Guidelines for Unit Communicators

Unit communicators can generate the most value for MSU and their units by carefully screening the story ideas they forward for high news value and relevance to priority areas. We are available to work with unit communicators to provide tips and guidelines for evaluating news and to identify and develop story ideas.

News releases generally will be written and pitched by our staff, but college and unit communicators often work in coordination with members of the media team to extend central resources by taking an active role in writing and pitching.

We routinely communicate with unit communicators and others, as appropriate, to provide information on the time and date stories will be released. Communicators also may request that stories released are sent to them concurrent with distribution to the media.

Media Communications can provide assistance to unit communicators regarding local, state, and niche media contacts for releases to be issued by the college/unit.

We also can help units develop integrated communications plans that align with unit and university strategic directions and that identify an appropriate mix of communication tactics—including media communications—for maximum impact. For this type of planning, contact Susan Holloway at CABS.

Suggesting stories for MSU communications vehicles

Unit communicators are welcome to suggest topics and story ideas to appear in a variety of communication vehicles managed by CABS, including:

  • MSUToday weekly news e-mail, an on-request product that has nearly 300,000 subscribers, and is sent to all current MSU staff and faculty as well as many alumni
  • The campus section of MSUToday for all staff and faculty news and information
  • MSUToday, the university’s news website featuring in-depth coverage of key stories and more
  • The MSU home page, featuring brand-aligned banner features, MSUView video section, top news stories, and a spotlight event
  • Big Ten Network institutional programming with multi- and single-topic, magazine-style, and specially developed shows
  • MSU President’s Report, released each year in March
  • University social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat


For counsel and assistance in responding to media inquiries, please contact:

Heather Swain
Vice President for Marketing, Public Relations and Digital Strategy 

Office: (517) 355-2262

Cell: (517) 290-0534

Media Contact
(517) 353-7077

To discuss strategic communications planning, please contact:

Susan Holloway
Director of Content Strategy/Senior Creative Director
Office: (517) 355-9992

For general inquiries, please call the Media Communications Office at (517) 355-2281.

For area-specific media consultation and assistance, please contact the appropriate media communications manager (see Directory).