UVI Public Relations Handbook
The UVI Public Relations Office At Your Service
The Public Relations Office helps the University effectively fulfill its mission to serve the people
of the Virgin Islands, wider Caribbean and the U.S. mainland through its teaching, research and
public service activities.
This publication is designed to help our internal stakeholders form a strong alliance with the
Public Relations Office to coordinate our efforts and present an organized, consistent,
professional approach to media contact and promotion of the University's mission and
We refer to the UVI Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni as the primary
stakeholders. Our donors, the at-large public, retirees and parents are our secondary
stakeholders. Stakeholders, clearly, are people who have a relationship with or interest in the
success of the University of the Virgin Islands.
The first step in that alliance with your Public Relations Office is to involve us, keep us
informed and utilize our services appropriately in the advancement of UVI's reputation.
Help Us to Help You:
Coordinate all press conferences with the Public Relations Office
Provide the Public Relations Office with drafts of press releases before they are sent to
Please advise the Public Relations Office of any media appearances or interviews that
have been arranged so that we can provide other pertinent information about the
University that can be shared with the public. Please let us know when you have made
statements to the press about your projects or research and if you are working with the
media on news or feature stories. If approached by the media, please refer them to the
All non-academic UVI publications and/or promotional materials for dissemination must
be approved by Public Relations.
Forward copies to the Public Relations Office of all letters to the editor, flyers, posters
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Any taping of UVI activities for media purposes must be coordinated through the Public
All special events must be coordinated with the assistance of the Special Events
Coordinator within the Institutional Advancement component.
Send all event information to email@example.com, for inclusion as part of the electronic UVI
announcements on the UVI home page.
All media information / promotional material pertaining to UVI programs, services,
personnel, faculty, students, campus activities and special events should be released
through the Public Relations Office (PRO).
Units within the Research and Public Service component, the Reichhold Center for the Arts,
Athletics and Humanities Divisions have more direct media contact because of the nature and
volume of their work or the frequency of recurring messages. They collaborate with the Public
Relations Office, follow established PR guidelines and copy us on any information they forward
to the media.
In some cases, UVI personnel may have standing professional or personal relationships with
reporters, photographers or media personalities. In such instances, NOTIFY THE PUBLIC
RELATIONS OFFICE BEFORE ASKING THE MEDIA TO COVER OR REPORT ON AN
EVENT, so that marketing and image enhancement can be well coordinated. It is
counterproductive to have more than one person calling the press for the same reason without
knowledge of the other.
A press release is the most immediate way to get information through the media to the
community. Need to send a release? Here's how to do it:
1. CALL PUBLIC RELATIONS and let us know....
Lead time for HARD NEWS is ONE WEEK. This means the Public Relations Office should
have a draft in the office at least 10 days before the activity or event. The lead time for SOFT
and FEATURE NEWS is more FLEXIBLE. Public Relations will decide the best time to release
your story-within at least two weeks after submission.
Consider whether your issue is REALLY news. Discuss your idea with the Public Relations
Office and trust our professional opinion as to how best to approach the media.
Concerned about the way a story was handled? Call us. Please don't contact the media
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2.DRAFT YOUR RELEASE.
Include the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW about your subject in the first
paragraph. This is the most important information. In the next two or three paragraphs, include a
quote from a key person involved in the project or special event, and some interesting history
and background information about the subject.
Do NOT type press releases in all UPPER CASE letters. This practice annoys news editors and
makes capitalization a real chore on the receiving end. Upper and lower case is the accepted
format unless you are writing timed broadcast copy.
3. E-MAIL (firstname.lastname@example.org) / FAX IT to the Public Relations Office 693-1055
4. We'll take it from there. We'll edit your release to make sure it adheres to standard
journalistic style and gets the best promotional angle. Please remember that Public Relations can
get your information from UVI to the media in a timely manner but cannot guarantee when the
media will use it.
The PRO routinely faxes releases to all local media:
The V.I. Daily News The Avis Tradewinds (St. John)
The St. Thomas Source The St. Croix Source TV2
Channel 8 Channel 10 (V.I. Dept. Ed.) Channel 12 (PBS)
STT: WSTA (Lucky 13) Knight Quality Stations WGOD
STX: Isle 95/Mongoose WRRA WSTX
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs)
The Public Relations Office is available to assist you with the composition and placement of
public service announcements, broadcast copy, print display and paid advertising, posters and
flyers that get your message across. Call the office to make an appointment.
Word-of-mouth is an invaluable communication tool. Appearing on local talk shows ( and
speaking to civic organizations and church groups) is an excellent way to disseminate
information. Research shows that 50 percent of what we remember consists of what we see and
hear. Please advise the PRO of any planned appearances and we can help you prepare for them.
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GUIDELINES FOR UVI PUBLICATIONS
For purposes of quality control, the Public Relations Office will review all non-academic UVI
publications to ensure that they adhere to the above standardization guidelines. The Public
Relations Office will also be available to advise on editorial content.
The standard body type should be a 12-point serif font (Garamond, Bookman, Times New
Roman, et al).
All UVI publications must include the name," University of the Virgin Islands "and an approved
UVI logo (obtain on disk from the PRO).
Each publication must include an address, phone number, FAX number, e-mail address and, if
appropriate, a website URL (www.uvi.edu) for more information. The mailing address should be
either of the standard University addresses:
#2 John Brewer's Bay or RR02 Box 10,000
St. Thomas, VI 00802-9990 Kingshill, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00850
The telephone numbers should also be the standard St. Thomas telephone number (776-9200) or
St. Croix telephone number (778-1620) unless the document needs a specific contact number.
