Frequently Asked Questions

 

For the Tufts community

What does the Public Relations Office do?
The Office of Public Relations at Tufts University works to strengthen the university’s reputation for leadership in research, scholarship, teaching and active citizenship by working with the news media.  We share the diverse achievements of our faculty, staff and students and work to communicate the views of university leaders and faculty on important issues.

Public Relations includes professional staff on all three Tufts campuses who work with faculty, staff, and others in our community to identify newsworthy stories that enhance the public’s understanding of the university. Public Relations staff produce and distribute news releases, develop other communications tools and serve as a liaison between the media and members of the university community. We also respond to journalists’ requests for information on specific subjects and/or interviews with faculty, staff, and students; provide advice and training on managing media interviews and writing opinion pieces (op-eds); and handle logistics for media interviews, photography and filming. We also track notable news coverage of the university. Members of the Public Relations team serve as spokespersons for the institution and support crisis communications. With the Office of University Counsel, we also manage requests related to the use of the Tufts University name  in press releases or other external communications channels.

Why should I work with the Office of Public Relations and the news media?
Working with us and the media can benefit you; your colleagues, students and school; and Tufts University as a whole. Getting the word out about Tufts’ excellence in research, teaching and other activities can build positive visibility for these efforts, which in turn supports the recruitment of talented faculty, students and staff; fundraising and grant submissions; and community and government relationships.

How does Public Relations share news and information with the news media?
The Office of Public Relations works with the news media in a variety of ways, tailoring our approach to meet the needs of each story.   Public Relations staff write news releases to announce new Tufts initiatives; findings of scholarly research; and select events.  We also contact key reporters and editors directly to share news and information based on their individual interests and “beats.”   Given the extraordinary and wide-ranging expertise and accomplishments of the Tufts community, we cannot issue a news release or “pitch” about every topic that may be of interest; instead we make decisions based on estimated news potential, timeliness and alignment with school and university priorities.  Public Relations staff can work with you to determine if a news release or other media outreach is appropriate and plan the best outreach strategy.  Tufts news releases are posted on a dedicated News Release page on the Tufts Now news site, and many are distributed via international wire services. 

For a sampling of recent news coverage of Tufts, please visit our Tufts in the News page.

How do I contact Public Relations?
The Office of Public Relations at Tufts includes professionals on all three of Tufts’ Massachusetts campuses: Medford/Somerville, Boston and Grafton.  To reach appropriate staff members, please visit the Contact Us page. If you are not sure whom to contact, you can email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3069.

When should I contact you with news?
Before it happens! Timing is everything in the news business.  If you contact us after the fact, it’s usually too late to garner media interest.  The more time we have in advance of the news, the more effective we can be. Public Relations can work with you to determine if external media may be interested and to plan an appropriate outreach strategy. If you contact us with news at the last minute, we may still be able to help, but we ask that you bear in mind that much of the news coverage that you read, see or hear was planned well in advance.

If I contact Public Relations about a story idea for the media, can I count on coverage?
Contacting Public Relations about a potential story does not guarantee coverage in the media. Whether a story idea garners media coverage depends on many factors.  Public Relations can work with you to determine if external media may be interested and to plan an appropriate strategy for outreach.

My research or scholarly work will be published in an academic journal. Should I contact you?
Yes.  Please contact us as early as possible in the paper submission and acceptance cycle, preferably at the same time that you submit your paper for journal consideration.  Our engagement early in the process will give us enough time to determine if a news release or other outreach is possible and appropriate. We need time to evaluate the paper, understand the material, determine its newsworthiness, and identify media outlets that might be interested. Rest assured that your work will remain confidential until the findings can be made public. This is a collaborative process, and we will work closely with you to ensure that any media outreach accurately reflects your important work.

I received a call from a reporter. Should I let Public Relations know?
Yes, our office is available to assist and the earlier we are involved, the more help we can provide. We can get additional information about the media outlet, contact the reporter as to his or her needs and deadline and work with you to determine if you are in fact the best information source. We can also assist with logistics if a reporter is coming to campus for an interview.

