leaders with writing, placing and publishing opinion articles (op-eds). Please direct all inquiries and requests to Abby Weingarten, senior communications strategist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-320-0523.
What services do we offer?
- Consultations to discuss op-ed ideas and perspectives
- Collaborative writing sessions to refine op-ed narratives
- Ghost writing and placing op-eds
- Reviewing written op-eds, and making suggestions regarding content and where to pitch
- Pitching op-eds that show high media potential
What is an op-ed and why write one?
An op-ed is a unique opinion piece (typically 750 words or less) that introduces a new perspective on a timely topic.
Publishing an op-ed can be a competitive process because high-level media outlets receive numerous submissions every day. However, the visibility is worth the effort, as op-ed pages are widely read and can be very influential with readers. Publishing an op-ed is an opportunity for you and your department to earn widespread recognition, and it takes much less time and effort than writing a professional journal article.
To increase your chances of success, you should track the news, be opportunistic and remember that timing is critical. Is there a topic dominating the news cycle that relates to your research? Confidently formulate your opinion on this topic. Make sure that what you have to say is something entirely original, prompting editors to say, “I hadn’t considered that angle.”
Then, clearly and persuasively state your opinion. Be sure to cite and hyperlink all your sources, facts and figures. Tell the readers why your viewpoint matters and propose solutions or insights about the issue you are discussing. Write conversationally (and from personal experience) without using too much field-specific verbiage, so that your narrative is more relatable.
Consider your target outlet. What outlets have you seen publish op-eds on this topic before? What publications do you read, or which ones are influential in your area? What publications does your target audience read? Search for these outlets’ op-ed submission guidelines to acquaint yourself with the requirements. Our team can help you research the ideal outlet.
The Hill: In the middle of a chilling crypto winter, US regulators need to turn up the heat
The New York Times: Fear and Loathing in Havana and Miami
Foreign Policy: Kòltiz, a patriotic Haitian practice of solidarity
- Media Training
UF’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing offers media training for faculty to help prepare for interviews and media events.
Why work with the media?
Media interviews allow you to share your expertise, have a positive impact on current events and demonstrate the value of publicly funded research. By engaging in media interviews, you lift your reputation — and that of the university, college and department — as trusted sources of information.
Participating in media training
Media training helps you to better understand the media landscape and what makes news. It will help you to know what makes a great story and how to contact a journalist to get coverage on future research and projects. You will also gain the confidence to communicate with the media and take control of interviews.
What to expect?
Training sessions are scheduled virtually via Zoom for one hour. Sessions can be scheduled individually or for several department members to participate at the same time.
If you are interested in scheduling a media training session, please contact Brittany Sylvestri at email@example.com.
- Social Media Training
How do I get UF to notice my content?
@ us! No, really. Submit your Twitter handle here so we can follow along and look to elevate your work.
We’re always searching for great stories! Whenever possible, tag @UF in your post copy or post asset (in a photo, for example), along with using the #UFnews hashtag, so we never miss a moment.
Follow our flagship @UF Twitter account which reaches a broad audience and focuses on elevating university research, news and more and our @UFNews account where we interact with journalists and focus on elevating our experts and their research (aka you) in the news.
Looking to create an account? New to social media? Been at it for a while, but need a refresher on best practices?
Social is ever-changing – from setup to copywriting, key performance indicators, content creation and more – we're here to help. Contact the SCM social team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or request a training session, tailored to your needs.
Not sure which platform is best for you?
Twitter is still the best place for faculty to connect, share research and build community. As always, it depends on your goals. If you need help reaching the right audience, let us know.
Ensure that your content is inclusive:
Reference SCM’s accessibility tips and training for more information on alt text, captions, platform features, and more or email email@example.com.
Want to measure success?
There’s no shortage of metrics on social, but making sense of them is crucial – reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for a deep dive on key performance indicators. On your own time, reference an overview of what you need to know via our data analysis and visualization training.
Balancing a personal and UF-affiliated individual account?
Review the UF social media policy.
Keep your bios clear on the account purpose. Disclaimers are common, but note that audiences will always struggle to differentiate between personal vs. professional.
Be cautious when switching between accounts – stay aware of how the algorithms serve up your interactions, interests and follower activity to the feed.
Nothing on social is private – assume all DMs will be posted publicly.
Assisting with the management of a unit-level account as well?
Visit the UF social media brand center for quick tips on account branding, comment moderation, hashtags and more. Request a team or individual training here.
Dealing with an issue on social media?
Reach out to Fairen Horner (email@example.com), SCM Associate Director of Marketing and Communications.