News Coverage Guide
Got a story idea?
Fill out the Project Request Form on brand.mines.edu and select “News/Publicity.”
Mines Newsroom (minesnewsroom.com) is the university’s primary platform for sharing campus news with the general public. Every article published on Newsroom is considered to be an official announcement and/or press release of Colorado School of Mines and is available for immediate release. Depending on the topic, level of general interest and/or significance to Mines, stories may also be pitched directly to reporters on a local, national or international level.
What kind of stories do we tell on Mines Newsroom?
Our goal is to unearth and share Mines news that furthers the goals of the MINES@150 strategic plan, particularly stories that contribute to our efforts to:
- Be a top-of-mind and first-choice university
- Grow the scale and impact of research
- Strengthen affinity for Mines
What does that mean for you? Mines Newsroom wants to know what you’re up to that excites you most. Our team of content creators does its best to proactively find stories, but with so much going on at Mines, we can’t possibly keep on top of everything on our own. We need your help!
Consider this list a starting point for the kinds of stories we cover on Mines Newsroom:
Faculty, Staff and Student News
- Research paper accepted for publication in a major peer-reviewed scientific journal
- Examples include Science, Nature, PNAS, or their equivalent in your field
- Major research grants
- Starting at $1 million or above, unless the research is tied to a current hot topic, research priority area or Colorado nexus
- NSF CAREER, DOE Early Career, Presidential Early Career (PECASE) and similar awards are considered major grants
- Significant professional honor/recognition
- Given the high volume of news tips we receive, we are not able to write about conference awards and papers. Instead, we recommend that you talk to staff in your department to see if they can share this news in their newsletter and/or on their website.
- Student clubs, teams or individuals that win regional, national and international competitions
- Projects (faculty, student, research, classroom or otherwise) with a high potential for general interest and/or community impact
- This admittedly broad category includes anything that may cause folks to say, “Oh, wow, that’s so cool!”
- Campus traditions and Signature Experiences
- Campus initiatives, especially those directly tied to MINES@150
- Campus construction and building projects
- Executive-level hires (cabinet and department heads)
- Major fundraising gifts (as determined by the Colorado School of Mines Foundation)
- Please contact Rachelle Trujillo, Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications, at email@example.com for more information.
- University rankings
- Rankings sourced from reputable, prominent publications/websites known for their credibility and with a robust methodology
Have a story that you think would be of interest to reporters on a local, national or international stage? Is your area of expertise relevant to current news? Let us help you share the word!
Press releases and expert pitches are most effective when they are extremely timely, so don’t hesitate to email the Mines Media Relations Team directly at Emilie Rusch (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jasmine Leonas (email@example.com).
Note: All media relations activities that represent Mines as an institution are required to go through the Mines Communications & Marketing Office. This includes press releases about Mines’ signature experiences, new academic programs, university initiatives and policies. Do not write and distribute press releases representing Mines on your own.
Examples of successful Mines expert pitches:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releases first draft regulations for PFAS in drinking water
- Russian invasion of Ukraine (specifically, history of cyber warfare, propaganda and U.S.-Russian relations)
- 140th anniversary of “The Big One,” the strongest earthquake to ever hit Colorado
- Record-setting seismic tests on tall wood buildings (led by Mines professor)
Examples of successful media pitches/press releases about Mines:
- Lockheed Martin and Colorado School of Mines host Over the Dusty Moon Challenge, a global student design competition focused on moving lunar regolith
- McBride Honors Program class connects American and Ukrainian students in cultural exchange
- Capstone Design Showcase
- E-Days Cardboard Boat Races
What should you do if a reporter reaches out to you?
Expert interviews: You are discussing a topic/answering questions related to your area of expertise
Faculty and staff are encouraged to notify the Mines Media Relations Team as soon as possible. This isn’t required, but we can help you prepare – plus knowing about interviews ahead of time helps us better track all Mines media mentions.
University interviews: You are representing Mines as an institution and/or discussing a Mines program, initiative or policy
Faculty and staff are required to contact the Mines Media Relations Team before conducting the interview. We will assess the opportunity, identify the appropriate spokesperson and help them prepare for the interview.
Tips for Getting Your Story Told
Got a story idea? Fill out the Project Request Form on brand.mines.edu and select “News/Publicity.”
Filling out the Project Request Form is the most efficient and effective way to share your story ideas with the Communications Team. Our team will discuss your request at our weekly editorial meeting and follow up if we’re interested.
- When you fill out the form, the more information you can provide the better. Research abstracts, summaries, links, images – they all help us decide whether to pursue your story.
- If you don’t hear back within a week, feel free to follow up at firstname.lastname@example.org, but it likely means we’re not planning to cover your story at this time.
Not sure if your story is a story? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a connection to current events/news headlines?
- Would someone outside of my field be interested?
- Is there a direct Colorado connection?
- Would someone hear about this and say, “Oh, wow, that’s so cool”?
There are no hard and fast rules for what makes a story newsworthy, but the more of the above questions you can answer “Yes” to, the more likely you’ve got a story on your hands. When in doubt, though, let us know. We’re storytelling experts and happy to help workshop your idea.
Let us know about your potential stories as soon as possible. There’s no such thing as too early. In fact, the earlier the better. Advance notice gives us more time to plan and increases the chance we can add your story to our schedule. Don’t wait to tell Communications & Marketing until your paper is about to be published or your major research award is publicly announced by the funding agency. Or heaven forbid, after the cool thing you’re excited about just happened.
We respect embargos and keep things quiet until the timing is right – it’s a big part of our job as communicators. But the more advance notice you can give us, the more likely we can do your story justice, especially if multiple universities and/or federal funding agencies are involved.
- Know you’re going to get a major research grant (or NSF CAREER Award)? Let us know as soon as you’re notified. We’ll keep it quiet until the funding agency says it’s ok to share.
- Know you have a manuscript headed for publication? Let us know as soon as it’s been accepted – before the final publication date is set – and we can get the ball rolling on a press release, if warranted.
- Have a cool outreach or research project in the Denver/Golden area coming up? Let us know at least two weeks in advance so we can plan for media pitching, photos and other visual assets (as applicable).
- Working on a long-term project (Capstone Design or otherwise) that could have general interest/community impact? Let us know when the work begins – not just when the project is complete – so we can follow the entire process and potentially gather visuals from start to finish.
If you’re still not sure, contact us and we can discuss it. We’re happy to help figure out how to approach a story and if your idea is newsworthy or not.