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About Media Relations
Ph: (202) 885-5950
4400 Mass. Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016-8135

© American University
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Last Updated January 24, 2007

About AU Media Relations

American University's Office of Media Relations, a department reporting to the President's Chief of Staff, works daily with local, national and international print, electronic and broadcast media outlets to publicize all aspects of the university. The office provides media relations and strategic communication consultation to main campus offices, schools and departments to promote professors, programs, research and events to external constituencies, primarily the news media.

Media Relations staff members write news releases, pitch stories to reporters, identify media opportunities, arrange media interviews, plan and manage news conferences, assemble media kits, and monitor American University and WAMU’s print and electronic press coverage.

Working in collaboration with colleagues throughout the University, Media Relations is available to assist with issues related to the news media, including event publicity, dissemination of research and general news and crisis communications. Some of the services we provide and ways we can be of assistance include:

Publicity: We write and distribute press releases, media advisories, and other materials to publicize news, research, and events on campus. We promote stories to reporters and news organizations in Washington, D.C. and throughout the world.

Hometown News: In order to recognize students for their hard work and achievements, we distribute hometown releases to local newspapers. Many newspapers will print student achievements as part of their coverage of news about local residents. Email for assistance with hometown news.

Calendar Listings: Media Relations is responsible for submitting event information to external media. To promote events open to the general public, submit basic event details to at least one month in advance. Please note: Calendar listings have varying deadlines and are published by editors' discretion.

AU Experts Guide: Our office maintains a print and online resource guide of American University experts in a variety of fields and disciplines for reporters and external audiences looking for comment on issues in the news. Our office proactively reaches out to news media to ensure their familiarity with University experts and resources. AU faculty experts are frequently quoted in major news outlets, asked to testify before Congress, and invited to speak at public forums and conferences worldwide.

Online Resources: Our Web site provides information about campus events and activities, summaries of news items and more. You also will find press releases, transcripts of speeches delivered on campus, and fact sheets.

Crisis & Issues Management: We coordinate communications strategy for University issues including major announcements, new and emerging issues, and rapid-response situations. We work collaboratively with offices across campus to identify issues that affecting the University community and develop strategies to proactively manage them. We also regularly work with colleagues to develop effective ways to communicate news and information about issues impacting the daily lives of students, staff, and coworkers within the University community. In these instances, the President’s Chief of Staff serves as the University’s chief spokesperson with the Director of Media Relations serving as deputy spokesperson.

Media Training: Please contact us if you would like assistance in preparing for media interviews or training on what to do when the media calls.

For Faculty

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As a faculty member, if you are not included in the AU Experts Guide and would like to be, please contact us.

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Main Campus
Phone: (202) 885-5950
Fax: (202) 885-5959

Washington College of Law
Franki Fitterer
(202) 274-4279

Athletic Communications
Nancy Yasharoff
(202) 885-3079

WAMU 88.5
Kay Summers
(202) 885-1240