Working with the Press Office

The University of Birmingham Press Office is here to help you showcase your research in the national and international media; through newspapers, online media, radio, television and beyond. 

Why might you want your work in the media? We understand that time is precious, so why would you want to promote your research? 

Stories inform people, and fundamentally media presents an opportunity to engage directly with the public and those from beyond your peer group.

Furthermore, funding bodies are increasingly keen to show dissemination of pioneering research.

However, the benefits aren’t limited to this; research that is covered in media can see an increase in citations and it can prove to be very helpful in influencing policy change and addressing the big issues. 

Of course, the first email to find out what we might be able to do for your research only takes five minutes!

 

What’s the story?
The University gets millions of pounds worth of media coverage each month. That’s because the Press Office focuses on putting out stories based on leading-edge research of national and international significance. 

If your research has produced results that are exciting/surprising/shocking/game-changing/groundbreaking, then we’re in business and we want to hear from you. 

The key is to keep the focus on the research. Journalists rarely want to write about grant announcements, fundraising, appointments, facility openings, conferences or guest visitors. We know they’re important, but it’s not going to get coverage in the media. 

Journalists claim to spend on average three seconds deciding whether a press release is worth reading, so pitching it right is crucial. 

The University is a global institution and we have contacts further afield than the UK. We know that some stories may not be suitable for the UK media could be of great interest elsewhere. So do get in touch if you think that your work might be of particular significance to other countries.

 

Timing is everything
If your research is to be published in a journal, let us know in plenty of time. 

Even if the paper is embargoed, we need time to work with you to prepare a press release and send it out to journalists prior to the embargo being lifted. This gives them the opportunity to interview you and prepare a story to coincide with the lifting of the embargo. Journalists won’t be impressed if they’re invited late to the party and don’t have enough time to write their article. 

A good rule of thumb is to let us know at the point at which you first submit to a journal for consideration. Everything in our inbox is confidential but it helps us to stay one step ahead. 

Once accepted, we’ll work alongside the journal to make sure that our press release coincides seamlessly with the publication of your research.
 

TV work
If you are contacted directly by a television production company, let us know as soon as possible. We will make sure your research is represented accurately, and we will liaise with the film crew and take care of the logistics.
 

Proactive not reactive
We can’t always set the news agenda – but we can contribute to it. The University is full of experts who can provide informed and thought-provoking comment on what’s happening around the world. The Press Office regularly puts out “expert alerts” – a quote, two or three sentences long, giving an academic’s opinion about a topical subject or news item. 

If something crops up in the news that falls within your area of expertise, please put yourself forward for an “expert alert” or offer yourself for interview. It can be a great way to make friends in the media and a chance to point people towards your research by joining the debate.

Do you know something we don’t?
If you know that a potentially newsworthy report or government paper is soon to be published, please tell the Press Office. If we know something’s about to happen, we can plan media activity in advance, rather than being caught on the hop.
 

Contact the Press Office
We are here to help, and always happy to advise you on opportunities for media work and how we might best be able to support the purposeful dissemination of your research and strengthen our position as a leading global university.

 

Email the Press Office:
pressoffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Call the Press Office out of hours: +44 (0)7789 921165.  

Tony Moran - International Communications Manager and Acting Head of Communications
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 8254 / mobile: +44 (0)7827 832312
Email: t.moran@bham.ac.uk 

Kate Chapple - Media Relations Manager (Science & Technology) 
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 2772 / mobile +44 (0)7789 921164
Email: k.h.chapple@bham.ac.uk

Jenni Ameghino - Media Relations Manager (Publications)
Telephone +44 (0)121 415 8134 / mobile +44 (0)7768 924156
Email: j.ameghino@bham.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume - Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 9041
Email:R.L.Hume@bham.ac.uk

Emma McKinney - Communications Manager (Health Sciences)
Telephone + 44  (0)121 414 6681
Email: e.j.mckinney@bham.ac.uk

Luke Harrison - Media Relations Manager 
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 5134 / mobile: +44 (0)7789 921163
Email: l.harrison.1@bham.ac.uk

Sally Xerri-Brooks - Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager - Estates
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 3984 | mobile +44 (0) 7812671797
Email: S.B.XerriBrooks@bham.ac.uk