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For the Tufts community

What does the Office of Public Relations do?
The Office of Public Relations at Tufts University works to strengthen the university’s reputation for leadership in research, scholarship, teaching and civic life by working with the news media. We share the diverse achievements of our faculty, staff and students and work to communicate the perspectives of university leaders and faculty on important issues.

Public Relations works across the Tufts community to enhance the public’s understanding of the university. Specifically, we:

  • Offer guidance on how to work effectively with news media
  • Advise on what is likely to be newsworthy
  • Prepare news releases and related materials
  • Provide guidance on preparation of opinion pieces and bylined articles
  • Respond to journalists’ requests for information on specific subjects and/or interviews with faculty, staff and students
  • Coordinate logistics and permissions for on-campus media interviews, photography and filming
  • Track notable news coverage of Tufts University

Public Relations team members serve as spokespersons for the university and support crisis communications. With the Office of University Counsel and Marketing and Branding group, we also manage some requests related to the use of the Tufts University name in media, news releases and other external communications channels.

Why should I work with the Office of Public Relations and the news media?
Working with us and the media can benefit you; your colleagues, students and school; and Tufts University as a whole. Sharing news about Tufts’ excellence in research, teaching and other activities can build positive visibility for these efforts, which in turn supports the recruitment of talented faculty, students and staff; fundraising and grant submissions; and community and government relationships.

How does Public Relations share news and information with the news media?
We work with the news media in a variety of ways, tailoring our approach to meet the needs of each story. Our primary tools for communication are news releases and story “pitches” announcing new Tufts initiatives, findings of scholarly research, key accomplishments, faculty expertise, and select on-campus events, which we share directly with reporters and editors.

Tufts news releases are posted on a dedicated page on the Tufts Now news site, and many are distributed via international wire services.

How do I contact Public Relations?
The Office of Public Relations works with all of Tufts’ campuses; please contact the appropriate staff members. If you are not sure whom to contact, you can email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3069.

When should I contact you with news about my work?
Before it happens. Timing is everything in the news business. If you contact us after the fact, it’s usually too late to garner media interest. The more time we have in advance of the news, the more effective we can be.

If you contact us with news at the last minute, we may still be able to help, but we ask that you bear in mind that much of the news coverage that you read, see or hear was planned well in advance.

In addition, please remember to contact your school communications lead as there may be school channels available to help promote your work.

If I contact Public Relations about a story idea or news for the media, can I count on coverage?
Contacting Public Relations about a potential story does not guarantee coverage in the media. Whether a story idea garners media coverage depends on many factors. In addition, in situations where you are working with other institutions or organizations, we also consider whether it is appropriate for Tufts to be the one to take the lead on outreach.

We can work with you to determine if external media may be interested and to plan an appropriate outreach strategy. Some qualities the media look for when deciding if something is newsworthy include timeliness, significance, proximity, novelty, prominence, and conflict. While not every story includes these exact qualities, most good stories include two or three.

Given the extraordinary and wide-ranging expertise and accomplishments of the Tufts community, we cannot write about or pitch every item that may be of interest; instead, we make decisions based on estimated news potential, timeliness and alignment with school and university priorities.

My research or scholarly work will be published in an academic journal. Should I contact you?
Yes. Please contact us as early as possible in the publishing process, preferably at the same time that you submit your paper for journal consideration. Our engagement early in the process will give us enough time to determine if a news release or other outreach is possible and appropriate. We need time to evaluate the paper, understand the material, determine its newsworthiness, draft any press materials, and identify media outlets that might be interested. Rest assured that your work will remain confidential until the findings can be made public. This is a collaborative process, and we will work closely with you to ensure that any media outreach accurately reflects your work.

For most research news releases, we will aim to quote one author.

I received a call from a reporter. Should I let Public Relations know?
Yes. Our office is available to assist, and the earlier we are involved, the more help we can provide. We can get additional information about the media outlet, contact the reporter as to his or her needs and deadline, and work with you to determine if you are the best information source. We can also coordinate logistics if a reporter would like to come to campus for an interview. (Below please see “What are Tufts’ guidelines for individuals who want to conduct interviews, photograph or film on campus? Are reporters, photographers or videographers allowed in my classroom, office or lab?”)

Can Public Relations provide coaching on interview techniques?
Yes. Communicating effectively with the press is a skill that can be learned and developed. Public Relations is available to support members of the Tufts community in preparing for media interviews and strengthening their skills when it comes to speaking with reporters. Please contact us for more information.

