Strategic Communications

The Strategic Communications team promotes the Smith School and manages its public presence through various ongoing communications efforts. We communicate the right messages through the best channels, measured against the Smith School’s strategic goals. Our team is responsible for:

  • Promoting and providing coverage for events
  • Writing and editing our major Smith publications, Smith Business Magazine and Research@Smith
  • Our media relations efforts
  • Our internal communications efforts

The Strategic Communications team also manages photography and videography requests for the Smith School, maintains our digital asset management system (WebDAM), and provides copyediting and proofreading support.

The Strategic Communications team is currently led by Daryl James. Please contact him with questions or to discuss an upcoming project, program, event or initiative.

GETTING THE WORD OUT

EVENTS SMITH PUBLICATIONS MEDIA RELATIONS INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

Pitching to media

Pre-event promotion:
-Kiosks and plasmas
-e-newsletters
-Web event pages and Social media

“Day-of” Photography or Videography

Post-event promotion:
-Web stories
-Video or news packages
-Podcasts
-Print articles

Smith Business Magazine

Research@Smith

Pitching stories to media

News Releases and Media Alerts

Media requests

Washington Post Capital Business:
-Career Coach
-Business RX

Smith Business Close-Up (Business segment on MPT)

Smith in the News (e-newsletter to faculty and staff)

Media Coaching

Plasmas and Kiosks

Displays and Signage

News Advisory Board

Smith Newslink (Intranet)

Speech writing and talking points for the dean and faculty members

EVENTS

While our Office of Smith Programs and Events is responsible for full-service event planning, the Strategic communications team determines the right level of coverage and promotional support based on the type of event. Key or signature events, because they align with our brand pillars and the strategic priorities of the Smith School, receive the highest level of support. This can include garnering media attention as applicable, providing pre-event promotion, and scheduling “day-of” coverage that is developed into a post-event web story, video, podcast or print article. For other kinds of events, we provide loaner coverage tools, such as digital cameras and Flip video camcorders.

Factors that can also affect coverage include timing of request and staff availability. Please complete and submit our event coverage form.

To learn more about our event classification tiers and the coverage and services provided by MarComm and the Office of Smith Programs and Events, click here.

SMITH PUBLICATIONS

Our publications are designed to inspire, influence and inform our audiences about the great things happening at Smith, and to build our global reputation as a leader in management education and research.

Smith Business Magazine is the Smith School’s alumni magazine. It is our largest publication, with a circulation of about 55,000 alumni, donors and friends of the Smith School. Smith Business magazine features stories about people, programs and research that are of a broad interest to a wide audience. It is published and distributed twice a year. Comments and questions may be sent directly to editor@rhsmith.umd.edu.

View the Smith Business Magazine website. Request a print copy of the magazine.

Research@Smith is a national publication that highlights the Smith School as a management research leader. It targets academics, executives, policymakers and others who are interested in learning about the latest research conducted by Smith School faculty. Research @ Smith is published twice a year.

View the Research@Smith website. Request a print copy.

Other Publications We also create publications that market the school’s academic programs to prospective students and promote the services and resources of the Smith School’s Centers of Excellence.

Talk To Us!

Have a story idea that might be of interest to our alumni population? Doing some interesting research or know of a faculty member who is? Tell us about it!

MEDIA RELATIONS

Our Media Relations team is charged with delivery of the right messages to relevant audiences at the best times. Whether through external media outreach, the Smith School’s own media or by using social media to engage with audiences, our media relations team can work with you to refine and deliver your story. We encourage our faculty and staff to take advantage of media opportunities as they arise. These opportunities help generate awareness about Smith and brand and position the school.

We screen media requests, write press releases and news articles, media alerts and advisories, and provide coaching for podcasts, videos, and interviews.

Media coverage of an event is determined by the news relevance of either the event topic or keynote speaker(s) at the time of the event.

We use two primary vehicles for communicating news about Smith to the public – the news (or press) release and the media request. News releases can be generated with longer lead times, while articles and appearances from media requests can include both long-lead and immediate turnaround times.

