What is the Role of Research Communications?
The Research Communications team is responsible for the overall communications strategy for OVPR and for ensuring content distributed by our office aligns with messaging and branding standards. We are gatekeepers by design and direction, and the reputation of OVPR is one of our primary responsibilities.
Staff members who work in central OVPR offices (OSP, ORSC, RD, RIT, Financial/HR) must submit the following items to the Research Communications team for review or approval:
- Responses to the news media – ALL external media requests must be vetted by Research Communications before agreeing to provide information or a statement or participate in an interview.
- Content for audiences external to UT Austin
- All email communications distributed to UT Austin PIs via Emma and any email communications to UT Austin staff, students and/or faculty announcing new programs or changes to policy/guidance
- New web pages or microsites (Communications team approval is not needed for updating existing webpages, such as dates, timelines, contact information, etc.)
- Use of the TEXAS Research logo
- Requests for new logos
Collaborating with Research Communications
The Research Communications team is here to help with content development and support. To get started, fill out our support request form. This form will direct you to select the kind of communications services you need (writing, copyediting, photography etc.), provide deadlines, a primary point of contact, and additional information. Once you submit a request, a member of our communications team will contact you ASAP to gather additional information. If we cannot take on your request, we will do our best to provide alternative solutions or direct you to other resources.
What services does Research Communications provide?
We can create content for news releases, feature stories, newsletters and events. Requests for writing support should be made at least two weeks in advance of the desired publish date. When submitting your request be prepared to include the following:
- What is the intended purpose of the content?
- Who are the target audiences?
- Do you have specific goals? (for example, raising awareness/recruitment/funding/media interest/and/or documenting the event?)
- If applicable, where will the content live? Is it evergreen or time-specific? Can the content be re-purposed for multiple media platforms?
We provide copyediting for written content such as newsletters, websites and e-communications/emails. Requests for copyediting should be made at least one week in advance of the desired distribution date.* Content longer than 1000 words will require more advanced notice. Finalized, formatted content complete with relevant hyperlinks and the email subject should be submitted. The communications team will provide a maximum of two rounds of editing/feedback.
* A note about the copyediting deadline: Extenuating circumstances may prevent you from providing content within the requested timeframes. Research Communications will always make every effort to provide support in these cases. However, if we are unable to meet your deadline, content owners may decide to move forward with distribution without Research Communications’ approval.
- Website content management
We provide support in the creation of new web pages or microsites. Requests for web content should be submitted at least two months in advance of the date the site needs to go live. Please provide a brief justification for the webpage or microsite. Requests to make minor updates to existing web pages are handled by Research IT and can be submitted through Research IT Help.
- Principal Investigator (PI) Informational Email Distribution
Research Communications has authority to send emails for event announcements, policy updates, etc. to all PIs at UT Austin. This list is maintained by UT Austin and updated automatically on a daily basis. To ensure PIs aren’t being inundated with emails, please send distribution requests at least one week in advance of desired distribution date so that the emails can be scheduled. Research Communications will copyedit all emails prior to distribution.
- Social media
The Research Communications team manages the OVPR Twitter and LinkedIn channels and provides social media support for Bridging Barriers. Advanced notice for requests is required so we can build the posts, get necessary approvals, and find the best time to schedule into our editorial calendar. Please see additional guidance here.
Research Communications manages a photo library that can be utilized by all OVPR offices. The OVPR Image + Video Bank is a UT Box folder created to become a comprehensive library of images, graphics and videos relevant to the OVPR and Texas Research, including relevant logos and faculty and staff profile pictures. All OVPR staff members can request permission to view and download content. All content in the Image + Video Bank is approved for use in OVPR-related communications.
Research Communications also has access to Image Relay, a digital asset system managed by University Marketing & Communications. The platform has thousands of high-quality, searchable, UT photos that are available for download to use on websites and other communications needs. Use the support request form to ask for assistance in identifying relevant photos.
We support the creation of photography for events and communications. Use the support request form to submit your request. If possible, our team will provide this service at no cost or put you in touch with a professional on the university’s approved vendors list with applicable rates.
Faculty or staff members whose photos will be published on social media, websites or newsletters must have a photo release form on file with the OVPR Events team.
- Logo guidance
Official OVPR logos are located in this box folder. Please complete a support request form to request new logos, edits to existing logos, or access to logos not in this folder. Research Communications will coordinate with University Marketing & Communications.
- Graphic design and videography
On an as-needed basis, Research Communications can provide bespoke graphics and videography. Please use the support request form to request a meeting to discuss your needs and our team will work with you to find a solution.
- Media relations and communications consultations
If you’re unsure about what services you need, or your project requires multiple services, please use the support request form to let us know you’d like to schedule a time to discuss your media relations and/or communications needs.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.