Media Relations

University Marketing & Communications serves as a liaison between the members of the campus There are times when members of the BVU community will want to use the media to alert the public to a campus event or tell the public about a unique program or a newsworthy achievement. Media placements must be cleared by University Marketing & Communications, so please contact UMC when you become aware of a story that should be shared with the public.

Notify UMC as soon as possible about a potential story, even if you don't have all the details at first. The UMC staff can help determine what additional information will be helpful beyond the "who, what, when, where, how, and why." They will work with you in preparing a news/feature release, as well as in distributing it to the appropriate media through our established contacts.

There are also times when the media may want BVU faculty/staff to provide an expert point of view on a controversial, timely, or important issue, or may ask you to help tell an interesting or unusual story. To ensure an accurate and consistent message is presented to BVU's external publics, it is essential that all requests from the media be channeled through University Marketing & Communications.

If you are contacted by the media, tell the reporter you will call back within the time frame required, and take down all relevant information about the inquiry and the organization requesting your comments. Then contact University Marketing & Communications and notify them of the situation, and give yourself time to compile your comments.

Tips for working with the media:

  • Tell the truth - Don't guess if you don't know an answer, don't hide information, and avoid saying "no comment".
  • Be timely - Return calls as soon as possible, and be aware of deadlines by asking reporters when their story is due.
  • Be succinct - Pick two or three of your best points to emphasize, and make sure you don't talk forever.
  • Think before you speak - Anticipate questions, and make sure what you say can't be misinterpreted.
  • Avoid jargon - Keep your language as simple as possible, and encourage the reporter to call you back to verify facts.
  • Set the agenda - Say what you want to say, and at the end ask questions to verify that the reporter is clear on what you've said.
  • Avoid speaking "off the record" - If you have something to say, just say it, and if it can't be said for the record, it's probably best not to discuss it at all.

During an emergency situation, the BVU Crisis Management Plan will be put into effect, and only the appointed spokesperson should communicate with the public. The spokesperson to the media will work directly with the top decision maker, should be someone who can speak with authority, and should have an understanding of the media. It is important to have only one spokesperson, who must stay updated constantly, respond quickly to inquiries, keep the message focused, stay calm, be truthful, and present a positive image.


News/feature releases are designed to be run by the media at no charge to Buena Vista University. But several opportunities exist for publicity through paid advertising, whether it's via print media, radio/television broadcasts or electronic ads.

If you want to run an advertisement, notify University Marketing & Communications of your intentions. The UMC staff will help you identify the best way to proceed, taking into consideration your budget (and whether the placement will qualify for our contract rates), the audience you want to reach, and your message. UMC can also assist in producing the ad with the expertise of our design and copy-writing staff.


If you intend to distribute a publication to an external (off-campus) audience, make an appointment to meet with the publications director in University Marketing & Communications, and gather as much of the following information as you can prior to the meeting:

  • date the publication is needed
  • budget for printing and distribution
  • market research on the target audience
  • samples of the format you have in mind
  • photos or artwork you'd like to use
  • text that could serve as a guide
  • previous versions of the publication

The publications director at UMC will help you establish a timeline for your publication, working backward from your intended delivery date. Printers need two weeks of production time, and prior to that, UMC needs time (two to six weeks, depending upon the type of publication) to gather estimates, write copy, design layout, shoot photos, and proof publication. If you want your publication mailed, first class requires one week between post date and delivery date, and bulk rate requires two to three weeks.

The publications director will help you estimate costs, which depends on variables including quantity, size, number of inks used, paper, bindery, and difficulty. Multiple vendors will be asked for bids. At times, it is not in your best interest to go with the printer with the lowest bid; UMC can help you choose the vendor that will provide the best end result. Additional costs may arise if you deviate from any of the variables established in the specifications or if changes are made after the project is sent to the printer.

The next step is gathering or shooting photos and developing artwork. UMC will determine whether submitted artwork will produce a quality image when printed. Any photos submitted should be glossy prints, color slides, or transparencies. Photos taken from web sites are typically not scanned at high resolution and will not be suitable for your publication. Only photos scanned at the final publishing size or larger and at 300 dpi or higher will be accepted for use in publications. Photography shot by University employees will not receive a photo credit unless specifically arranged.

