For the Media
The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has faculty experts in a wide array of topics. To request an interview with any faculty member, please contact us.
The UCLA Luskin Communications Office offers personalized counseling for all faculty who are seeking media attention for their research. Assistance is also available for anyone contacted by the media for comment in their areas of expertise.
Faculty Guidelines for Media Outreach
Research and publications
When your research gets published in a journal or you are nearing completion of work that is likely to generate coverage by outside media, the first step is to contact UCLA Luskin Communications:
Executive Director of Communications
Office: (310) 206-5252
Personal counseling about communications and media outreach will be provided by the Communications Staff, and they will assist with preparation of materials to be sent to media outlets, often in cooperation with staff at one of our research centers.
Aspects to discuss with the Communications staff
- Some news outlets plan their article and op-ed schedules weeks in advance. Therefore, it may be important to anticipate their needs and reach out well before publication.
- Different outlets have vastly different readership and viewership. It’s best to target communications to those most likely to be interested in your work and adjust your message appropriately for different platforms (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts, online media, social media, etc.)
- Think about how best to tailor coverage of the research to a national audience. Does the message need to be different for Californians? Angelenos? Your assistance will help build a media contact list and ensure that the right message reaches each audience.
- In almost every instance, in-house coverage on the UCLA Luskin website will be part of the mix. Additional coverage is often placed on the website of the appropriate UCLA Luskin research center.
Forms of Communication
- In many cases, we partner with the UCLA-wide distribution network by working directly with UCLA Newsroom to get out the message. We make sure that every news release we publish is also posted by UCLA Newsroom, which expands the readership.
- In some cases, a traditional news release sent directly from UCLA Luskin is best.
- Direct pitches to selected reporters may be helpful in certain situations.
- Other forms of contact, including email pitches, may also be needed.
- Let use know if co-authors, internal or external research associates, or outside distribution partnerships are involved. If the work was grant-funded, be sure to mention it. Please be prepared to provide contact information for any specific person or organization that will need to be part of the communication plan.
What to do when the media reach out to you
- When contacted directly by a member of the press, regardless of media outlet, please let the Communications staff know before proceeding. Normally this will be just a courtesy contact, but in certain instances we may ask you to coordinate your interview, op-ed or participation in a media event with other UCLA Luskin efforts to maximize the potential reach of coverage.
- The Communications staff can also assist with logistical details, such as helping to arrange for studio time to conduct an on-air interview. Don’t hesitate to ask.
- Once a print story has been published or an electronic piece has aired, please notify Communications so that we can share the good news on our social media channels and include a summary blurb on the Luskin in the News page.
The UCLA Luskin Communications Office curates the Luskin’s Latest blog, which offers an opportunity for student organizations to tell others about their events. Guidelines about that platform are detailed here.
Guidelines for Coverage of Student-Led Events at UCLA Luskin
Events and Activities
If your student organization is hosting a speaker, coordinating a panel discussion or planning an event that is newsworthy, be sure to contact UCLA Luskin Communications:
Executive Director of Communications
Office: (310) 206-5252
The Communications staff will provide recommendations on how the UCLA Luskin website, our social media channels and, perhaps, the UCLA Newsroom site can best be used to tell people about what happened. In certain instances, limited support to get the word out in advance may also be provided.
What Makes a Story Newsworthy?
- Generally speaking, the UCLA Luskin Communications staff looks to promote the School to external audiences such as potential students, UCLA alumni, local opinion leaders, and state or national policymakers. Topics of potential interest to news media outlets are also favored.
- Partnerships with community organizations or nonprofit agencies generally bring with them a built-in audience. Similarly, efforts by UCLA Luskin students have broader appeal if they directly benefit an underserved population or a local community in need. Professional news media are much more likely to pick up on our coverage if it shows students out in the field volunteering and interacting with people beyond the UCLA campus.
- The direct involvement of a UCLA Luskin professor may increase the potential newsworthiness of a student-led event, particularly if the event dovetails with the professor’s research efforts.
Cultural, Historical or Political Relevance
- Timeliness is a vital characteristic of a good news story. If you want to reach a broad audience, it’s best to focus on events that relate to a topic that has been in the news within the past couple of months. Stay abreast of local, statewide or nationwide issues, and time your events to occur when the societal or political controversy is still fresh in people’s minds.
