Seven tips for publicizing your work through the Office of Communications

John Sanford, managing editor of the Stanford Medicine News, shown at a weekly communications strategy meeting.

Photo: Kris Newby 

Stanford Medicine’s Office of Communications has an award-winning team of science writers, social media experts and media-relations specialists that can help promote your discoveries, ongoing projects, notable accomplishments and patient stories. Their work is overseen by Priya Singh, chief strategy officer and senior associate dean, and Michiko Tanabe, chief marketing officer.

The staff supports both basic and clinical researchers at the School of Medicine and Stanford Health Care, primarily by creating and publishing mainstream content based on your work, sharing it on the school and Stanford Health Care’s websites and social media channels and, in some cases, pitching stories to outside journalists.

Here are some tips for making the most of these resources:

1. Notify the Office about pending publications as soon as possible

Send an email to the Office as soon as a journal accepts an article for publication. Include a short summary of the study’s key findings, the name of the journal and the expected publication date. To allow adequate time for story development, notify the Office two to four weeks ahead of publication. Writers can work with non-final drafts and the staff will make sure that stories aren’t released until the journal’s publication embargo is lifted.

2. Notify the Office about clinical stories and patient developments

The Office is always looking for compelling stories about Stanford Health Care. When you have information on a new or one-of-a-kind treatment offered here, an interesting patient story or other clinical development, please contact them right away so they can determine whether it warrants coverage.

3. Collect visual assets

Compelling visuals often entice more readers into reading about your work. Let the editors know if you have photos, videos or animations that can accompany a story to help readers better understand your research or clinical work.

4. Recognize there are many ways for the Office to share your work

After contacting the Office, a writer or editor will work with you to develop an optimal strategy for sharing your news with target audiences. This may include writing and distributing a media release and/or posting the news in our publications and social media channels. Among the external-facing publications and channels, which are overseen by Michelle Brandt, senior director of content strategy, are:

5. Contact the Office when a reporter or photographer calls

Our media relations experts, led by Julie Greicius, senior director of external communications, have years of experience working with outside reporters. They can provide counsel before you speak with a reporter, if desired, and can also assist in scheduling and securing location permissions, parking passes and patient-privacy releases for broadcast media. Note also that university policy requires the Office to approve any campus visits by TV crews and photographers. Your point-person for those visits is Margarita Gallardo, senior manager of media relations, at mjgallardo@stanford.edu or (650) 723-7897.

6. Consider writing a blog for Scope

Scope editors are always looking for interesting first-person pieces, typically 500 to 600 words long, that educate consumers on health issues or convey the experience of studying, researching or providing care at Stanford. To discuss potential ideas, contact Becky Bach, Scope editor, at retrout@stanford.edu.

7. Seek advice on special communications opportunities

The communications staff is also available for special projects, such as media training and advice on placing opinion pieces/editorials. To discuss your needs, contact Julie Greicius at jgreicius@stanford.edu.