Category: Communications

The road to the Washington Post (and other national publications), and the multiplier effect

Last term, back in November, I had the good fortune to see the Washington Post run a piece I had written which shared my views about how parents can avoid predatory practices in college admission.

I’m writing this piece to the Lawrence community to encourage those of you with a compelling, interesting and/or insider’s view to share on a topic to share that view.

(Encouragement—and the help of others—is necessary, as I learned when I went through this process myself.)

As you might know, to help get the Lawrence story “out there,” we lean on the expertise and connections of others, which is why we work with a public relations firm, Morrison & Tyson (which recently married another firm, Dick Jones, and gave up its name in the arrangement). Our contact there, Maggy Ralbovsky, has many contacts in the media world and knows how to help place articles written by members of the Lawrence faculty or staff, which she has done for colleagues like Jason Brozek, Tim Troy, Peter Glick and Dena Skran. She is the one who helped my article see the light of day.

… but it took more than two months of darkness before it actually saw that light.

I wrote the piece back in late August, right as the school year was starting at Appleton North, and right after my wife and I received a letter trying to manipulate our hopes and fears about the college admission process for our son into financial gain for its sender.

I originally intended to submit it to the Post-Crescent, but first sent it to Craig Gagnon and Rick Peterson in our communication office, to get their feedback on it. (As our media relations expert, Rick is particularly adept at helping shape pieces I and others have written so that they are in a form and have a view that is likely to gain traction with a newspaper. He has pitched thousands of stories himself, so he knows what might work and what might not. Tom Ziemer, our editor, has considerable experience with journalism himself and is another great asset we have on the communication team.)

Craig and Rick then shared my piece with Maggy to see whether she thought it might have a chance at a national audience. (She did.) She read it, made a handful of edit suggestions, some of which I accepted, others of which I rejected, because—at least in my mind—they would have obscured my voice.

Maggy then sent the piece out to her network of cascading options. She thought it might get some traction with the Washington Post, so she started there. If it didn’t catch, we would go with plan B, and plan C, and plan D. (She had at least that many plans.)

After about a week, Maggy contacted us to let us know that Valerie Strauss of the Post had, in fact, expressed an interest, and that she was planning to run the piece within the week.

So we waited a week.

No article.

And another week.

Still no article.

Maggy told us she hadn’t heard anything back from Valerie for a couple of weeks, but that we should sit tight, that it would be worth it.

So we waited another couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Maggy had tried a couple more times with Valerie Strauss, to no avail.

We asked Maggy if we should go with Plan B. She advised that it would be my call (like any author’s call) to pull and move to Plan B, but gently suggested that we wait a little longer, that these things take time.

Another month went by.

And then—poof!—it appeared on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.*

As Craig Gagnon has pointed out to me, this was definitely worth the wait, because the “multiplier effect” of the piece—and others written by members of the Lawrence University community—can be significant as we not only raise the visibility of Lawrence, but also inform people’s views of how we think and work here. (Such efforts matter as we strive to make more people in the world aware of this special place through earned media, in addition to bought media.)

Start with the Washington Post, which runs the piece in print and online, including its social media channels. Their readers, viewers and followers refer, repost or retweet it, and it spreads from there. (If Lawrence grad and ABC Chief Foreign Correspondent, Terry Moran, retweets it, his 1.2 million followers will see it.)

News aggregators, like UBDaily (Undergraduate Business), may pick it up a few days later and re-run it.

Kasey Corrado, Lawrence’s social media director, will also post pieces where Lawrence is mentioned or where a member of the community publishes a view that may be of interest to our followers. She promotes the pieces through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat … how she keeps up with all of the channels, let alone manages them as strategically as she does, is remarkable. (Like Rick, Kasey provides sound advice on what may gain traction and has excellent ideas on how to frame a piece for social media.)

As my mother will often say, “To make a long story short” (usually when she is in the process of making a long story longer), if you’re thinking about writing a piece for a national audience, please write it.

And know that the route from your mind and fingertips to the minds and eyes of general readers far beyond Lawrence may be of indeterminate length and windiness but that your piece will find its way there.

Thank you to all of you who have submitted pieces like this that have appeared in national and regional publications.

