UTIA faculty have the opportunity to work with UTIA Marketing and Communications to obtain media coverage of their work and successes (including student successes) through two national services. EurekAlert! and The Conversation. UTIA Marketing and Communications also helps coordinate general media releases. Each opportunity is described below. To participate, please email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that actual coverage is at the discretion of our media partners, but we will work diligently to assist with outreach.
EurekAlert! is the news distribution service of the AAAS.
This online, global news service provides a central site through which universities, medical centers, government agencies, and others who engage in research can present their news. It is a subscription service, and UTIA participates separately from UT Knoxville, with representatives from UTIA Marketing and Communications submitting UTIA news articles and experts to the site. This site grants limited access to some content to thousands of reporters internationally, and public access to materials on the public site: EurekAlert!
The service accepts releases that fall into the following categories:
- Research News, which includes peer-reviewed journal publications, perspectives, policy news, and some editorial/commentaries.
- Science business announcements, including announcements of collaborations, mergers, milestones, new clinical trials, regulatory approval, licensing, etc. This category also includes forecasts and trends.
- Scientific meeting announcements
- Grant announcements
- Award announcements, but awards must be external to the Institution submitting the announcement, i.e., regional or national in nature rather than Chancellors Honors, etc.
- Book announcements
There are strict rules about submitting content, including embargoed content, sponsored-research (acceptable, but affiliations must be listed), and sponsored articles. UTIA Marketing and Communications representatives are familiar with the guidelines and regularly work with journals and others who embargo content to coordinate submissions.
Examples of recent submissions to EurekAlert!
- UTIA continues leadership to enhance regional dairy income highlights a grant received by Liz Eckelkamp (Department of Animal Science) and Hal Pepper (Center for Profitable Agriculture).
- UTIA engineer named fellow by ASABE highlights Al Womac (Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science).
- Plant sciences student receives national honor, article on Brinkley Mull, a senior in the Department of Plant Sciences winning the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s Mendenhall Award. Brandon Horvath, Department of Plant Sciences, is quoted as his advisor.
The Conversation is an independent and not-for-profit global network of editors who work with academics and others to identify issues of concern across multiple audiences. They share Conversation articles at no charge to news organizations. The Associated Press distributes The Conversation US articles daily to thousands of newsrooms.
Authors are only allowed to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise. They must sign a disclosure statement outlining any relevant funding or affiliations. The Conversation US articles were read more than 99 million times in 2019, a figure surpassed in the first seven months of 2020. The Conversation US has worked with scholars at more than 900 institutions and has published more than 11,000 articles sharing their expertise on subjects from astronomy to Zoroastrianism.
To become a Conversation author, it is recommended that you work with UTIA Marketing and Communications to pitch your topic to the appropriate section editor. These pitches consist of a Zoom meeting (approximately 30 minutes) where you present your topic and the editor will ask questions. If they are interested in featuring the topic, you will be encouraged to submit a written pitch or given an editorial schedule and assigned an editor who will help you curate your article to fit journalistic guidelines. UTIA Marketing and Communications representatives are usually present for the pitch meeting and can help curate content in advance of submission to The Conversation, including photos and video.
UT Knoxville and/or UTIA Marketing and Communications representatives may approach faculty about pitching appropriate topics as well.
Examples of recent UTIA submissions to The Conversation:
Tiny cacao flowers and fickle midges are part of a pollination puzzle that limits chocolate production, by DeWayne Shoemaker, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
American timber industry crippled by double whammy of trade war and COVID-19, by Andrew
Muhammad, Agricultural Policy Analysis Center
A skin-eating fungus from Europe could decimate Appalachia’s salamanders, by Deb Miller and Matt Gray, Center for Wildlife Health
Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, by Neal Stewart, Department of Plant Sciences
Additional Print Media Outlets
Please note that news releases generated by UTIA Marketing and Communications are also distributed to the appropriate statewide media outlets as well as to agricultural or other trade media partners. They are also featured as appropriate on UTIA, UT Knoxville and UT System websites and in other UT-related outlets. These can include those submitted to EurekAlert! or The Conversation.
UTIA Marketing and Communications produces 49-52 video news stories each year, which are delivered to a network of statewide television stations, national syndicated news programming, and cable television. In addition, we leverage digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase your impacts to an even wider audience. In fact, a number of our stories on YouTube have been adopted for curriculum usage in Queensland, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Our Tennessee affiliates include:
- WTVF-TV Nashville
- WBBJ-TV Jackson
- WCYB-TV Bristol
- WBIR-TV Knoxville
- BBB-TV Oak Ridge
- Tennessee Farm Bureau News
- “Jackson 24/7,” Produced by Union University
Our national outlets include:
- RFD-TV, national cable network, focused on agriculture and rural issues
- AgDay TV, nationally syndicated ag-based news program in over 180 television markets
Our digital platforms include:
- YouTube, with over 2.7 million views in Tennessee, the US, and around the world
- Facebook, with nearly 6,000 followers, which is an excellent way to engage audiences
- Twitter, with nearly 3,000 followers, including a number of stakeholders and decision-makers
When submitting an idea for a video news story, please consider how the story will play out visually. Interesting visuals equals an interested audience. Since we produce around four stories per month, we are looking for subject matter that is somewhat “evergreen” e.g., the story will not be dated by the time it runs later in the month. Topics of interest could include:
- Ongoing research
- Research related to current events/issues
- Work that impacts communities, Tennessee, the nation or the world
- Highlighting research/work by graduate and undergraduate students
Podcasts are an excellent way to reach targeted audiences to highlight your impacts. Unlike TV news stories, podcasts are not time limited and allow you to further expand on your work.
Most UTIA-produced/distributed podcasts take on two forms: a news story approach or a casual interview setting.
UTIA podcasts are available on a number of platforms, including:
- Apple Podcasts
- TuneIn Radio
- Amazon Echo devices, via the “Flash Briefing” skill
- Amazon Music
Currently UTIA Marketing and Communications produces two podcasts:
- Call of the Week
In addition, UTIA distributes two podcasts produced outside of UTIA Marketing and Communications:
- Bringing it Home, produced by UT Extension Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
- Step Outside, produced by the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
- Sit a Spell, produced by UT Extension Cumberland County and UT Extension Meigs County
We would love to highlight your work on one of our podcasts. However, if you’re interested in producing your own podcast, we can help you get started, from inception to distribution. The infrastructure is already in place and we would be happy to add your podcast to the UTIA content family.