In order to assist members of the Sam Houston State University community in publicizing their events, the SHSU Communications Office is now requesting that students, faculty and staff submit information about events, accomplishments or ideas for feature stories online.
Ideas submitted to the SHSU Communications Office can be directly utilized in three ways:
If your submission qualifies for distribution, we will either contact you for more detailed information, or we will edit the information using SHSU/journalistic style and forward the final release to the appropriate media.
While we understand many activities at Sam Houston are important and warrant attention, not all information submitted will be sent to media. Media release is based on news value, determined by the communications staff. However, we will also consider placing the information in one of SHSU’s publications or offer suggestions for alternative publicity.
All information is verified before release, so please provide complete, accurate and timely information. Please type all responses in appropriate upper and lower cases.
Submission forms can be accessed here.
The SHSU Office of Communications can be reached at:
- Mail: P.O. Box 2105, Huntsville, TX 77341
- Phone: 936.294.1836, 936.294.1837 or 936.294.4406
- Fax: 936.294.1834
- E-Mail: Julia May at email@example.com; Jennifer Gauntt at firstname.lastname@example.org
- In Person: Administration Building Suite 115
News can be defined as “a person, thing, or place regarded as worthy of discussion or of reporting by the media.”
News is subjective, but there are generally five factors that make news newsworthy. Editors use the idea of newsworthiness to determine whether to run a particular story; therefore, newsworthiness should be considered when submitting an idea or event to the Communications Office. These factors include:
- Timeliness: Topics that are new and current. Stories with only average interest need to be told quickly if they are to be told at all.
- Impact: The number of people whose lives will be influenced by the subject of the story. Research stories will often fit into this category.
- Proximity: Stories that happen near to us have more significance. The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. It is important to note that proximity doesn’t necessarily mean geographical distance—stories that occur far away but involve local people have more news value because of proximity.
- Prominence: People in the public eye have higher news value than obscure people
- Human Interest: Human interest stories often disregard the main rules of newsworthiness, but they appeal to emotion. They also can include stories that intrigue readers by the uniqueness or out-of-the-ordinary.
News stories are used primarily for Today@Sam. Most news stories are distributed to area media, and some stories submitted for Today@Sam may be used as sliders based on the judgment of the Today@Sam staff.
- Information for news stories written for Today@Sam must be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to an event/program.
- For stories used in the SHSU Update, the deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on Wednesday the week before an event.
- Attachments may be included at the bottom for things such as fliers.
Stories on the SHSU home page, referred to as “sliders,” are reserved for feature-type profiles on students, faculty members and alumni that convey notable achievement or significance. The topics for these profiles should reflect the core values of the university and communicate the importance of scholarly or scientific research, national/international program recognition, community involvement, or other areas of human interest that would appeal to a broad audience. Submissions will be selected at the discretion of the SHSU Communications Office staff. Priority will be given to stories that have a timely component.
Home page “sliders” can also include first-person narratives (as seen here and here) or blogs (for organizations) of experiences/participation in events or activities such as those mentioned above. Blogs should be recurring and updated on a regular basis for a minimum period of three weeks (approximately how long a slider is posted on the SHSU home page). Those interested in submitting first-person narratives or blogs for consideration should contact the Communications Office at email@example.com or 936.294.4406 to discuss an idea further.
• Because these stories are posted three weeks prior to an event, ideas must be submitted six weeks to a month prior to being posted in order to make contacts and compose a story.
• Subjects must be aware that he/she is being recommended for a slider story and agree to have his/her picture taken.
• Photography (NOT artwork or a graphic) is also required. Submitted photography must be clear (properly focused and with clean lighting), high resolution, and capable of being cropped to the dimensions of 585 pixels by 375 pixels (horizontal).
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.