News Release – A news release is used to communicate news about Smith research, events, programs, faculty and students. A timely announcement of something with news value, it is sent to members of the media to attract favorable media attention and local or national coverage. Archived Smith School news releases are available on our website.

Smith school news releases are drafted for:

  • Major school announcements
  • Key personnel changes
  • Faculty or program news
  • Significant research results
  • Major events

Media Requests – Faculty and staff help build the Smith School brand by conducting print and broadcast interviews that highlight Smith faculty thought leadership, programs, and initiatives. If you are contacted directly by a member of the media, please copy Carrie Handwerker or Greg Muraski, who will help to manage the request.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Determine the nature of the media request – when a journalist contacts you, be sure to understand the basics of their request, especially if the request is challenging or could be a point of controversy.
  • Seek input from a member of the Media Relations staff – if you are unsure of whether to grant an interview, if you need assistance developing talking points, or if you are new to media requests.
  • Check for results – always ask the journalist when they think the story will appear, and copy Carrie or Greg on this request.

Washington Post Capital Business

The Smith School has a partnership with Washington Post Capital Business, a weekly publication focused on the Washington business community. It features coverage of government contracting, technology, the legal community and other major industries in the region, and offers a fresh take on local businesses in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. We contribute two columns: Career Coach and Business RX.

Please let us know if you would like be featured, or if you have a suitable story idea.

Smith Business Close-Up

Smith Business Close-Up is a television segment airing on Maryland Public Television that focuses on the latest thinking in business management. It features in-depth interviews with Smith School faculty and other members of the school’s community of business leaders.

Being interviewed as an expert source helps us get our thought leadership out to a wider audience. Let us know if you would like to be featured on a Smith Business Close-Up segment by contacting Carrie Handwerker.

Smith Business Close-Up is a joint production of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and MPT.

Smith in the News

Smith in the News is an e-newsletter highlighting the Smith School's world-class faculty as they are quoted in stories as expert sources. It also documents coverage of Smith's innovative programs and research. Smith in the News is sent twice monthly to Smith faculty and staff.

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

Plasmas and Kiosks

Our plasmas and kiosks provide a round-up of our current programs, events, achievements and other highlights of what’s going on at the Smith School that is of interest to our entire community of faculty, staff, students and friends of Smith.

Plasmas

Our plasmas require a 24-hr. turnaround time. Since there are anywhere from 15-20 screens running at any given time, your message will have less than 10 seconds to make an impact. Please submit all plasma requests as PowerPoint slides to plasmas@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Kiosks

Our kiosks are placed at the main entrances to the Smith School and in other high-traffic areas. They welcome visitors and the Smith community with a bold, modern design that attracts attention. Kiosks are professionally designed by MarComm and require a request. Information on the kiosks that is updated weekly is due by the close of business on Wednesday for the following week’s kiosks. The kiosk posters are designed on Thursdays and printed on Fridays. Please submit your requests for kiosks to Jessica Smith.

Displays and Signage

If you’ve seen the displays of Robert H. Smith and Leo Van Munching in our Grand Atrium, you’ve seen the work of the Communications team. We create signage and displays, and also come up with useful, innovative and attractive message boards where the Smith School community can post information. Check out the magnetic wall as you enter Rudy’s Café. Yep, we did that!

News Advisory Board

The Smith School’s News Advisory Board was created to gather and disseminate news about what’s going on that’s newsworthy at Smith. Representatives from academic and administrative departments and centers participate in the monthly meetings, which take place in a casual setting over lunch. These meetings help us cover and promote the great things happening at Smith.

To be added to the News Advisory Board distribution list, contact Jessica Smith.

Smith Newslink

Smith Newslink is the interim intranet site for the Robert H. Smith School of Business. On it you will find a weekly newsletter of upcoming events, news and school-wide announcements. You will also find interactive features, including a searchable directory, frequently used forms, meeting minutes and notes, and more. To view Smith Newslink, you must be logged into Smoogle.

