Miami University Communications places professors as national experts

University of Miami professors and even President Greg Crawford have made themselves available as writers and sources for national media and city newspapers across the country in a formal effort to position professors as experts. nationally recognized in their fields.

The placement strategy drew quotes and writings from professors and administrators in national media including CBS News Radio, Inside Higher Ed and Forbes, as well as local media from the Cincinnati Enquirer to the Dayton Daily News, the vice-president and chief marketing and communications officer. Officer Jamie Hunt.

“We have a great thing here in Miami,” Hunt said. “We are an excellent institution and we want this to be better recognized across the country. Part of the strategy to achieve this is to place our professors as experts in the national media or the major metropolitan media. “

Since the start of the semester, Crawford has written about how to educate entrepreneurs for Forbes and has been cited by the Cincinnati Enquirer. He also collaborated with Doug Lankford, chief of the Miami tribe of Oklahoma, to write about the Native American mascot retreat for Inside Higher Ed.

“I am writing as part of a concerted effort to raise the profile of the University of Miami and higher education nationally,” Crawford wrote in an email to The Miami Student.

Crawford said he carefully considers what he chooses to write.

“While there are sometimes pieces that go from idea to manuscript, most of the pieces I write often take time and patience,” Crawford wrote. “I bounce ideas off people about topics – what do they find interesting? What do they think is important? What are we not talking about and should we be talking about it? “

Rodney Coates, a critical professor of racial and ethnic studies, has also been credited for editorials, research and poetry. He began writing in college and has since been quoted in the Cincinnati Enquirer, CNBC, the Hamilton Post, and SAGE Press.

The college usually contacts Coates with questions about his profession, which has led him to write about border patrol officers and the humanitarian crisis in Texas.

“I modify my own work,” Coates said. “I send [my work] blatantly and sometimes target a particular publication because I have the impression that it is more in line with their audience and their editorial policy.

Coates said his ideas came from trends he saw both in academia and in the news.

“I research both current events and current events, but also scholarly sources,” Coates said. “Over time, I end up seeing trends or things that bother me and I will write an op-ed about it.”

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Coates said his experience as a teacher and writer benefits Miami and his goal of publishing professors.

“Sometimes Miami will be contacted by our press office and a news source,” Coates said. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a problem with white. Do you have any experts on this? ‘ and professors who identify themselves by their content domain will be contacted.

The majority of internships involve staff being interviewed as an expert source rather than writing about topics themselves. In recent weeks, reporters have quoted professors in Miami on topics ranging from the impact of video games on mental health to staff shortages in nursing homes.

Hunt said the university relies on the ProfNet online service to connect professors with journalists. When a journalist needs an expert in a specific area, they publish a pitch and a deadline. Next, Hunt and his team follow up with the teachers in Miami.

“We go through our roster of professors and come up with one of our expert professors specifying what that person’s expertise is, perhaps linking it to other interviews they’ve done,” Hunt said. “And then hopefully the reporter will get back to us.”

However, not all faculty members know how to speak to the press. This is where Jessica Rivinius, director of university information and communications, comes in.

Rivinius runs workshops with faculty members interested in sharing their research with the public. She said she focuses on her past experiences as a reporter to explain what reporters look for in interviews.

“I… give them a glimpse of what it’s like to be a journalist,” Rivinius said. ” What are [journalists] focused towards? Several deadlines and try to get things in multimedia formats. So I try to get them to think about it.

When professors are interviewing, Rivinius said she recommends that they write down three points they want to get across. She has them practice during the workshop and encourages researchers to avoid technical jargon when speaking to journalists.

“We are talking about some words that previous researchers have used in media interviews,” Rivinius said. “You can find another word for fork or middle. Speak like an ordinary person.

Journalists don’t always contact experts first. Rivinius said the university had featured more than 20 faculty members as experts on emerging topics since March, ranging from supply chain shortages to withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Rivinius said expert presentations led to more than 430 placements. When a large media organization like the Associated Press publishes an article, smaller media outlets across the country pick it up and broadcast it, resulting in more exposure.

“Everyone is trying to make their voice heard and to be presented as a thought leader,” Rivinius said. “This is good public relations … I want to help raise [faculty] voices and their research. I want to help tell their story, whatever it is, whatever they talk about or research and find interesting.

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