Can Public Relations provide coaching on interview techniques?
Communicating effectively with the press is a skill that can be learned and developed. Public Relations is available to support members of the Tufts community in preparing for media interviews and strengthening their skills when it comes to speaking with reporters.  Please contact us for more information.

What is Tufts’ policy for photographing and filming on campus? Are reporters, photographers or videographers allowed in my classroom, office or lab?
Tufts is a private institution. News media and other non-university entities wishing to photograph or film on campus must receive prior authorization from the Office of Public Relations. This policy ensures that research, classes and normal campus operations are not disrupted and that the privacy of students, staff, faculty, research volunteers, patients and visitors is protected. Non-university photo and film shoots, including commercial ones, require the advance authorization of the university, obtained through the Public Relations Office. For more information and to seek authorization, please contact us. Tufts University may approve or deny plans to photograph or film on campus.

Does Tufts have video and audio (ISDN) capabilities on its campus for broadcasting or uplinking interviews?
No, Tufts does not have on-campus facilities for transmission of live or recorded interviews. The greater Boston area, however, has several of these studios.  For assistance arranging filmed interviews, please contact the Office of Public Relations.

Will Public Relations help me attract an audience and/or reporters to my campus event?
Generally, the Office of Public Relations focuses on subjects and trends that have broad impact for the university, rather than individual events. If your event is open to the public and you are interested in having the media attend, please contact Public Relations with detailed information at least one to two months in advance to accommodate our deadlines and those of the news media. We will assess the event’s potential for media coverage and, as resources allow, support events that are most likely to draw media attention, support the university strategically and be of interest to members of our surrounding communities. Please keep in mind that reporters, particularly in the greater Boston area, rarely write stories previewing events or about specific events, unless they are of unusual interest.

Does Public Relations manage advertising and marketing?
While Public Relations staff often coordinate with colleagues who direct marketing and advertising initiatives, the department is not directly responsible for marketing and advertising.  Tufts’ Print and Marketing Communications group produces award-winning print materials, including postcards, posters, brochures, viewbooks, and a suite of other print communications.  For more information about their work and to contact a member of the staff, please visit their website.

Does Tufts Public Relations have a social media presence?
Yes, @TuftsPR is the Office of Public Relations’ official Twitter account, through which we share news and information with more than a thousand followers.  In addition, the social media channels managed by Tufts Digital Communications are widely followed:

Twitter: @TuftsUniversity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuftsu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tuftsuniversity#
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tuftsu

How do I tell the internal Tufts community about my news and events?
Tufts University’s News Publications Group produces Tufts Now, the university’s news site, which is updated frequently with stories about faculty, students and staff and highlights the best of what’s happening on Tufts’ campuses.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contact the Office of News Publications directly with Tufts-focused news and events and to post events open to the university community and/or the public on the university’s online campus calendar.  You can send comments, questions or story ideas for Tufts Now to now@tufts.edu and submit items for the Tufts Events Calendar by visiting http://events.tufts.edu/submit/.

Do you manage Tufts magazines?
No. The News Publications Group writes, edits, designs and publishes five award-winning alumni magazines—the university-wide Tufts Magazine and magazines for the university’s four health sciences schools: Tufts Medicine , Tufts Dental Medicine , Tufts Nutrition and Tufts Veterinary Medicine.   Suggestions for those magazines can be sent to the Office of News Publications.

I have a book that is going to be published soon. Should I contact Public Relations?
While book publicity is typically managed by your book’s publisher, you are invited to share the news with the appropriate Public Relations office and with News Publications.

I need a photograph for use by an outside organization. Do you have one?
Tufts University Photography, part of the Office of Digital Communications, maintains a database of high-resolution and professional photographs. Please visit the Tufts University Photography website.

I need a photograph taken. How can I schedule a Tufts photographer?
Please contact Tufts University Photography to schedule a photographer.

How can I get something included on the Tufts homepage?
While Public Relations staff work closely with the Office of Digital Communications, we are not directly responsible for most home page content on Tufts.edu. Please contact Digital Communications for suggestions or questions about the home page.

