Public relations work

Press releases, media alerts, and blog posts

Using Medium for Content Marketing
A rundown of the platform’s benefits for those looking to elevate their content strategy

By: Margaret Waterman, Digital Communications Assistant

Attention, marketers — if you aren’t already on board, now is the time to start using Medium to elevate your brand and distribute your content to as many readers as possible. The Boston University public relations office uses Medium to share our content, drive traffic to our site and reap the SEO rewards Medium offers.

A rundown — the past, present and future of Medium

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams created Medium in 2012. Back then, it was designed simply as a clean-cut, low-cost publishing platform to host stories. In just four years, it has rapidly evolved into something much more; it’s a living, breathing site, and home to all kinds of content aimed at different audiences within its 30 million monthly unique visitors.

High profile brands host blogs here. Thought leaders share their thoughts on their respective industries. HBO PR uses it to disseminate press releases. Mitt Romney used it to officially announce he had no plans to run for presidentin this election cycle. The late, great New York Times reporter david carruploaded his BU course syllabus to Medium, and had his journalism students publish assignments there, too. Hundreds of publishers — and that number is growing — create original content on a regular basis just for Medium users. You should too.

Why? There are several concrete benefits to using Medium, from our experiences:

Your content gains an automatic audience

When you sign up for Medium, you are encouraged to do so by linking it to your Twitter account (you can now link with Facebook as well!). You can also sign up through email, but if you choose to do so you’d be losing out on one of the site’s greatest assets. When you sign in through Twitter, you gain an immediate, cultivated audience — all of your Twitter followers who have Medium automatically follow you. What’s better is that everyday, each Medium user receives a rundown email from Medium that includes new content from the blogs they follow. So, you’re automatically in their timelines, and you’re automatically in their inboxes.

When influencers find and recommend your content, their followers see it

Say you’ve written a great piece of content on the future of the tech industry, quoting a couple faculty members from your University. If you tag it as “technology” or “tech,” there’s a chance someone surfing Medium might find it. If an influencer in that sphere comes across it, reads it and likes it, they might hit the green “heart” at the bottom. That means he or she is recommending it to their followers. It’ll be packaged as a recommended piece to their audience in the next day’s daily digest email from Medium. This increases your potential for clicks, reads and shares.

You have a better chance of reaching new readers

Internet users who go to Medium.com arrive there hungry for content. They’re sick of articles riddled with advertisements and of fluff pieces — they want to read what other readers and writers are interested in. In a world where clickbait seems inescapable, Medium sticks out as a reliable source for discovering long form pieces and quality content. Thus, hosting your blog on Medium gives genuinely interested readers a better shot at finding your content.

It can only help your SEO

We’ve heard the joke 1,000 times: the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google’s search results. Medium gets millions and millions of visitors per month, and thus ranks high on the world’s biggest search engine. Medium also allows you to “import” stories with their official site tools, so you can repurpose your existing content with the click of a button. They claim this benefits your site’s SEO while giving you Medium’s own search value. With so many users and articles hosted on their site, they have countless link backs, shares on social media, and articles with views in the millions driving up their site’s overall reputation. What’s not to love?

Medium puts the focus back on content

If you’re reading this, you can see just how clean and streamlined Medium posts are. Individual branding takes a backseat to aesthetically-pleasing, clean-cut design built to bring readers stories free from distraction. This puts the focus back on the words, the stories and the content itself, which can be refreshing for people who feel constantly barraged by ads, pop-ups and heavily branded content.

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Media Relations Goes Social
Using Twitter (and now Instagram!) to connect professors with the press

By: Margaret Waterman, Digital Communications Assistant

Part of my job as Digital Communications Assistant here at Boston University is to establish members of our faculty as thought leaders in their fields of expertise. This entails getting their work — be it op-eds, timely quotes, or even Q&As written by BU PR staffers — out in front of reporters when the time is right.

One of our greatest assets in this arena turned out to be Twitter. When BU Public Relations launched @buexperts in 2009, we followed members of the media here in Boston and around the country that might be interested in what our professors have to say.

Since then, we’ve cultivated an audience of over 6,000, a large number of whom are journalists and media outlets. Professors and BU’s various schools and colleges’ Twitter accounts also follow us, and will re-tweet our posts to their own followers, broadening our outreach.