What can you do yourself?
- Some stories will be handled entirely by the Communications staff, but student organizers will often be asked to write their own summaries of UCLA Luskin events. A third-person, objective perspective is best. Try for a 150 – 250 word piece that answers the following questions:
- Who was there? What happened?
- When and where did it take place?
- How many people attended?
- What was the format and mood? Did the audience get involved or ask questions?
- What were the key takeaways? (Provide at least a couple of direct quotes.)
- Be sure to include a brief bio of your speaker(s), either within your summary or as a secondary “fact sheet” for reference.
- Also include the names, degrees and expected graduation years of all student organizers. Ideally, this will include a quote about the event from one of those organizers.
- Usually it works best if that quote focuses on the “why” of the story: Why did your organization get involved? Why is this a topic of importance? Why should readers care?
- Be brief but specific. A story that says “a group from Luskin volunteered with the homeless” is much less interesting than one that says “11 Social Welfare students delivered blankets to a homeless encampment on Santa Monica beach as cold weather set in.”
- Provide photos from the event that focus on relevant participants and locational significance. Use a high-quality camera, if possible. Cellphone images may suffice if they are well-lighted, in focus and framed to tell a story at a glance.
- Be wary of selfies and photos that will only make sense to participants. Action shots that show people doing something at an easily identifiable location are preferred.
- Get names and titles for anyone whose face is clearly visible in a photo. Ages and place of residence may be necessary too.
- Act quickly — summaries should be written within 24 hours, while the event is still fresh in your mind. And, for social media, consider supplying a quote or two while the event is still going on.
- Provide the number of a student organizer who can be reached by phone or text message should questions arise during the editing process. (Distribution will normally occur within a day or two.)
- Read the posted story or blog item. Let the Communications staff now ASAP if you spot errors.
Logos, Templates and Other Information
Samples and guidelines
The UCLA Luskin logos
Shown above are the official UCLA Luskin logos – in order of preferred usage. No other versions of the School logo should be created or used without authorization from the Communications Office.
In order to effectively communicate the UCLA Luskin brand, it is vital that all faculty, staff, students, departments and units use only approved versions of School and Departmental logos. Do not attempt to alter or recreate logo files.
If you need to resize a logo within your document, be sure to keep the image proportionally – it should not be stretched or squeezed in either dimension.
The following links to the images shown above route to .PNG files and require UCLA credentials. They are appropriate for most desktop publishing, email and website use. If you need a different version of a file, if the image comes out grainy or if a file is not working for your purposes, please contact the Communications Office.
Logos for UCLA Luskin-affiliated departments and research centers
As part of an effort to unify the brand identity across campus, UCLA Strategic Marketing has provided official logos for UCLA Luskin and its various departments and centers in a variety of file formats. Those files are available for download with UCLA credentials on Box at https://ucla.box.com/v/logos
Official stationery and business cards are available through a contract with Castle Press Printing.
Click here for a Flickr gallery of faculty/staff headshots.
Usage and other information
As of March 18, 2011, the entity formerly known as the UCLA School of Public Affairs was renamed the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs. Simultaneously, the building name was changed to “Public Affairs Building.”
Name usage: There are three versions of the new School name that are preferred for written use:
- Common: “UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs”
- Abbreviated: “UCLA Luskin” or “UCLA Luskin School”
- Formal: “UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs”
In correspondence or publications, use the common name of the School upon first reference. Abbreviated forms may be used upon second reference or within documents intended for an internal audience. Do not use the acronym “SPA.”
Outdated usage: Materials bearing the following outdated names have been removed from circulation:
- “School of Public Policy and Social Research (SPPSR)”
- “School of Public Affairs (SPA)”
- “Public Policy Building”
- “School of Public Policy” (inaccurate shortening)
- “School of Public Affairs Building (SPAB)”
Reference materials: For guidance on how to write about academic degrees, names of UCLA entities and other usage questions, download the UCLA Luskin in-house style guide (PDF).
The Chicago Manual of Style is the preferred style guide for formal publications, letters, invitations, programs, etc.
The AP Stylebook is preferred for media releases, business documents and contemporary language usage.
Contact the Communications office for further assistance