What are Tufts’ guidelines for individuals who want to conduct interviews, photograph or film on campus? Are reporters, photographers or videographers allowed in my classroom, office or lab?
As a private institution, Tufts University seeks to share news about our work while also respecting the privacy of the members of our community and maintaining normal campus operations. For these reasons, news media and other non-university entities wishing to conduct interviews, photograph or film on a Tufts campus must contact the Office of Public Relations for prior authorization. A member of the Office of Public Relations will accompany news media and non-university entities while on campus for the duration of filming, photographing or conducting interviews.

Requests to conduct interviews, film or photograph on campus must include:

  • Location(s) requested;
  • Date, time and length of the interview/filming;
  • Number of people involved or requested to be involved in the interview/filming;
  • Type of program/publication or purpose for the interview/filming;
  • Type of activity or content to be filmed or photographed;
  • List of equipment and vehicles used in connection with the project.

News media and non-university entities must receive written consent from Tufts community members, including students, staff, faculty, research volunteers, patients and visitors, prior to recording their image on campus, which includes areas in and around clinical spaces.

Tufts faculty, researchers or staff who receive requests for interviews or to photograph or film on campus should direct the queries to the Office of Public Relations.

All movie scripts featuring Tufts must be reviewed and approved by the university; approval is obtained through the Office of Public Relations.

Prior to filming on campus, a signed location release and certificate of insurance are required, naming Tufts University as additional insured. In addition, documentary filmmakers may be asked to provide a distribution plan and contact prior to receiving permission to film on campus.

Non-university interviews, photo sessions and film shoots, including commercial ones, require the advance authorization of the university, obtained through the Office of Public Relations.

For more information and to seek authorization, please contact us. Tufts University may approve or deny requests to photograph or film on campus.

Does Tufts have video and audio (ISDN) capabilities on its campus for broadcasting or uplinking interviews?
Tufts has VideoLink ReadyCam studios on the Medford/Somerville campus and the Boston Health Sciences campus for live or recorded television interviews. The university does not have ISDN capabilities for radio interviews; however, the greater Boston area has several of these studios.

For assistance arranging filmed interviews, please contact us.

Does Public Relations manage advertising and marketing?
No. While Public Relations staff often coordinate with colleagues who direct marketing and advertising initiatives, our office is not directly responsible for these efforts. Tufts’ Office of Marketing and Branding produces award-winning print materials, including postcards, posters, brochures, viewbooks and a suite of other print communications. For more information about their work and to contact a member of the staff, please visit their website.

Does Tufts Public Relations have a social media presence?
No. However, Tufts Digital Content and Strategy team manages the university’s central social media channels, including:

Twitter: @TuftsUniversity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuftsu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tuftsuniversity#
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tuftsu

Many of the individual schools at Tufts University are also active on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, as are individual faculty.

Will Public Relations help me attract an audience and/or reporters to my campus event? How do I tell the internal Tufts community about my news and events?
Generally, the Office of Public Relations focuses on subjects and trends that have broad impact for the university, rather than individual events. If your event is open to the public and you think the media may be interested, please contact us with detailed information at least two months in advance to accommodate our deadlines and those of the news media.

We can also point you toward other resources, including local event calendar listings, other Tufts channels, and your school communications leads.

The Tufts Events Calendar features events open to the university community and/or the public. Submit events here.

Additionally, the Editorial team at Tufts produces Tufts Now, the university’s news site, which is updated frequently with stories about faculty, students and staff and features news, events, social media, videos, photography and more. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to submit story ideas for Tufts-focused news and events.

If your event is not open to the public and a Tufts ID is required for entry, please only advertise your event on Tufts channels.

Does Public Relations manage Tufts magazines?
No. The Editorial team writes, edits, designs and publishes six award-winning magazines—the university-wide Tufts Magazine, and five school magazines: Fletcher Magazine, Tufts MedicineTufts Dental MedicineTufts Nutrition and Cummings Veterinary Medicine.

If you would like to propose a story for a specific publication, please contact the appropriate editor.

I have a book that is going to be published soon. Should I contact Public Relations?
Usually, book publicity is managed by your book’s publisher, but you are invited to share the news with the appropriate Public Relations office, the Editorial team, and your school or center communications leads.

I need a photograph for use by an outside organization. Do you have one?
Tufts Photo, which is part of the Editorial team, maintains a database of high-resolution and professional photographs. Please visit the Tufts Photo website.