When news breaks and we have a relevant expert available to comment, we tweet a link to their bio hosted on our faculty experts directory. These bios lay out professors’ research interests, their backgrounds, and other times they’ve been quoted in the news, as well as their University email address and phone number.

All of this takes time and careful consideration, so it’s gratifying to know that it actually works. My favorite example of this success is from The Boston Globe, the largest daily here in Boston.

Pope Francis’ historic journey to the U.S. in September was expected to draw record-breaking crowds. We didn’t have a “Pope watcher” on staff to tweet out, but we still wanted in on the news flurry that week. So, instead, we looked through our faculty roster and found a different angle — crowd estimation.

Crowd estimation is a science, and a meticulous, data-driven one at that. Our expert, Dr. Farouk El-Baz, is the director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing. However, he’s best known for his work on the 1995 “Million Man March.” Dr. El-Baz set out to find out exactly how many people participated in the day’s events after controversy sprung up about the actual number (spoiler: Dr. El-Baz found there were actually fewer than one million people there).

We asked Dr. El-Baz to answer a few questions about the scientific process behind crowd estimation, and to explain why it’s important to know how many people attend an event. He said large crowds are often viewed as a litmus test of the general public’s feeling about that topic or person. In this case, it measured how the U.S. population felt about Pope Francis.

We tweeted the Q&A twice from @buexperts. A Boston Globe data and numbers reporter — who follows us on Twitter — read it, contacted Dr. El-Baz, and featured him in an article. When the article went live online, the text linked directly back to the Q&A. From there, Dr. El-Baz’s work received even more interest.

Our success with Dr. El-Baz is just one example of the power of Twitter and other social media platforms as media relations tools. We’ve just started dabbling with the increasingly popular Instagram, for example, and hope to continue growing our audience there.

Social media is a crucial part of our public relations strategy, and should not be overlooked by higher education communicators. It’s another channel through which my team and I can showcase our professors’ expertise, and bring attention to the wealth of knowledge our faculty has to offer.

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by, Margaret Waterman (Oct. 27, 2015)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2015
CONTACT:   
Colin Riley, (617) 353-5386, criley@bu.edu
Margaret Waterman, (617) 353-2240, mhw@bu.edu

THE OFFICIAL THOMAS M. MENINO ARCHIVE TO BE HOUSED AT
BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S HOWARD GOTLIEB ARCHIVAL RESEARCH CENTER
Archive dedicated to the extraordinary life and work of Boston’s beloved 53rd mayor

            (Boston) — The family of the late Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s beloved and longest-serving mayor, announced today that the official Thomas M. Menino Archive will be curated by and housed at Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. The archive, once finalized, will offer visitors a broad look at the public work and private life of Mayor Menino.

Angela Menino, Mayor Menino’s wife of 48 years, and Boston University President Dr. Robert A. Brown spoke at a small gathering at 2 p.m. this afternoon to honor Mayor Menino’s life and the announcement of this new project just a few days before the first anniversary of his passing.

“My husband dedicated his life to the people of our city,” said Angela Menino. “It is my hope that others will learn, research and strive for a better tomorrow through the lessons and materials that will be available here at Boston University.”

As part of the archive, an online portal launched today at www.bu.edu/thomasmenino provides access to a wide variety of digitalized content from Mayor Menino’s life and service to the city of Boston. The website is searchable and houses photographs and audio and video clips. It will remain active, to complement the physical archive once it is completed.

Visitors to Mayor Menino’s physical archive will be able to review his speeches, his public appearances, his actions in the community and his work at the Initiative on Cities, as well as many personal mementos from throughout his lifetime, donated by his family.

“We at Boston University are very proud to become the curators of Tom Menino’s archives,” said Boston University President Dr. Robert A. Brown. “Because of our location in the heart of Boston, we understand and appreciate his transformative work as mayor – work that helped our institution prosper. During his too brief tenure on our faculty, we saw his energy focused on building the Initiative on Cities at Boston University. He proved to be as effective an academic leader and teacher as he was a mayor.  Now students and other scholars can learn from him by studying his papers, watching him on video, and even seeing the amazing collection of mementos that accumulated in his office.”

