Public Relations services
The Public Relations Office is part of the Communications and International Relations Division and is responsible for a wide range of central public relations activity. It co-ordinates and provides leadership for public relations across the academic Schools and Divisions. The Office provides a very wide range of services, as outlined below. If you are looking for latest University news pages, editions of the University newsletter - Cardiff News - or if you are a journalist seeking information you may wish to visit the News Centre.
Information for university staff: please see the sections below.
The Public Relations Office has good access to the news media and is responsible for preparing and distributing media releases on behalf of the University. It operates a sophisticated media database for targeting distribution of media releases and providing named contacts within the media.
Cardiff University's news pages, including news from the University, monitoring of published references to Cardiff University in the media, the University newsletter and links to UK and world news services are located in the News Centre.
The Public Relations Office welcomes information from Schools about potentially newsworthy items such as staff achievements, developments in research and teaching, and School events. Providing the Office with early notice of items and comprehensive information facilitates more effective handling of publicity.
City and Regional Planning
Karen O'Shea & Catrin Palfrey
Computer Science & Informatics
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Emma Darling & Chris Jones
English, Communication & Philosophy
History, Archaeology & Religion
Victoria Dando & Emma Darling
Centre for Lifelong Learning
Nursing and Midwifery
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Physics & Astronomy
Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
Full contact details for the PR team can be found here.
In addition to providing news of University-wide achievements and aspirations, media releases concerning research and teaching projects, staff and student successes and awards, visits, events and the "off-beat" often provide useful promotional opportunities for Schools, especially when accompanied by an interesting photograph or early notification of a photo-opportunity.
In the first instance staff should provide comprehensive information to the Public Relations Office. When drafted, media releases are sent to information providers to ensure factual accuracy and a distribution list is agreed with them prior to distribution by the Public Relations Office. A copy of the media release is sent to the Head of School for prior approval when considered appropriate. Subsequently, copies of cuttings emanating from the media release and an evaluation form to enable information providers to comment on the service are sent to information providers. Media releases are also published on the University's website in the News Centre.
Providing comment to the media
Public Relations Office:
The Public Relations Office deals with more than 500 media enquiries per year and provides a central University contact point for media enquiries. In addition to generating publicity, this central facility also helps to protect the reputation of the University through the provision of informed, authoritative and timely statements and comment to the media, particularly on contentious or sector-wide issues. It is the responsibility of the Public Relations Office, in partnership with the senior officers and Heads of School when appropriate, to provide comment and information on behalf of the University, particularly with reference to University policies. Requests for information or questions concerning such policies should be referred to the Public Relations Office, as described below in media protocols. The Security Centre (029 208 74444) keeps out-of-hours numbers for the Public Relations Office.
Print and broadcast journalists frequently seek expert comment from members of the academic staff. Being quoted in the media in this way also helps to build the reputation and raise the profile of individual members of staff, their Schools and the University. To facilitate this relationship the Public Relations Office produces a Directory of Expertise which lists members of staff at the University who have expressed a willingness to provide comment to the media on topics related to their fields of expertise. This directory is also available on the University's web which also enables staff to join the directory. Good practice advice on dealing with the media is available from the Public Relations Office. In particular, it is important that staff comment or opinion is seen to be personal opinion and not misinterpreted as official University policy or comment, as indicated in media protocols.
An ISDN line is available in the University to provide Radio quality sound for staff when invited to talk to the media "down the line". In addition to being of benefit when speaking to the UK and international media, the facility also saves staff the time taken to travel to the local radio stations. The facility is provided, in collaboration with the Centre for Journalism Studies in Studio 4, Ground Floor South (left down the stairs upon entry), Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue. Please contact Colin Larcombe (029 208 76279). It is appreciated that short notice is a characteristic of such interviews but please give as much notice as is possible. Please inform the Public Relations Office of your use of this facility and we will meet the cost.
The Public Relations Office is able to give advice to staff on all aspects of media interviews and media relations, and contributes - with the Centre for Journalism Studies and with the Personnel Division - to providing a staff training option on this topic.
University public relations protocols and policies
In order that public relations and media liaison is co-ordinated in the interests of the entire University, they are supported by the following policies and protocols which all staff should adhere to.
- Statements on behalf of the University are made by the Public Relations Office on behalf of or directly by the Vice-Chancellor or his nominees.