Is use of the name “Tufts” or logo restricted in any way?
Yes. Tufts University owns federal trademark registrations on the words TUFTS and TUFTS UNIVERSITY, on the university seal (with the descending dove), and on various marks specific to individual schools and units.

Use of the Tufts name, seal or marks must be approved in advance as outlined in the Policy on the Use of Tufts University Name and Insignias. Visual brand and logo usage is described further here and in the Visual Identity System. Please visit these pages to learn more.  Requests to use the Tufts name or insignias may be emailed to nameuse@tufts.edu for consideration.

A company, non-profit organization, university or other entity outside of Tufts wants to issue a news release highlighting an initiative in which Tufts faculty, staff or students are involved. Is this allowed?
Only with authorization. Any news release using the Tufts name or the name of a Tufts school or program must be reviewed by Public Relations before being issued. By ensuring that the use of the Tufts name is appropriate and accurate, we protect individuals involved in the work and the university. Please ask the originator of the proposed news release to send a draft of the release to Public Relations a minimum of five business days before it is scheduled to be issued. To reach appropriate staff members, please visit the Contact Us page.  If you are not sure whom to contact, you can email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call (617) 627-3069.

For more information and related questions about the name usage policy, please visit the Policy on the Use of Tufts University Name and Insignias.

 

For members of the press

How can I get basic facts about Tufts University?
Established in 1852, Tufts is a private, research-intensive university with campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, as well as Talloires, France.  Click here to learn more about our mission, history, academics and facts about the university.

What does the Office of Public Relations do?
The Tufts University Office of Public Relations manages the University’s relationships with print, broadcast and digital media.  Our staff produce news releases and other communications tools and serve as a liaison between the media and members of the university community. With offices on all three of Tufts’ Massachusetts campuses, we are ready to work with reporters, editors and producers to provide information about the university; identify faculty experts available for comment on a wide range of topics; manage logistics for media interviews, photography and filming on campus; and provide other support for members of the press.

How can I contact the Office of Public Relations?
The Office of Public Relations at Tufts includes professionals on all three of Tufts’ Massachusetts campuses: Medford/Somerville, Boston and Grafton.  To reach appropriate staff members, please visit our Contact Us page.  Alternatively, if you are not sure whom to contact, please email the Office of Public Relations at pr@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3069.

Are there other public relations / communications offices at Tufts?
The Office of Public Relations handles the majority of media relations for Tufts University and is ready to assist members of the press or direct them to other offices, as needed.  However, additional communications/public relations resources within the Tufts community include:

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
Jessica Smith, Director, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
(617) 627-6186
Jessica.Smith@tufts.edu

Tufts University Athletics
Paul Sweeney, Sports Information Coordinator
(617) 627-3586
Paul.Sweeney@tufts.edu

How can I reach Tufts Medical Center?
Tufts Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine; however, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University are separate and independent entities. For public relations matters involving Tufts Medical Center, please contact:

Julie Jette, Director of Media Relations and Publications
(617) 636-3265
jjette@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

Jeremy Lechan, Public Affairs and Communications Specialist
(617) 636-0104
jlechan@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

How can I receive Tufts press releases and other University news?
The Office of Public Relations routinely distributes news releases tied about news and research at Tufts.  Tufts news releases are posted online on a dedicated News Release page and distributed via international wire services.  We also distribute our news releases via Twitter – follow us @TuftsPR.  If you would like to receive our news releases via email, please contact a member of our team or the general Office of Public Relations mailbox at pr@tufts.edu.

Tufts University’s News Publications Group produces Tufts Now, the university’s news site, which is updated frequently with stories about faculty, students and staff and highlights the best of what’s happening on Tufts’ campuses.  You can sign up for the Tufts Now weekly email newsletter or subscribe to RSS feeds for instant updates.

Where can I see recent news releases issued by Tufts?
The Office of Public Relations regularly writes and distributes news releases electronically to members of the news media and through newswires such as EurekAlert and Newswise.  Tufts press releases are also available on Tufts Now.

