IU Communications works to place IU School of Medicine stories in local, regional, and national news media outlets. We also provide media training. Working with the media? Request a media training session.

Media Placement Guidelines

Significant basic or clinical research that is to be published in a journal, presented at a professional meeting or has received national funding:

  • Note: News releases of this nature usually need multi-party approval.
  • Time needed: 15 working days before media release date Elements needed: interviews, writing and editing, approval by the investigator/author, sponsor or funding organization, story placement.

    Interview & writing: five working days
    Editing & approval: five working days
    Release & placement: five working days

REMINDER: When "selling" breakthroughs or programs to media, we compete with other universities, hospitals and research institutions which also begin media placements two or three weeks before embargo date.

News about a School of Medicine program, clinical trial or patient:

  • Promotion of new clinical program
  • Patient recruitment for trials
  • Unique patient story with human interest angle
  • Time needed: 10 working days for interviews, writing, approvals and placement
  • Note: These news releases may require approval by faculty member and patient.

When we receive late notification, the following can be done:

  • A news alert or copy of journal article faxed to select media depending on availability of faculty
  • A limited number of pitches by telephone to state and national reporters

*REMINDER: Your and your patients' availability influence our time lines as do the commitments already made to other faculty projects by Media Relations staff.

The best way we can encourange reporters to call our experts is for you to tell us which areas or subject matter you are comfortable talking about with media and by informing us of upcoming news items.

Media Overview

Medical news is most likely to be considered breaking news by the news media when they determine that it is of great interest to the majority of their viewers and readers.

What is breaking news?

  • Public health related events such as the outbreak of an infectious disease
  • Ethical dilemmas that challenge commonly accepted social guidelines on issues such as death and dying or withholding medical treatment

Editors and producers, not reporters, determine coverage based on their criteria:

  • Competition, agenda, schedule and format

Certain publications drive what health and medical issues are covered each week:

  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Science

All three promote articles in news releases placed in advance with media. Medical reporters tend to cover these every week. While we try to get a local angle on the top stories, we only have one or two days notice to contact you requesting interviews. If you know of important research about to be published, please let us know. If you or a colleague can provide commentary to the media, we can identify IUSM as a resource in medicine and medical research for Indiana media.

News Facts We Face

  • We compete with breaking stories from other institutions placed in advance.
  • We compete with breaking news happening daily of which no one has control.
  • The top reporters who usually cover breaking medical news are many times the top health reporters; they are unavailable without long-range planning.
  • Reporters generally are not interested in announcements of papers presented at meetings, appointments to panels or professional societies, or promotions.
  • In most instances, reporters want a response on the same day of their request.
  • The less time the reporter has to gather information and write a story, the more likely he or she will make mistakes.
  • Without advance notice, the media outlet may use a wire story without introducing the local expert or the local angle.

Your Identity

It is important that you provide your School of Medicine identification to a reporter. If you serve two institutions simultaneously, such as the Regenstrief Institute or Walther Cancer Institute, you must provide both of your affiliations. Since you are the one talking to the reporter, it is up to you to insist that you be identified correctly.

Additional Outlets for Your News

  • Indiana University Medicine, the School's quarterly magazine to alumni and friends
  • Scope, the School's biweekly internal newsletter to faculty and staff
  • Community relations programs such as Mini Medical School
  • White papers and position papers
  • Newspaper and magazine editorials
  • Web site and associated web sites (Indiana University, Clarian)
  • Faculty experts book

The IU Communications understands the demands on your time and your concerns about media and publicity. We are here to provide the support you may need when you release a major paper, face complicated or unpleasant situations, or must deal with other potentially public situations.