- When providing comment to the media on contentious issues, particularly ones concerning the higher education sector, staff should indicate that their comment, opinion, or analysis is their personal/professional opinion and does not necessarily represent the University policy or position. This is consistent with, for example, the disclaimer in Cardiff News, the University's newsletter. This should be referred to specifically in such media articles providing comment on contentious issues which appear under the name and title of the member of staff.
- TV, radio and web broadcast items are not monitored and staff are invited to inform the office of such interviews or other media involvement which may otherwise not be featured in news digests, publications and other promotional activity. This will help evaluate the effectiveness of media relations activity.
- The Public Relations Office should be informed of requests for news media filming on University premises, for which permission is generally granted. Note that the use of the University as a venue for non-news location filming is a commercial matter dealt with by commercial contract. Requests for such filming should be directed to the Public Relations Office which liaises with Estates Division on such matters.
- The Public Relations Office provides comment to gair rhydd on behalf of the University and central administration in collaboration with colleagues. Responses to staff to comment on articles in gair rhydd should be made in collaboration with the Public Relations Office.
- Invitations to VIPs, including the Royalty, the University President, senior politicians and senior civil servants, are generally issued by the Vice-Chancellor's office, to ensure effective co-ordination. Please contact the Public Relations Office in the first instance.
- There is a University procedure for the proposal and consideration of names for buildings and lecture theatres; please contact the Public Relations Office in the first instance. Similarly, proposals to mount commemorative plaques in the University should also be referred to the Public Relations Office in the first instance.
- Information regarding the use of the Cardiff University logo can be accessed here. Please contact the Public Relations Office if you have further visual identity queries.
Items concerning Cardiff University:
A wide range of national and regional newspapers and magazines and internet news sources are monitored for use of media releases and other references to Cardiff University. A digest of news items is provided online in the Latest news section. The Public Relations officers also produce and distribute a daily media summary detailing news of interest from within the University and locally. Please email a member of the team if you wish to be added to the list.
Public Relations Events
In addition to the regular calendar of University events, there may be other occasions throughout the year which provide an opportunity to raise the profile of a School and the University via a public relations event. A distinctive element of such events is their use to bring guests to the University. Every aspect of such events, from the initial invitation to follow-up correspondence, provides an opportunity to establish or strengthen relations with stakeholders. The opening of premises, the start-up of new sections, research centres etc, visits from high profile individuals, major honours and awards, and public talks and presentations on popular themes are all instances which can be utilised for effective public relations.
In addition to supporting the organisation of pan-University events such as VIP visits, science festivals, concerts, etc. the Public Relations Office is able to provide support and advice to Schools in relation to their public relations events.
Cardiff News is the University newsletter which is distributed to all staff and to a large number of external stakeholders. It helps build the reputation of the University by highlighting many individual and institutional successes. There are ten issues a year produced during Semester time. Each issue contains the deadline dates for the next issue. Items and suggestions are welcomed and should be sent to the Public Relations Office or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To be added to the Cardiff News distribution list please email Jill Willmott-Doran or view the interactive version here.
Events at Cardiff University
This is a listing of talks, exhibitions and other events taking place in the University, which are open to external visitors and to staff from throughout the University. A few events are highlighted at the back of Cardiff News and a more regularly updated version is available on the web. If you would like an event publicised on the events calendar online please email full details to email@example.com.
Annual Reports ('Annual Review')
The University Annual Report, entitled Annual Review, is produced by the Public Relations Office with assistance from colleagues in many Divisions. It is presently produced for distribution to coincide with University Court, which takes place in March each year. A sister publication, Publications Grants and Statistics is also produced annually. School annual reports are also of value in contributing to building the reputation of Schools. Advice and support in producing and distributing School annual reports is available from the Public Relations Office.
A wide range of University "branded" promotional goods is available from the Alumni Relations Office and from the Students' Union shop. The Cardiff University logo and the Coat of Arms are both registered and protected marks of the University. The University Christmas card is produced in November each year for sale to Schools/Divisions, staff and students. Graphic Services is able to provide such cards customised to the needs of Schools; contact: Steve Garratt. A variety of e-cards are also available here, enabling staff and students to send a free online greeting.
Commercial promotions communicated to staff/students
The University is occasionally approached by commercial organisations wishing to offer their products or services to Cardiff University staff/students. This sometimes involves a discounted offer for staff/students. A fee or other benefit may, or may not, be offered to the University for agreeing to distribute/communicate the promotion.
Advice on such promotions is available from the Public Relations Office and from the Purchasing Section.