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Media Relations

Strategic Initiatives partners with UCR's University Communications Office to provide comprehensive communications and media relations services to School of Medicine faculty, students and staff.


Press Releases

Press releases are intended to promote a story to the media that may warrant regional or national attention and are distributed through University Communications (UComm). The public information officer (PIO) who covers the School of Medicine is Iqbal Pittalwala, who can be reached by phone at (951) 827-6050 or by email at iqbal.pittalwala@ucr.edu. Strategic Initiatives teams with UComm to ensure comprehensive coverage of the School of Medicine

Subjects for press releases can include, but are not limited to:

  • Announcements of the publication of a noteworthy scholarly paper.
  • Announcements of upcoming events.
  • Significant achievements by an individual or organization, including receipt of awards.
  • To promote an individual with quotable knowledge on a trending, newsworthy topic.

Faculty members who are seeking a press release on their scholarly paper should contact the PIO as early as possible in the process to ensure there is enough time to write a story that can be released upon publication. Failure to contact the PIO in a timely manner may result in a press release not meeting the publication deadline or not being sent out at all.

For event press releases, the PIO should be contacted at least four weeks before the event.

UComm reserves the right to decline to write press releases for subjects that are not deemed newsworthy.

Media Opportunities

UCR regularly receives requests from the media seeking individuals who can share their expertise on trending or noteworthy subjects. These requests often have a short window of opportunity. Therefore, prompt follow-up to these sorts of requests is critical, even if the answer is "no."

Experts on Demand

If you have expertise in a specific subject area that might be of interest to a media member, we can increase the chance of them finding you by adding your information to the Experts on Demand database. This list of experts can be searched by media directly and is used by our media relations team to quickly find experts in response to fast breaking media requests. In addition to areas of expertise, you can also cite your preferences regarding the types of interviews you are willing to do, e.g. television, radio, or print.

To be added to the Experts on Demand database, please contact Iqbal Pittalwala in UCOMM or Ross French in Strategic Initiatives.

Opinion Pieces

Opinion pieces, either at an online outlet such as the Huffington Post or in a traditional newspaper, are a great opportunity to discuss important issues in a public forum. Opinion pieces are usually between 500-700 words and address a particular important topic. Strategic Initiatives will work with Strategic Communications to help you craft your piece and pitch it to the best outlets. Contact Ross French in Strategic Initiatives for more information.

Media Training

Our team has many years of experience interacting with the media and is happy to provide individualized guidance and media training to faculty, students and staff in advance of interviews. For more information, contact Ross French.