The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, located at 771 Commonwealth Ave, is dedicated to capturing and documenting history by collecting manuscripts from individuals who play a significant role in their field. Mayor Menino, a Boston political fixture and an inspiration for all after his nine-year stay as Boston City Councilor and five-term stay as Boston’s 53rd mayor, leaves a remarkable legacy at the Center that researchers, historians and students will be able to learn from for years to come.

The press conference was held at the University’s Initiative on Cities at 75 Bay State Road, where Mayor Menino was a founding co-director. During his tenure at Boston University, the Initiative hosted seminars on issues ranging from architecture to climate change and released the first-ever academic survey of the nation’s mayors.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

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Experts Media Alert – Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and the U.S.
by Margaret Waterman (Aug. 17, 2014)

From Sept. 19-27, Pope Francis is scheduled for an historic visit to both Cuba and the United States.

The pope‘s voyage to Cuba will reinforce the newly formed ties between the U.S. and Cuba. U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro credited Pope Francis with helping broker recent diplomatic talks between the two nations.

While in the U.S., Pope Francis will address Congress and the United Nations, and plans to visit with homeless people, immigrant families and prison inmates in addition to many other meetings.

The following Boston University professors are available to comment:

Cuba 

Susan Eckstein, an international relations and sociology professor at BU’s Pardee School of Global Studies, is an expert on developing nations and specializes in Latin America.  She has served as President of the Latin American Studies Association and of the New England Council on Latin America. Currently, she is working on immigration and its impact across borders.  She recently published a sole-authored book on Cuban Americans. Contact Eckstein at (617) 358-0643 or seckstei@bu.edu.

Religion

Stephen Prothero is a religion professor within BU’s College of Arts & Sciences. He has written six books on religion, including The New York Times best-seller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t. He has commented on religion for The Colbert Report, The New York Times, CNN, and NPR, among others. Contact Prothero at (617) 353-4426 or prothero@bu.edu.

Anthony Petro is a religion professor within BU’s College of Arts & Sciences.  His research and teaching interests include the history and politics of modern Christianity, especially the history of Protestantism and Catholicism in the United States. His recently published After the Wrath of God: AIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion. Contact Petro at (617) 353-2635 or apetro@bu.edu.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts

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Experts Media Alert – Tom Brady and “Deflategate”
by Margaret Waterman (July 29, 2015)

Months after the “Deflategate” controversy sprung up in the wake of the New England Patriots‘ AFC Championship win against the Indianapolis Colts in January, NFL officials have again ruled to uphold Patriots QB Tom Brady’s four game suspension. Guilty or not, Brady will have to take the issue up in federal court to have his punishment reduced or revoked.

The following Boston University professors are available to comment:

Legal issues

Michael Harper, a School of Law professor, is available to discuss the appeal process and what Brady’s next steps may be. Contact Harper at 617-353-4422 or mconradh@bu.edu.

Branding, advertising and image

Susan Fournier, a Questrom School of Business professor, can speak to what effect “Deflategate” will have on Tom Brady’s personal brand, as well as the Patriots’ brand. Contact Fournier at 508-878-5382 or fournism@bu.edu.

Chris Cakebread, a College of Communication advertising professor, can also comment on the effect this controversy will have on branding and advertising. Contact Cakebread at 617-353-3476 or ccakebre@bu.edu.

Frank Shorr, a College of Communication senior lecturer and expert in sports broadcasting, is available to comment on how “Deflategate” will affect the team’s image. Contact Shorr at 781-521-0416 or fshorr@bu.edu.

Cheating

Adam Naylor, a School of Education professor, can comment on “Deflategate” with regard to the nature of cheating. Contact Naylor at 617-358-6010 or ahnaylor@bu.edu.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts

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Experts Media Alert – New Horizons spacecraft ready to make historic flyby of Pluto
by Margaret Waterman (July 9, 2015)

After traveling 3.6 billion miles through space, The New Horizons spacecraft is set to come within 6,200 miles of Pluto in less than one week. The space probe will make history at 7:49 a.m. on July 14 as it becomes the first spacecraft to do a flyby of the dwarf planet. NASA launched New Horizons in 2006.

