Working with the press office

The Press Office will help you showcase your research in the national and international media; through newspapers, online media, radio, television and beyond. 

Stories inform people and media presents an opportunity to engage directly with the public and those outside of 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.

Press Office support

Hasan Salim Patel is the Central Communications Manager at the University of Birmingham handling all COSS and CAL media related activities. He works very closely with the COSS Communications Team to play a leading role in shaping strategic communications for the University of Birmingham’s world-leading research spanning the full range of Social Science disciplines by protecting and enhancing the reputation and profile of the College across all communications channels, including local, national, international, and specialist print, broadcast, online and social media.

Also he contributes to crisis communications work and participating in an on-call duty rota. Hasan in conjunction with the COSS Communications team identifies potential media stars from across the college by helping to develop their media skills. He also helps organising media events and working towards working with teams from across the College and External Relations, and contribute to campaign planning as well as identifying opportunities to support marketing and communications campaigns. 

Hasan has worked for the BBC and Al Jazeera as a Broadcast Journalist, while he worked as a Communications and Campaigns specialist for Al Jazeera Media Network.

Top tips

What's the story? 

The Press Office focuses on promoting 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, the Press Office wants to hear from you.

  • Keep the focus on research – this will get coverage in the media.
  • Pitching is crucial – you have three seconds to convince a journalist that the press release is worth reading.
  • Even if you work might not be relevant to a UK audience, it could be of great interest elsewhere.

Timing is everything. 

  • The Press Office must be informed of your research in plenty of time to ensure maximum coverage.
  • More time allows for thorough preparation, interviews and a well-written article – all before the embargo is lifted.
  • Inform the press team of your research when you first submit to a journal for consideration.
  • Once accepted, the team will work with you to ensure the press release coincides seamlessly with the publication.
  • Everything in the team’s inbox is confidential.

Proactive not reactive.

Contribute to the news agenda by providing informed and thought-provoking comment on what’s happening around the world through an “expert alert”. This is a quote, two or three sentences long, that gives your opinion on a topical subject or news item.

If a topic appears in the news that falls within your area of expertise, put yourself forward for an “expert alert” or for an interview.

Similarly, if you know that a potentially newsworthy report of government paper is soon to be published, tell the Press Office. This will allow them to plan media activity in advance.

TV work.

If you are contacted directly by a television company, let the Press Office know as soon as possible. The team will ensure:

  • your research is promoted accurately;
  • the film crew are liaised with;
  • that the logistics are properly taken care of.

Contact:

Hasan Salim Patel (Communications Manager, Communications and Reputation)
Email: h.s.patel@bham.ac.uk  
Tel: 0121 415 8134

Email the Press Office: pressoffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Call the Press Office out of hours: +44 (0)7789 921165

For other communication enquiries, please contact:

Chloe Ainslie (Deputy Communications Manager: CoSS)
Email: c.l.ainslie@bham.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 414 8301

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