Publishing News About MSU
The primary way news about MSU is communicated to external audiences is through news releases written by the News Service staff.
The News Service's writers and editors work with offices and academic units across MSU to disseminate news and photographs to local, state and regional media outlets, including newspapers, websites, radio and TV stations. This process commonly involves interviews with students, faculty and staff; scheduling photography; and multiple stages of editing and review.
The News Service's releases — also referred to commonly as press releases or simply news stories — are free for media outlets to use in their publications and on their websites. As such, they are written in a journalistic style, aligning with Associated Press style.
Questions about these guidelines should be directed to Michael Becker, director, MSU News Service, 406-994-4565.
Sharing Story Ideas with the News Service
The News Service is always looking for stories to share about MSU and the accomplishments of its students, faculty, alumni and staff. Our staff prioritizes stories that coincide with the goals outlined in MSU's strategic plan. Story ideas may include (but are certainly not limited to):
- News of research accomplishments.
- Stories about student, faculty, alumni and staff achievements and honors.
- Information about upcoming MSU-sponsored events of interest to the general public.
- Compelling stories about students and faculty who are doing great things at MSU.
Story ideas can be sent to the writer covering a specific area of the university or submitted through our online form. Please note that ideas are subject to review by the News Service and that not all suggestions result in news stories. In all instances of submitted writings, MSU News Service staff reserve the right to edit for publication.
Submitting Non-News Items
Items that aren't a good fit for a News Service story but which are still appropriate to share with the MSU campus community can be submitted to the MSU Calendar or as an announcement to MSU Today. These could include information about on-campus lectures, seminars, and workshops, invitations to retirement receptions and information about new faculty and staff hires.
Information on Common Submissions
Briefs announcements of new faculty and staff hires may be submitted to MSU Today. In general, the News Service recommends that the briefs be about one paragraph long and include such details as the person's name, title, department and/or college, general duties and previous position.
These hiring briefs may also be published on departmental or college web sites; in departmental and/or college newsletters; or in other college-based communications. Coordinate with the communications associate within those units to discuss options.
Media announcements of administrative appointments at a dean's level or higher generally will be handled by the News Service staff and distributed to relevant news media.
Upon request and contingent on writing staff availability, the News Service will produce a retirement story on a faculty or staff member if they have worked at MSU 35 years or more. Requests must be approved by appropriate members of university administration and the human resources office, and stories will only be written with the cooperation of the retiree.
Stories will be published as near to the employee's retirement date as is practical while still trying to be in advance of the date. Stories would be no more than 600 words in length, in general, and would contain information about the person's position and general duties/accomplishments while working for MSU. The News Service will coordinate with Visual Media about a portrait of the retiree, provided the visual team can accommodate the request.
The News Service prepares news releases about student honors, including nationally prominent awards such as Truman, Rhodes or Goldwater scholarships. News Service staff also prepare a graduate list and the honor rolls using records provided by the Registrar's Office. The graduate list and honor roll releases are distributed within Montana and to neighboring states.
Awards, scholarships and honors which do not rise to the level of a news story may be shared in departmental and college newsletters, annual reports and other publications. The News Service staff member who covers your area can advise on options.
The News Service recognizes the valuable contributions donors provide to advance MSU and works in partnership with the MSU Alumni Foundation when acknowledging donations in the media. In general, donations to the university may be recognized in the following ways:
- Inclusion in Collegian magazine
- Inclusion in the Alumni Foundation pages of Mountains & Minds
- Social media posts
- Alumni Foundation website post
- Post to a related MSU college website
- Mention in university-wide, college, department or foundation email news messages
- Mention in Alumni Foundation campaign or annual report
- On occasion, and in coordination with the Alumni Foundation, the News Service will prepare and distribute press releases for unique donations
The need for press conferences is infrequent in a town with a press corps as small as Bozeman's.
However, when appropriate, and if the topic has university-wide, community-wide or statewide impact, the News Service may invite all local media for press conferences. Such events must be recommended by the director of the MSU News Service and approved by the executive director of University Communications.
Please contact MSU News Director Michael Becker at 406-994-4565 for more information.