I need a photograph taken. How can I schedule a Tufts photographer?
Please visit the Tufts Photo website to schedule a photographer.

How can I get something included on the Tufts homepage?
While Public Relations staff work closely with the Marketing and Branding team, we are not directly responsible for most homepage content on Tufts.edu. Please contact Marketing and Branding for suggestions or questions about the homepage.

Is use of the name “Tufts” or logo restricted in any way?
Yes. Tufts University owns federal trademark registrations on the words TUFTS and TUFTS UNIVERSITY, on the university seal (with the descending dove), and on various marks specific to individual schools and units.

Use of the Tufts name, seal or marks must be approved in advance as outlined in the Policy on the Use of Tufts University Name and Insignias. Branding Guidelines and logo usage are described further on this page. Please visit these pages to learn more.

Requests to use the Tufts name or insignias may be emailed to nameuse@tufts.edu for consideration.

A company, non-profit organization, university or other entity outside of Tufts wants to issue a news release highlighting an initiative in which Tufts faculty, staff or students are involved. Is this allowed?
Any news release using the Tufts name or the name of a Tufts school or program must be reviewed by University Communications and Marketing before being issued. By ensuring that the use of the Tufts name is appropriate and accurate, we protect individuals involved in the work and the university. Please ask the originator of the proposed news release to send a draft of the release to Public Relations a minimum of five business days before it is scheduled to be issued. To reach appropriate staff members, please visit the Contact Public Relations page. If you are not sure whom to contact, you can email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call (617) 627-3069.

For more information and related questions about the name usage policy, please visit the Policy on the Use of Tufts University Name and Insignias.

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For members of the press

How can I get basic facts about Tufts University?
Established in 1852, Tufts is a private, student-centered research university dedicated to the creation and application of knowledge. We have campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, Massachusetts, as well as Talloires, France. Click here to learn more about our mission, history, academics and for a university factsheet.

What does the Office of Public Relations do?
The Office of Public Relations at Tufts University works to strengthen the university’s reputation for leadership in research, scholarship, teaching and active citizenship by working with the news media. The Public Relations team creates news releases and other communications tools and serves as a liaison between the media and members of the university community. We cover all of Tufts’ campuses, and are ready to work with reporters, editors and producers to provide information about the university; identify faculty experts available for comment on a wide range of topics; manage logistics for media interviews, photography and filming on campus; and provide other support for members of the press.

How can I contact the Office of Public Relations?
To reach the appropriate staff members, please visit the Contact Public Relations page. If you are not sure whom to contact, you can email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3069.

Are there other public relations / communications offices at Tufts?
The Office of Public Relations handles the majority of media relations for Tufts University and is ready to assist members of the press or direct them to other offices, as needed.  However, additional communications/public relations resources within the Tufts community include:

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
cpr@tufts.edu

Tufts University Athletics
Paul.Sweeney@tufts.edu

How can I reach Tufts Medical Center?
Tufts Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine; however, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University are separate and independent entities. For public relations matters involving Tufts Medical Center, please contact the hospital’s media relations team.

Where can I see recent news releases issued by Tufts? How can I receive press releases and other news?
The Office of Public Relations routinely distributes news releases about news and research at Tufts. Tufts news releases are posted online on a dedicated News Release page, and many are distributed via newswires such as EurekAlert and Newswise. Please contact a member of our team to receive news releases via email, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Tufts University’s Editorial team produces Tufts Now, the university’s news site, which is updated frequently with stories about faculty, students and staff and highlights the best of what’s happening on Tufts’ campuses. You can sign up for the Tufts Now weekly email newsletter or subscribe to RSS feeds for instant updates.

How can I find a Tufts expert to interview for my stories?
Tufts University is home to accomplished researchers, educators and thought leaders—in topics ranging from addiction to zoonotic diseases—who are available to comment on their areas of expertise, research or related topics.  Please contact a member of the Public Relations team to arrange an interview.

Can I visit Tufts University campuses to conduct interviews, take photographs or film?
As a private institution, Tufts University seeks to share news about our work while also respecting the privacy of the members of our community and maintaining normal campus operations. For these reasons, news media and other non-university entities wishing to conduct interviews, photograph or film on a Tufts campus must contact the Office of Public Relations for prior authorization. A member of the Office of Public Relations will accompany news media and non-university entities while on campus for the duration of filming, photographing or conducting interviews.