And thank you to those of you who have yet to do so, but will.

Your work matters.

 

*It should be noted that this is but one example to illustrate the value of patience. Many/most submissions do not take as long to see the light of day once an editor indicates an interest. (CG)

Winter Wriston Art Gallery exhibitions open Jan. 13

Join us to celebrate the winter 2017 exhibitions in the Wriston Art Galleries!

Opening reception: Friday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.
Performance by We Go From Where We Know* at 8 p.m.

Dreams of the Floating World: 15 Views of Tokugawa Japan
Curated by the students in Brigid Vance’s HIST 388: Early Modern Japan
Leech Gallery

The Fine Print: Women Artists in the Dr. Robert Dickens ’63 Collection of Contemporary Art
Hoffmaster Gallery

Lawrence University Studio Art Faculty Exhibition
Tony Conrad, lecturer of art
Rob Neilson, Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art and associate professor of art
Benjamin Rinehart, associate professor of art
John Shimon, associate professor of art
Meghan C. Sullivan, Uihlein Fellow of Studio Art
Kohler Gallery

*We Go From Where We Know’s performance will feature the following LU faculty and staff members and alumni:

Julia Blair ’11, voice, viola
Loren Dempster, cello
John Gates, voice, percussion
Brian Pertl, didgeridoo
Leila Ramagopal Pertl, harp
John Shimon, guitar

Reminder: Convocation next Tuesday

A reminder to the campus community: Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey will speak at next Tuesday’s Convocation at 11:10 a.m. in Memorial Chapel.

Trethewey, whose talk is entitled The Muse of History: On Poetry and Social Justice, has combined her mixed-race background and profound writing skills to convey the plight of the southern black woman. Her first collection of poems, Domestic Work (2000), detailed working-class lives and jobs and won the Cave Canem Prize for a first book by an African American poet. In 2007, Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Native Guard (2006), an exploration of death and war. Other acclaimed works include Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), a fictional narrative of prostitution in 1900s New Orleans; Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi (2010), a non-fiction collection; and Thrall (2012), an examination of mixed-race fathers and children.

In 2012, Trethewey was named the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and also has held teaching positions at Duke University, the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and Yale University.

Trethewey earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in English and creative writing from Hollins University and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

An informal question-and-answer session will immediately follow the Convocation in the Chapel.

Boleyn-Fitzgerald memorial service Oct. 19

The Lawrence community is invited to join a Buddhist service to honor Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald and the goodness that he lived, modeled and brought to this world, and that is expressed and carried on through each of you. The memorial service will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center’s Esch Hurvis Room.

During the service, there will be opportunities for guided meditation and for consciously and intentionally turning inward. There will also be space provided in front of the center dais for any who wish to bring a cushion or zafu and join a seated circle on the floor.

A reception will follow, with a variety of opportunities to share memories.

Boleyn-Fitzgerald, the Edward F. Mielke Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Science and Society and associate professor of philosophy, died last month following a lengthy battle with kidney cancer. To learn more about Boleyn-Fitzgerald and the mark he left on the Lawrence community, read a story from the Lawrence news blog.

Grants office to host training sessions

The grants office would like to invite faculty and staff to these upcoming training opportunities:

  1. Intro to Grants @ Lawrence: Whether you’re a grants newbie or seasoned pro, register for this eat-and-learn session where we’ll discuss how internal and external grants work at Lawrence and how the Corporate, Foundation, and Sponsored Research Office can help you accomplish your goals. Join us in Kraemer Room at the Warch Campus Center for a lunch session Friday, Oct. 21, noon–1 p.m. (reading period). Space is limited! Please RSVP to lissette.jimenez@lawrence.edu by Monday, Oct. 17. Let us know of any dietary restrictions while registering.
  2. Introduction to the Funding Information Network: Come and get your hands on this powerful funder database, hosted at the Mudd Library! We’ll teach you tricks on how to identify potential grant funders, plus fellowship and scholarship opportunities. Space is limited in the ITC, so please email lissette.jimenez@lawrence.edu to reserve a seat for either Thursday, Oct. 20, 10-11 a.m. or Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, 10-11 a.m.

