University Relations

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Here to Assist You

The Office of University Relations is available to assist campus units with media and publicity support for newsworthy events; to establish social media efforts; to train personnel how to respond to media; and to arrange news and publicity photos, among other services.

Services

  • Prepares news/feature stories for distribution to newspapers, radio and television stations, wire services, specialty publications, and other outlets, as well as the University News bulletin board, the University's website, and social media outlets.
  • Facilitates news media coverage of WIU programs, student and faculty achievements and activities, and other events.
  • Produces and maintains Western's social media efforts (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.).
  • Publishes Campus Connection, an online e-newsletter for faculty and staff.
  • Coordinates and designs Western News, the University's quarterly alumni publication.
  • Creates "What's Happening at Western," a bi-weekly e-newsletter for prospective students.
  • Works with local, regional, and national media outlets as the official University spokesperson.
  • Coordinates and hosts news conferences.
  • Promotes University faculty and staff as expert sources to local, regional, and national media outlets.
  • Provides media training to University personnel.
  • Works in conjunction with University Marketing and Admissions to promote Western to potential students.
  • Writes copy for advertising and marketing material

Media Support & Publicity

Conducting groundbreaking research? Have a Nobel Prize winner speaking to your class? Going on an interesting field trip? Have a student – or students – who just discovered the next best thing thanks to a class project? University Relations wants to know!

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to contact University Relations on any item containing news value (e.g., research, accomplishments, unique class projects, student achievements, etc.) or any matter related to University news and publicity. University Relations is always seeking interesting stories to promote WIU.

Information provided should include basic facts (the "who, what, when, where, why and how"), a contact person, a phone number, and an e-mail address. Submit your news online using our submission form or e-mail U-Relations@wiu.edu.

Handling Media Emergencies

When an emergency, crisis, or crime occurs on the Western Illinois University campuses, University Relations works closely with the Office of Public Safety and other offices to provide information to the general public and the media as quickly as possible. University Relations will post the information and subsequent updates on the University's homepage, News bulletin board, and social media outlets. In certain situations, a press conference may be held to provide additional information. Press conferences are  videotaped and posted on Western's YouTube channel, as well as on WIU's Facebook page.

Media requests should first be sent to University Relations to determine the appropriate spokesperson. To notify University Relations, call (309) 298-1993 or e-mail U-Relations@wiu.edu. After hours, contact the Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949.

General University Information Files

University Relations keeps files of news releases and related documents on campus programs and facilities, as well as University employees, and emeriti staff. Biographical information is used to prepare news releases and respond to media inquiries. Any faculty or staff member who wishes to update his or her resume on file should submit an updated vita to University Relations (Sherman Hall 302).

Media Training

Media training programs are available upon request to prepare University personnel to respond to interviews from TV reporters and other members of the news media.

News Photos

In order to keep photography costs at a reasonable level, UR approves news and publicity photo requests. Photo services for other purposes must be arranged on a cost recovery basis with the Visual Production Center, Memorial Hall, 309/298-1358.

Photo Release and Privacy

In promoting the University we use photos of students, faculty, and staff in a variety of settings. When photos and video images are obtained from public events we consider consent implied for use of the image. In more confined settings such as classrooms, offices, and field trips, we request that photo releases be obtained from the individuals featured. The model photo release is available on the University Relations website. Faculty and staff who shoot their own photos or video for potential use in University promotional materials must be aware of the privacy rights of those depicted and, if necessary, obtain photo releases.

Athletics Media Services

Men's and women's intercollegiate athletics are served by the Athletics Media Services Office, which promotes Western's National College Athletic Association programs. Staff work with sports editors, reporters, and broadcasters, as well as athletic conference representatives. Contact Athletics Media Services in Western Hall 213, phone 309/298-1133; fax 309/298-2060; or e-mail SID@wiu.edu.