The following Boston University professors are available to comment:

Michael Mendillo, a professor of astronomy at BU’s College of Arts & Sciences has taught a seminar entitled “THE PLUTO SAGA: How do you become a planet and stay a planet?” for the past five years. The course deals with a vast range of astronomical issues. He was also a participant in the International Astronomical Union meeting in Prague that voted to change the status of Pluto. Contact Mendillo at 617-353-2629 or mendillo@bu.edu.

John Clarke, a professor of astronomy and director of BU’s Center for Space Physics, was also present for the meeting in Prague and is an expert on the outer solar system. Contact Clarke at 617-353-0247 or jclarke@bu.edu.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts

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The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century
by Margaret Waterman (Sept. 15, 2014)

***MEDIA ALERT*** 

THE FUTURE IS NOW: URBAN ASIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY 

WHAT: The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century, a one-day conference at BU that will explore how Asia’s cities are reshaping concepts of urban development

WHEN: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WHERE: Boston University’s Metcalf Trustee Center, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215

HOW: Free and open to the public with advance registration by Oct. 1

(Boston) – From Dubai to Beijing to Mumbai, each Asian city has a story to tell about the future and the impact of urban growth and development. These cities and others are redefining what it means to “urbanize” and are strong models of both its positive and negative effects. While all Asian cities are inherently different, each can provide examples of the ways that the government, the private sector and civil society as a whole can spur growth and urbanization at previously unheard of rates.

Co-sponsored by Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the Initiative on Cities, the Center for the Study of Asia, Global Programs India Initiatives, and the Center for the Global Health and Development, in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and BU’s Metropolitan College, “The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century” is a one-day conference on Oct. 8 at Boston University that will explore how Asia’s cities are reshaping concepts of urban development.

Speakers hailing from universities and institutions from all over the United States and Canada will join these panels to discuss issues pertaining to their respective fields.

The conference is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit:http://www.bu.edu/pardee/urbanasia/.

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Boston University’s Farouk El-Baz to Join Presidential Advisory Council for Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
by Margaret Waterman (Sept. 12, 2014)

(Boston) – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has established an advisory council which will include Boston University’s Farouk El-Baz and 15 other renowned academics and experts.

El-Baz currently serves as director of Boston University’s Center for Remote Sensing and additionally is a research professor in BU’s Departments of Archaeology and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also part of the associated faculty at the Department of Earth and Environment.

Members of the council, which El-Sisi formally announced in a presidential decree on September 6, will have a vital role in national projects including the creation of a channel that runs parallel to the Suez Canal and in the Egyptian government’s efforts to improve Egyptian roads.

Additionally, council members will help El-Sisi in his fight to improve education in Egypt, as well as help diminish religious turmoil within the country’s borders and improve discourse within the media.

“I am very proud to have been selected to join President El-Sisi’s advisory council,” says El-Baz. “To have been chosen alongside so many distinguished individuals is a true honor, and I look forward to working with the other members and the president on a wide range of issues that the Egyptian government and its people face today.”

This appointment is not El-Baz’s first time working alongside the Egyptian government. From 1978 to 1981, El-Baz served the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as science advisor. Due to increases in population and other factors, Sadat believed Egyptians should spread out from the Nile Valley and utilize more of the surrounding desert’s land. El-Baz was given the task of choosing and developing several desert tracts without harming their respective environments.

Among the 15 other council members is 2011 Boston University honorary degree recipient Ahmed Zewail, who won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Other notable members include Sir Magdi Yacoub, an Egyptian-born British cardiothoracic surgeon who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1991, and Ali Faramawy, president of Microsoft Middle East and Africa.

El-Baz, who was born in the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, Egypt in 1938, is educated in both chemistry and geology. He received a B.S. in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University and a M.S. in geology from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Mo. Later, he earned a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Missouri-Columbia after doing research from 1962-1963 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Over the course of his career, El-Baz, a veteran of NASA’s Apollo program of lunar exploration, has become well-known for his role in the selection of landing sites for the Apollo missions and the training of the astronauts in visual observations and photography. He is a pioneer in applying space images in the fields of geology, geography and archaeology.

The Center for Remote Sensing was formed in 1986 as a facility for scientific research in archaeology, geography and geology and is used to study the Earth and its resources – particularly groundwater – using satellite images and data from both airborne and ground sensors. Under El-Baz’s direction, NASA selected the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing in 1997 as a “Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing.”

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research.  With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States.  BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission.  In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

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