LU Alert test Oct. 11

The annual test of the LU Alert system is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 between 11 a.m. and noon. At that time, you will be receiving telephone calls, email messages and, if you have provided a cellphone number, text messages confirming the test. Please let your emergency contact know that he or she will be receiving a phone message as well.

This system is one of several Lawrence will use to communicate in the event of an emergency. It provides Lawrence with an enhanced ability to communicate quickly to large numbers of students, faculty, staff and emergency contacts using multiple communication channels: email, office phones, cellphones and text messages.

  • Of the delivery options, email and text messaging have been the quickest and most reliable methods.
  • The system’s ability to deliver messages to office phones is limited by the capabilities of our telephone system. While we have improved our ability to receive office phone calls, faculty and staff should not expect to receive an emergency message immediately via office phone.
  • The delivery of messages via cellphones is faster, but may also be limited by the capacity of some network providers. If you want to be notified of a campus emergency via cellphone, please verify that your cell number is listed on Voyager.
  • If you would like to be contacted via cellphone or text message, you may provide your cellphone number to Human Resources. When your cell number has been entered into the LU Alert system, a confirmation text message will be sent to your phone asking you to verify that you want to receive emergency text messages. Please opt in.

As members of the Lawrence community, we all have a responsibility to ensure effective communication in an emergency. Thank you for your support.

LU Alert test on Oct. 11

The annual test of the LU Alert system is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 between 11 a.m. and noon. At that time, you will be receiving telephone calls, email messages and, if you have provided a cellphone number, text messages confirming the test.

This system is one of several Lawrence will use to communicate in the event of an emergency. It provides Lawrence with an enhanced ability to communicate quickly to large numbers of students, faculty, staff and emergency contacts using multiple communication channels—email, office phones, cellphones and text messaging.

  • Of the delivery options, email and text messaging have been the quickest and most reliable methods.
  • The delivery of messages via cellphones is faster, but may also be limited by the capacity of some network providers. If you want to be notified of a campus emergency via cellphone, please verify that your cell number is listed on Voyager. When your cell number has been entered into the LU Alert system, a confirmation text message will be sent to your phone asking you to verify that you want to receive emergency text messages. Please opt in.

Community conversations on safety and policing

The Lawrence Office of Diversity and Inclusion has partnered with the Appleton Police Department to hold community conversations regarding safety and policing throughout the academic year. The first dialogue will take place Friday, Oct. 21 from 8:30 a.m. until noon in the Warch Campus Center’s Nathan Marsh Pusey Room.

This is a collaborative effort to address existing concerns related to public safety, increase Lawrence students’ sense of belonging and avoid the tragedies that have occurred in communities across our country.

These dialogues will be facilitated, small-group discussions, followed by a large-group debriefing. The purpose will be to help all involved understand how students, police and other citizens are experiencing our community in regard to safety in order to enhance trust among these groups. It will also serve as a basis to develop strategies to increase safety in Appleton.

Please register by Monday, Oct. 17 for the first event by contacting Michelle Lasecki-Jahnke in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Reminder: Upcoming diversity and inclusion listening sessions

Join Kimberly Barrett, vice president for diversity and inclusion and associate dean of the faculty, for one of several listening sessions. If you have concerns about diversity issues or ideas for how we can make Lawrence more inclusive, come to Steitz Hall, Room 202, on one of the dates below.

Each session will begin with brief opening remarks followed by an opportunity to share your ideas or concerns with others in attendance. Light refreshments will be served.

Students:
Oct. 4: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 6: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Staff:
Oct. 11: 4:30–6 p.m.
Oct. 13: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Faculty:
Oct. 18: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 20: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Diversity and inclusion listening sessions

Join Kimberly Barrett, vice president for diversity and inclusion and associate dean of the faculty, for one of several listening sessions. If you have concerns about diversity issues or ideas for how we can make Lawrence more inclusive, come to Steitz Hall, Room 202, on one of the dates below.

Each session will begin with brief opening remarks followed by an opportunity to share your ideas or concerns with others in attendance. Light refreshments will be served.

Students:
Oct. 4: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 6: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Staff:
Oct. 11: 4:30–6 p.m.
Oct. 13: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Faculty:
Oct. 18: 5–6:30 p.m.
Oct. 20: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.