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Box 9625
Mississippi State, MS 39762
662-325-2262 office
662-325-1710 fax

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Media Relations Help

What is your goal?

I want to invite Mississippians to attend or register for an upcoming event.
You need a news release.

I want to invite local newspapers and TV to cover an upcoming event.
You need a media advisory.

I want to publicize an event that’s already happened, and I have pictures.
You need a photo and cutline (caption).

I’d like to tell the public about a recent award or important staff change.
You need either a news release or a photo and cutline. A news release is better if you have a lot of information to share. A photo and cutline is better if a few sentences will do.

I’d like to give participants in my program a way to announce their participation in their hometown newspapers.
You need a fill-in-the-blank news release or photo with a fill-in-the-blank cutline.

I’d like to tell Mississippians about an unusual program, person, or study in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine.
You need a feature story.

I want to invite local people to an event.
You probably need to contact your local media outlet. If you aren’t sure whether we can help you or not, please give us a call at 662-325-2262.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you make the request…

I’ve read this information, but I’m still not sure which option I need. Where can I get more information?
Call the Media Relations coordinator. You can dial 662-325-2262 to reach the Office of Agricultural Communications (Ag Comm) and ask to speak to the news coordinator.

I know what I want! To whom should I send my request?
Talk to the Media Relations coordinator. You can dial 662-325-2262 to reach the Office of Agricultural Communications and get connected to the Media Relations coordinator.

What will I need to make my request?
You’ll need to give advance notice of events you need Ag Comm to cover, especially if travel is involved. You’ll also need to be able to describe the story idea and explain its news relevance.

What about photos?
You can ask to have an Ag Comm photographer cover your event. If you request a photographer, please give as much notice as possible, especially if travel is involved.

If our photographers can’t make it, you will need high-quality photos to accompany your project. A good picture increases the odds that a paper will pick up your story. Photos must be 300 dpi or higher to be used in print. Some Smartphones take photos that are 300 dpi or higher, but many do not.

 

While the story is being written…

I’d like to check on the status of my story. What should I do?
If you have already heard from a Media Relations writer, call or email him or her. If you haven’t heard from one or cannot remember his or her name, ask for the Media Relations coordinator at 662-325-2262.

Will I see the story before it’s sent out to newspapers?
Yes. We always send stories to our sources for approval before we send them to papers. You’ll have a chance to change your quotes and the facts included in the story. In fact, one of the best ways for you to help the process flow smoothly is to read and edit the project as soon as you can. We can’t move forward until you approve it. Tip: if you don’t want readers or media personnel to call your personal office extension number, make sure the main office number is listed on the copy of the story sent to you for approval.

Why are your capitalization and grammar rules different from the ones I’m used to?
We use Associated Press style so newspapers can pick up our work as-is. AP style may be different from some of the style rules your English teacher taught you.

When will my story go out to the media?
News releases go out as soon as they’re ready. Feature stories generally go out on Thursdays. Media advisories go out 3 to 4 days before the event.

 

After the story is released…

Will I need to do anything after the story is released?
It’s possible. The media or the general public may call you for more information when your story goes out, especially if you are listed as the contact. If you don’t want people to call your personal office extension number, make sure the main office number is listed on the copy of the story sent to you for approval.

Who will print my story?
News releases and feature stories are posted on MSUcares.com, and a link is posted on the Extension Service Facebook page.

All feature stories are sent to the Clarion Ledger, the Associated Press and statewide media outlets. All other products are sent to local or statewide news outlets, the Clarion Ledger, the Associated Press, or some combination of these as determined by the Media Relations team. The only exceptions are fill-in-the-blank news releases and fill-in-the-blank cutlines, which are provided to county agents or event participants to share with local media.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you ahead of time who will respond to our stories. The media outlet decides whether they want to run the product as-is, assign one of their writers to cover the topic, or not include it at all.

How can I find out where my stories were printed?
You can view clippings online at http://msucares.com/newsclips/. Clippings are usually posted about one month after the story’s release, and we won’t be able to tell you where it ran until they are posted. We do not currently track websites that pick up the story.

How can my group help promote my story?
Individual colleges and centers may link stories to their websites and Facebook pages. If you have a good relationship with your local paper, you can call your contact to make sure the paper knows the story is available for use. If there are publications specific to your industry that might be interested in the story, tell the Media Relations coordinator or the news writer you worked with.