Frequently Asked Questions
A press release may be appropriate if your event or news story idea communicates a significant achievement by students, faculty, staff or alumni, such as news of research accomplishments, awards and honors. The News Service will also consider unique ideas that show how MSU is furthering its land-grant mission or its core themes of learning, access, discovery, integration, engagement and stewardship.
To share an event or news item for consideration, please refer to our staff list to determine which writer would be best for your subject matter. That writer can then help you assess your idea's potential as a news story, press release or other form of communication.
General inquiries may be directed anytime to Michael Becker, MSU News Service Director, at 406-994-4565 or [email protected].
The first step is to contact the News Service and provide the details, including why the event or research is newsworthy.
The News Service will evaluate whether a press release is warranted, and, if it is, a writer will prepare a draft through typical means of newsgathering, such as interviews, email and phone calls. The writer will also recommend channels for the release's distribution and — after sharing a draft with sources and administrators for their review — distribute the release accordingly.
For stories being produced by the News Service, the writer working with you will coordinate with the Visual Media team in University Communications as needed to arrange appropriate photography or video coverage. The photographer would then reach out to you to make arrangements.
If you are interested in photographic coverage of an event independent of News Service coverage, you can learn more from our Visual Media team. Note that for such requests for original photography, there may be a fee and that, due to limited resources, it is not be possible to cover every event.
Yes. MSU's Media Policy is meant to ensure consistent, coordinated media communications that benefit the university by helping to promote its mission and key messages. It is also important to make sure that university administrators are adequately informed about media communications and affairs. Please review this policy prior to engaging in media affairs.
The News Service offers guidance for working with media contacts. This information will be useful for conducting an interview with a member of the media.
You may also request the assistance of our media specialists who can recommended an approach to a particular topic or interview.
In some cases it may not be possible to anticipate a media contact. The policy asks those contacted by the media to share the details of that contact with University Communications, however minor it may have seemed. Coordinating media communications and responses is a high priority for this office, and your notification will be useful. You may do this by contacting MSU News Service Director Michael Becker at 406-994-4565 or [email protected].
We are always looking for story ideas and opportunities to tell inspiring MSU stories. We encourage everyone to submit possible stories in their area to the staff writer who covers that segment of campus or use our online form.
You may also submit suggestions to the MSU News Service Director Michael Becker at 406-994-4565 or [email protected].
The News Service does not generally publish articles or releases prepared by an entity outside MSU.
If an office or program within MSU produces a release for the News Service's consideration, a staff writer or editor will examine the release and determine whether it can be released or whether it needs editing or a rewrite. In those cases, the writer or editor will work with the person who submitted the piece to most appropriately publish it. In some cases, that may mean a News Service writer is assigned to write a new article on the subject.
In all instances of submitted writings, MSU News Service staff reserve the right to edit for publication.
The photos that appear on our web pages are not automatically available for reuse. In many cases we have obtained special permission to use these photos for web publication only. In addition, our versions of these photos are usually quite small and have been optimized for the web, and do not lend themselves to other uses.
Contact Kelly Gorham, MSU director of Visual Media, [email protected], regarding any requests for photo use.
Occasionally, the News Service may ask if you have photographs or images that you can provide to help illustrate a story. Because we distribute photos that can be used in print media, please make sure submitted images are at a resolution of 300 dpi with minimum image dimensions of 4-by-6 inches or 1200-by-1800 pixels.
Images must includesource information — where did the photo come from, who took it, and did that photographer/creator provide permission for it to be used?
The News Service reserves the right to not use a provided image.
Updated: Nov. 17, 2023