Media Guide

Media Guide

York University’s Media Relations team handles the flow of information about York to external audiences including media and the general public.

Are you a member of the news media?  ….

York’s Media Relations department is equipped to respond to time-sensitive media requests for information about York or for research expertise.

An archive of current media releases for public consumption can be found here. Releases are also searchable by topic and key word.

News releases from the University are also available through RSS Feed.

The news media is asked to directly contact the Media Relations department for assistance with any stories emanating out of York. Media intending to visit any of our campuses are asked to make their presence known to Media Relations department. Please phone 416 736 5585 or email media@yorku.ca.

Are you a York U newsmaker? ….

Media Relations staff members also actively seek newsworthy stories from within the University.

If you have a story about York University or the work you are doing within the University from an academic perspective, your information should be provided to Media Relations. If you have an event that you believe would be interesting to an audience outside of the York community please email us at media@yorku.ca.

If the media has contacted you directly, please inform Media Relations immediately so that we can assist with the gathering of a story.

Stories that are of particular interest to the York community – not the general public – can be sent to Y-File for consideration.

How to promote your academic pursuits and research or expertise through Media Relations:

Stories about your research – whether in newspapers, on radio or television, or online – inform public debate and increase awareness of the expertise available at York University. They also raise your research profile among peers and with funding agencies, and enhance York University’s reputation.

Media are most interested in research results. They are looking for research that is new and timely, is important to their readers or audience, and will have impact. They are also attracted to human interest stories, and unusual or unexpected research results. Media may also be interested in projects but need to see them in action; announcements of funding are much less likely to attract attention than a project that is underway, with something to show.

Here are a few tips to improve the chances that your research will attract media:

  1. Contact Media Relations as early as possible about upcoming research results, whether these will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, presented at a conference or made available in some other way. Timeliness is extremely important to reporters; they will rarely cover a study that has been published weeks before they hear of it. If you provide Media Relations with a draft copy of your study a few weeks before publication (online or in print), we can assess it for news value and potential media interest, determine the best time and method to promote the research and, if appropriate, prepare a media release for your approval, or a more targeted, shorter pitch.
  2. Send as much information as you have. Depending on the complexity of the research, workflow in the Media Relations department, your availability and the number of external partners, it can take weeks to put together a promotional plan and materials. Please send as much information
    as possible, or at least alert us that it will be coming, so we can start planning.
  3. Be prepared to be available to media when a release is distributed. We can work around professors’ schedules but will not, for example, send out a release on a day when the main spokesperson is not available.
  4. Practise speaking about your research in short, simple statements. Many reporters have a minute or two to tell your research story to a broad audience. They rely on you to speak simply and clearly about your work and to avoid jargon, which is language that is specialized to an occupation or group but often meaningless to outsiders. Avoiding the use of jargon not only makes your work more accessible, but helps to ensure accurate reporting. For example, rather than stating that you are “undertaking a multi-sectoral program of capacity building focused on youth,” be prepared to speak directly about the specific steps you are taking and precisely how this will help young people.
  5. Focus on a few key messages you want to communicate to readers and listeners. Using interesting examples to explain complex ideas will increase the likelihood that your research will be understood and covered by media.
  6. If you see an item in the news or anticipate upcoming coverage of a topic on which you are an expert, please contact Media Relations. We need to know as soon as possible that you are available to media to comment on an issue within your field. The calls from media come as soon
    as or even before a story breaks and the opportunity to comment may be very brief or may continue for days or weeks.
  7. Alert Media Relations if you are speaking at an upcoming conference, or if there are dates of particular importance to your discipline that may provide an opportunity to promote your research. This may include dates when important statistics or reports pertaining to your field will be released by the government or public holidays/calendar dates that relate to your field of study.

If you think your research may be of interest to media, or would like to discuss the possibility, please contact Janice Walls in Media Relations at wallsj@yorku.ca, 416 736 2100 x22101. If you believe it may be of interest to YFile readers as well, please cc YFile editor Jenny Pitt-Clark at jpitt@yorku.ca.