If you have questions or comments about the site, please contact Jessica Smith.

Speechwriting and Talking Points

As needed, we write speeches for commencement speakers or the dean for select engagements. We also provide media talking points for the dean or other faculty members upon request. Please contact Rebecca Winner for more information.

PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEOGRAPHY AND ASSET MANAGEMENT

We provide professional photography and videography services as determined by the Smith School’s strategic priorities. We also house a repository of photos, graphics and other digital assets through a cloud-based platform called WebDAM.

Photography and Videography

Professional photography services for the Smith School are provided by our staff photographer and videographer, Tony Richards. The Communications Team meets weekly to review needs and assign coverage. While we often receive requests, not all events require professional photography or videography services, but may require coverage. When that happens, we have a small supply of handheld video and still cameras, as well as tripods for students, faculty and staff to sign out as loaners. To check out loaner equipment, contact Tony Richards.

Tony can cover either photography or videography at one event, but not both. If both are required, or in the event of a scheduling conflict, we can recommend a freelancer from our list of qualified vendors.

WHAT WE’RE SHOOTING

Photography:

  • Smith Business Magazine and Research @ Smith
  • Faculty/staff photo shoot (fall semester only)
  • Key and Signature events (Cupid’s Cup, Social Enterprise Symposium, etc.)
  • Orientation (MBA)
  • Internal community photo shoots for the web (department headshots and group shots)
  • Portraits

Videography:

  • CEO @ Smith
  • Dean’s Welcome Video
  • Commencement Highlights
  • Holiday video
  • Hot Topics (with Faculty and Staff)

Audio:

  • Podcasts (The Smith MBA Report)

Asset Management (WebDAM)

WebDAM is the Smith School’s asset management system. It is a digital archive and repository of photography, graphics and other media used in the print collateral, web and electronic communications created by MarComm. To view, download or contribute assets, contact our WebDAM administrator, Jessica Smith.

We are always looking to grow our library! If you have any interesting photos from global studies trips, student club activities or events, let us know. High-resolution photos should be at least 1 megabyte (1MB) in size and provided in JPG format.

EDITORIAL SUPPORT

Copyediting and Proofreading

The Communications team provides copyediting and proofreading support for all communications and marketing efforts representing the Smith School prior to release. If your department creates some of its own collateral (i.e., newsletters, etc.), these services are available to you upon request.

Please schedule with us well in advance. An average of 10 minutes per page should be scheduled. For example, if a publication will be a four-page newsletter, 40 minutes should be allotted for either copyediting or proofreading. If your project’s production schedule changes, the copy editor/proofreader should be notified immediately.

Our writing conforms to Associated Press (AP) style, which dictates grammar usage and ensures consistency and accuracy of information and data that is shared with the public. To schedule copyediting and proofreading assistance, please contact Jessica Smith.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COPYEDITING AND PROOFREADING?

Copyediting – The painstaking job of going through a manuscript line by line to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. It also includes checking for continuity, adherence to style and sentence cohesion. Copyediting is the step between a client-partner’s final approval of copy and MarComm’s submission of the copy to the designer to be created as a marketing piece (i.e., brochure, flyer, postcard). Major copy edits after the project has entered the design and layout phase are time-consuming, costly and can affect the project’s delivery date.

Proofreading – A separate activity from copyediting. This is the final step in the process before printing. It takes place once the text is set at the galley stage (the stage just before printing), and includes checking for design errors (e.g., alignment of text columns, text-wrap issues, unintentional font conversions, etc.), as well as a word-for-word reading for misspellings (design software often does not include a spell-check option, and if paragraphs are re-keyed by the designer, spelling or grammatical mistakes are almost inevitable). Proofreading should occur after the client-partner has given final sign-off on the design, and before the designer submits the files for artwork to the printer.

Training

We welcome opportunities to share our knowledge and experience with others at the Smith School. We can help you give an expert interview, engage with social media, or write more effective copy. We can also show you why some layouts get noticed – and why others don’t. Contact us to set up a training session for yourself or your department.