How can I find a Tufts expert to interview for my stories?
Tufts University is home to accomplished researchers, educators and thought leaders in topics ranging from addiction to zoonotic diseases who are available to comment on their areas of expertise, research or related topics.  Please visit our Experts Page in guiding your search.   Please note: We’re constantly expanding our list, so if you’re searching for an expert in a topic that is not listed or you need more information, please contact a member of the Tufts Public Relations team.

Can I take photographs or film on the Tufts University campuses?
Tufts is a private institution. News media and other non-university entities wishing to photograph or film on campus must receive prior authorization from the Office of Public Relations. This policy ensures that research, classes and normal campus operations are not disrupted and that the security and privacy of students, staff, faculty, research volunteers, patients and visitors is protected. For more information and to seek authorization, please contact us.

Are stock photographs or other images of Tufts available to members of the press?
Tufts University maintains an archive of thousands of Tufts-related photographs.  We may be able to provide members of the press with high-resolution photographs or images upon request. Tufts University retains the use, copyright and licensing to all such images.  All rights for reproduction of any image remain with Tufts University, and any permission to use these images must be obtained prior to publication or any other use.  All photos must be properly captioned and credited where appropriate.  Members of the press who wish to inquire about Tufts University photographs for publication should contact the Office of Public Relations.

Does Tufts have video and audio (ISDN) capabilities on its campus for broadcasting or uplinking interviews?
No, Tufts does not have on-campus facilities for transmission of live or recorded interviews. The greater Boston area, however, has several of these studios.  For assistance arranging filmed interviews with members of the Tufts community, please contact the Office of Public Relations.

Does Tufts Public Relations have a social media presence?
Yes, @TuftsPR is the Office of Public Relations’ official Twitter account, through which we share news and information.  In addition, the social media channels managed by the Tufts Digital Communications Office are widely followed:

Twitter: @TuftsUniversity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuftsu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tuftsuniversity#
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tuftsu

Many of the individual schools at Tufts University are also active on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets, as are individual faculty. Please visit the Social Media Hub at Tufts for more information.

How can I find out about events happening at Tufts?
Many events hosted at Tufts are listed on our online calendar.  These events are open to the public, but we ask that you contact the Office of Public Relations in advance so that we can be sure to accommodate your visit.

 

For hometown news announcements

Does Tufts let hometown newspapers know about the achievements of its undergraduate students, such as making Dean’s List?
Yes. Tufts University sometimes sends out news releases to undergraduate students’ hometown newspapers announcing good news about our students, such as fall enrollment, graduation or certain university honors. In accordance with federal privacy regulations, students must first give Tufts their written permission to share any information about academic performance. Tufts has a system that enables undergraduates to provide such permission, or rescind permission, online. Each fall, undergraduates receive an email explaining the system. Information is also posted on the commencement website each spring.Those who sign up will be included when we send out news of matriculation, graduation, and Dean’s List.

How can students sign up for the hometown news announcement service?
To sign up for the service, undergraduate students may log into the Student WebCenter to opt into the system. Next, select the hometown news option from the drop down menu and ensure the status is set to allow the Public Relations Office to send these announcements. The default setting is that students do not authorize this service.

Do you offer this service for graduate and professional students at Tufts?
We currently offer this service only for undergraduate students at Tufts.

What personal information is included in these announcements?
Personal information that could potentially appear in such a release would be the student’s name, hometown, state, major, degree, honors and the nature of the good news.

Can I sign up my son or daughter for this service?
Under federal privacy regulations, we can only send these announcements with a student’s written authorization. A student wishing to participate in our hometown news release program must go to the Student WebCenter to opt into the system.

How do you determine what newspapers will receive the announcements?
We use an external service to distribute the news release, which matches a student’s hometown zip code with the local newspapers that cover that town.

Why was my child not included in my local newspaper’s listing of Dean’s List honors?
If your child made the Dean’s List, but was not listed in your local paper, it could be because he or she has not signed up for the service through the Student WebCenter. If your son or daughter has signed up for the service and his/her name still did not appear in the newspaper, please contact the Public Relations Office and we will look into the matter for you.