Requests to conduct interviews, film or photograph on campus must include:

  • Location(s) requested;
  • Date, time and length of the interview/filming;
  • Number of people involved or requested to be involved in the interview/filming;
  • Type of program/publication or purpose for the interview/filming;
  • Type of activity or content to be filmed or photographed;
  • List of equipment and vehicles used in connection with the project.

News media and non-university entities must receive written consent from Tufts community members, including students, staff, faculty, research volunteers, patients and visitors, prior to recording their image on campus, which includes areas in and around clinical spaces.

Tufts faculty, researchers or staff who receive requests for interviews or to photograph or film on campus should direct the queries to the Office of Public Relations.

All movie scripts featuring Tufts must be reviewed and approved by the university; approval is obtained through the Office of Public Relations.

Prior to filming on campus, a signed location release and certificate of insurance are required, naming Tufts University as additional insured. In addition, documentary filmmakers may be asked to provide a distribution plan and contact prior to receiving permission to film on campus.

Non-university interviews, photo sessions and film shoots, including commercial ones, require the advance authorization of the university, obtained through the Office of Public Relations.

For more information and to seek authorization, please contact us. Tufts University may approve or deny requests to photograph or film on campus.

Are stock photographs or other images of Tufts available to members of the press?
Tufts University maintains an archive of thousands of Tufts-related photographs. We may be able to provide members of the press with high-resolution photographs or images upon request. Tufts University retains the use, copyright and licensing to all such images. All rights for reproduction of any image remain with Tufts University, and any permission to use these images must be obtained prior to publication or any other use. All photos must be properly captioned and credited where appropriate. Members of the press who wish to inquire about Tufts University photographs for publication should contact the Office of Public Relations.

Does Tufts have video and audio (ISDN) capabilities on its campus for broadcasting or uplinking interviews?
The university has VideoLink ReadyCam studios on the Medford/Somerville campus and the Boston Health Sciences campus for live or recorded television interviews. The University does not have ISDN capabilities for radio interviews; however, the greater Boston area has several of these studios.

For assistance arranging television interviews with members of the Tufts community, please contact the Office of Public Relations.

Does Tufts Public Relations have a social media presence?
No. However, Tufts Digital Content and Strategy team manages the university’s central social media channels, including:

Twitter: @TuftsUniversity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuftsu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tuftsuniversity#
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tuftsu

Many of the individual schools at Tufts University are also active on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, as are individual faculty.

How can I find out about events happening at Tufts?
Many events hosted at Tufts are listed on our online calendar. These events are open to the public, but we ask that you contact the Office of Public Relations in advance so that we can be sure to accommodate your visit.

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For hometown news announcements

Does Tufts let hometown publications know about the achievements of its undergraduate students, such as making Dean’s List?
Yes. Tufts University sometimes sends out announcements to undergraduate students’ hometown publications sharing good news about our students, such as fall enrollment, graduation or certain university honors. In accordance with federal privacy regulations, students must first give Tufts their written permission to share any information about academic performance. Tufts has a system that enables undergraduates to provide such permission, or rescind permission, online. Each fall, undergraduates receive an email explaining the system. Information is also posted on the commencement website each spring. Those who sign up will be included when we send out news of matriculation, graduation, and Dean’s List.

How can students sign up for the hometown news announcement service?
To sign up for the service, undergraduate students must login to the SIS Portal, click on Student Living on the menu, and then choose Webcenter from the dropdown.

Next, select the hometown news option from the drop down menu and ensure the status is set to allow the Office of Public Relations to send these announcements.

The default setting is that students do not authorize this service. You must opt-in to participate in this service.

Do you offer this service for graduate and professional students at Tufts?
We currently offer this service only for undergraduate students at Tufts.

What personal information is included in these announcements?
Personal information that could potentially appear in such a release would be the student’s name, hometown, state, major, degree, honors and the nature of the good news.

Can I sign up my son or daughter for this service?
Under federal privacy regulations, we can only send these announcements with a student’s written authorization. A student wishing to participate in our hometown news release program must opt-in by logging into SIS Portal, clicking on Student Living on the menu, and then choosing Webcenter from the dropdown.

How do you determine what newspapers will receive the announcements?
We use an external service to distribute the announcements, which matches a student’s hometown zip code with the local newspapers that cover that town.

Why was my child not included in my local newspaper’s listing of Dean’s List honors?
If your child made the Dean’s List, but was not listed in your local paper, it could be because he or she has not signed up for the service through Webcenter, accessible via SIS Portal. If your son or daughter has signed up for the service and his/her name still did not appear in the newspaper, please contact the Office of Public Relations and we will look into the matter for you.

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