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Publicizing Your CURA Project: Gaining Visibility for Your Efforts, and for CURA

WHY should I publicize my project?

When your project receives public notice in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter or other media outlet, it gets visibility that gives a boost to all the project partners:

  • As a student or faculty member, you get a nice record of your work to add to your professional portfolio
  • As a community organization, you draw attention to your work and can thus increase community support for and involvement in it
  • As the umbrella organization sponsoring and facilitating the project, CURA gets an illustration of the impact our programs have on communities, which helps us raise the funds and increase the goodwill we need to continue our work!

WHEN should I seek publicity for the project?

During the course of your project, several events will likely occur that might be especially “newsworthy” and offer a good opportunity to effectively get your audience’s attention. These may include:

  • The project’s kickoff (example headline: “Community Group to Study Important Issue with U of M Assistance”; in this kind of story, you’ll want to mention when people can expect to see the results)
  • When you’re seeking input from the community, through surveys, town meetings, focus groups, etc.
  • When a major event related to the project is about to occur (either an event you are planning, or another event in the community that ties into the same issue you’re working on)
  • When the research findings are to be presented to the community
  • When the issue your project addresses is especially timely or “hot” and is already getting media coverage
  • After the project is complete, when it results in significant outcomes such as additional funds being raised for ongoing work, a shift in public policy on the issue, the development of a new program or policy, etc.

HOW should I publicize the project?

A wide variety of communication tools and strategies exist for getting the story of your work out to audiences that matter to you. Some of these include:

  • Stories in your newsletter and those of your partners and supporters
  • Press releases and articles in your local newspapers (don’t forget PICTURES—see below)
  • Frequent updates on your organization’s website, and those of your partners and supporters
  • Articles in various University of Minnesota publications
  • Local radio or television coverage
  • Promotional or educational videotapes about your project

To acknowledge the support CURA is providing for your project, we ask that the following statement appear in all published reports, web pages, press releases, or other publicity pertaining to this project:

This project was supported [in part] through student research assistance provided by_____ [specify the CURA program that supported your project—Neighborhood Partnerships for Community Research, the Community Assistantship Program, Communiversity, or Northside Seed Grant], a program of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)."

WHAT if I need help in my publicity efforts?

CURA's communications staff can help you in your efforts to publicize your project, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop materials, coordinate releases, and think creatively about public relations. Some of the ways we can help include:

  • Drafting press releases or articles based on information you provide about the project and, where appropriate, interviews of key people involved or interested in the project
  • Identifying media outlets that might have a special interest in your project and a willingness to publish a story about it
  • Connecting you with resources to help you in your own public relations efforts
  • Helping you select and format photographs you have taken that illustrate your project and will be powerful accompaniments to your stories, or, in some cases, arranging for a photographer to come to your community and document your work
  • Coordinating our publicity efforts with yours for maximum impact

To discuss these or any other ideas related to publicizing your project, please contact CURA’s Communications Coordinator, Mike Greco, at curaweb@umn.edu or 612-625-7501.

From everyone at CURA, thank you for your help and best wishes for the success of your project