You may submit your own copy/text or have the UMC staff writing professionals author it. You may submit copy on a disk or by e-mail in Microsoft Word or another word-processing format, or typed/neatly hand-printed with page numbers. All copy is subject to editing by the UMC staff in accordance with BVU's Written Style Guide. Copy produced in official publications of the University is subject to universal use by BVU community members.

UMC provides professional-level design services, with close attention to the target audience. Alternative designs will be suggested when appropriate to ensure the success and timely delivery of your publication.

The department initiating the publication bears the main responsibility for proofreading and accuracy. Each proof must be signed and returned promptly. Once the publication is sent to print, UMC will sign off on printer's proofs. Changes at this stage are normally costly and may result in delayed delivery.

UMC will provide production updates regarding the delivery date once the job is at print. Delays at any stage before the project is sent to print will delay the delivery date (i.e., copy submitted two days late will push delivery date back two days). All publications will be delivered to University Marketing & Communications, unless the delivery is too large to be held in the UMC office. UMC will notify you of delivery within one business day. Each department is responsible for storage and inventory of its printed material.

Web & New Media

The BVU home page (, department sites/pages, and office sites/pages constitute official BVU pages and are overseen by the Web & New Media Development branch of University Marketing & Communications. This office is responsible for the structure and development of the BVU web presence, as well as determining guidelines for consistent graphic design, writing style, and accuracy of information.

All official web pages and sites must be initiated through Web & New Media Development. The project process includes:

  • Initial project planning meeting, which includes discussing goals and objectives, determining proper audience, outlining site/page content, and determining budget and timeline
  • Project outline review by client
  • Design and content development
  • Design and content review by client
  • Site/page testing
  • Site/page launch

Unofficial/personal sites and pages include faculty and staff instructional and personal pages, and those of student organizations and individual students. Each student, faculty, and staff member has 30 MB of space available for web publishing. For more information on how to access personal web space, contact the Stewart Siebens Computer Center at or 712.749.2FIX.

Web applications designed for official BVU sites should follow BVU's Application Development Standards. Authors of official and unofficial web pages and sites must abide by the BVU's Web Policy & Development Guide, Electronic Information Policy, and all other policies stated in the Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook, and Academic Catalog. Authors should also consult BVU's Written Style Guide.

Campus Communication

The BVUNews is the University's primary and official method of mass communication to the BVU community. While members of the BVU community are allowed to send electronic messages to a targeted group of users, they cannot send a mass e-mail addressed to all names in BVU's Novell GroupWise Address Book, nor can they utilize the NetWare Utilities to send an instant message to a mass group of users.

BVUNews is a web publication that is updated constantly and publicizes campus events, announcements, and good news. It also contains a classified ad section. Members of the BVU community can submit entries through the web site or by e-mailing them to

Upcoming events will be posted to the Campus Calendar web site within one business day of submission and will remain on the web site until the event date. Upcoming events will appear on the BVUNews web site three days prior to the event. General announcements and good news items will be posted to the BVUNews web site within one business day of submission and will remain for two weeks (unless otherwise requested by e-mailing

Submissions will also appear in a scheduled BVUNews e-mail of all new entries only once, on the first Monday or Thursday after appearing on the BVUNews web site. Any special BVUNews e-mail requested to go out between scheduled times must be approved by a vice president or must be of an urgent nature to the entire BVU community.

University Marketing & Communications reserves the right to reject submissions from outside the BVU community or any submission categorized as "Classifieds." Submissions of upcoming events that are not University-sponsored will be publicized in the "General Announcements" or "Classifieds" category. "Excuse students" notes may be submitted for absences from academic courses excused by the dean of faculty's office for University-sanctioned functions and will be categorized as General Announcements. "Thank you" notes will be categorized as "General Announcements."

University Marketing & Communications is available to assist with any publication you plan, but publications intended solely for the campus community (other than the BVUNews) do not necessarily need to be produced by UMC. For example, event programs, brochures, or fliers to be hand-distributed solely to the campus community need not be cleared by UMC. Posters or fliers to be posted on campus must be cleared by Student Services. Table tents and mailbox stuffers also must be cleared by Student Services.

If you encounter an emergency situation, call Campus Security at 749.2500 (or 911 first, if necessary) and notify your immediate superior. From that point, the communication chain outlined in the BVU's Crisis Management Plan will activate.