When specifics are required, include the contact information for the particular department.
The following information blurb must also appear on all publications and the homepage of UVI
websites regarding the university's accreditation:
The University of the Virgin Islands is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
19104, (215) 662-5606.
The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the
U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Post-secondary
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ORGANIZATION AFFILIATION STATEMENT:
"The University of the Virgin Islands is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of
the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. (The University is also an active member
of the American Association for Higher Education, the American Association of State Colleges
and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Association of Caribbean Information
Systems, the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes, the Association of
Governing Boards, the National Association for Equal Opportunity and the National Association
of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. UVI is a land-granted institution and the only
one of the 117 Historically Black Colleges and Universities outside of the continental United
States. The University of the Virgin Islands is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, Title IX,
Section 504, PL 101-542 educator and employer. "
ELECTRONIC INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
Newsrooms prefer electronically submitted news releases and photographs. In fact, releases sent
by e-mail are more likely to find their way into the newspaper because they don't have to be
retyped. All attempts should be made to save keystrokes. Text and photographs (JPEG or TIF
formats) should be sent by e-mail to the Public Relations Office with suggested captions.
When a representative of the University is on the radio, remember that he or she is being
simulcast on the Web.
Sign up for the "email@example.com" e-mail list to receive University-wide updates
WEB SITE...web pages http://www.uvi.edu
Only the pages that have (pub-relations) as part of the title are directly managed or able to be
updated by the Public Relations Office. Additionally, our office manages and determines the
primary and secondary 'links' on the site and where they are placed.
The Public Relations Office has oversight responsibility for the website, and works in
conjunction with the Information Technology Department, on issues relating to maintenance.
But as of this printing, the University website is actually comprised of several individual,
separate servers, managed by different people and departments. Technically, there is no 'one'
webmaster for the University, but rather several different people who manage both the physical
'server' (computer) and that department's web pages.
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An example of some of the separate servers that comprise UVI's website are: the library, human
resources, research and public service, the Reichhold Center for the Arts, the Caribbean Writer
(part of Research & Public Service) and the faculty pages. The closest we have to a webmaster
falls between the responsibilities of the public relations office and Info Tech.
Because there is no one web department, individual departments have been responsible for
building and maintaining their own web pages. The Public Relations Office must be given
access to pages accessed as part of the University's website.
The Public Relations Office is not responsible for creating web pages for departments, nor is it
staffed or funded for such work. There are any number of talented people (faculty, staff and
students) within the university who can be contacted as resources for this, either paid or
volunteer. There are also a number of web design companies, on-island and off, and private
freelancers who do this work. All that we ask is that the page design be loaded onto a compact
disc (CD) and forwarded to the Public Relations Office, so that we can maintain the page.
As part of the UVI Public Relations Office's oversight responsibility, we have the authority to
remove or refuse links to inappropriate pages and to require that pages containing damaging or
outdated information be changed or deleted. Please review the full WEB guidelines on the UVI
website at www.uvi.edu
The Special Events unit of the Institutional Advancement component should be informed of any
special event as far in advance as possible -- from your first inkling of the idea. This will ensure
that your event gets the best desired results.
A special event is an activity that does not occur on a regular basis, which is intended to
promote or provide information on a particular program or service, raise funds, or serve as a
vehicle for establishing a relationship between the host and a specific audience.
Special events are effective in soliciting community and/or fiscal support, in helping to change
attitude and behavior, and in calling a target audience to a planned action. They can also be
purely social. Special events include concerts, receptions, seminars, conferences, lectures, and a
myriad of other activities, depending upon the creativity of the coordinating group. Planning
times vary according to the event. For best results consult the guidelines below:
Event Planning Time
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Sports Event..................................................................................................... 1 year
Dinner/Dance................................................................................................... 6 m months
Reception........................................................................................................ 4 m months
CRISIS MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
When bad news happens, the press will be on your doorstep, literally.
Examples of crises include: An accident resulting in death or serious injury; the arrest of a
student, faculty member or administrator; a murder, rape, arson, assault or felony that occurs on
campus; a natural disaster.
It is important in times of crisis to follow a standard operating procedure to preserve institutional
1. Immediately forward crisis-related information to the Public Relation Office. This
includes what happened, when, where, to whom, who else is involved, institutional
liability (this may require legal consultation).
2. Immediately refer press calls to the Public Relations Office (in cases of crisis especially,
it is important to have a single source of information.) Stay calm and be courteous!!
Never say "No comment." Instead say, "I'll find out," "I don't know," "I'll look into
that," or "I can't say."
Want to Learn More About Marketing, Media Strategy and Image Enhancement?
... The Public Relations Office will be glad to provide your office with a short workshop explaining
the basics. Call for an appointment!
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RESOURCE REFERRAL LIST:
Videotaping Media Center ext. 1183
Event Setup Physical Plant ext. 1500
Photography Call the PRO (We will recommend someone). The Public
Relations Office takes photos for media and publication purposes
only. Departments desiring an archive may want to purchase a
camera to catalog events.
Media relations, press
Sports & Fitness Center
Public Relations Office ext 1057
Admin. Ext 1550; Box office 1559
Special Events Office ext. 1053
(This document is available online in searchable PDF format)
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