The University of Texas at Austin Marketing and Communications

Communications Workshop


Media Relations and Marketing Communications Workshop 2023

Thursday, August 10, 2023

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The Media Relations and Marketing Communications Workshop is an in-house professional development symposium organized by University Marketing and Communications that will cover a variety of topics that UT communicators should find valuable. We will cover communication-strategy planning, marketing and branding, media relations and more.

When and Where

Thursday, August 10, 2023
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All workshops will be held online



Keynote: Open Inquiry and the Mission of the University

9 – 10 a.m.

In November 2022, the UT System Board of Regents adopted the Chicago Statement on Free Speech, affirming the University’s commitment to “free and open inquiry in all matters.” This commitment flows from the nature of a university as a truth-seeking institution. In this session, we will discuss the norms of open inquiry that flow from the mission of a university, U.S. constitutional jurisprudence on free speech, current challenges to the cultivation of a campus culture of open inquiry, and ways to facilitate communication across difference.

Track: Media relations

The Psychology of Convincing Your Faculty and Dean to Speak to the Media

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The expectations to build your department/program/unit’s brand and increase awareness of its offerings through media relations require the buy-in of and participation from faculty and leadership. Yet faculty and deans/directors can bristle at the idea of engaging in media relations efforts. Presenter Teresa Valerio Parrot, principal at TVP Communications, has cracked the code for what works when proposing the concepts of sharing expertise and placing thought leadership pieces to academics and administrators. She’ll share how to serve as an armchair psychologist to unpack their previous media experiences (good and bad); address their fears; build trust, buy-in and cooperation; and provide tips for packaging opportunities that resonate with your experts and show results with key audiences.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Apply a little bit of psychology to increase media participation;
  • Identify and personalize opportunities for buy-in;
  • Train faculty and administrators for brand ambassador roles, thought leadership opportunities, participation in internal communications, and social media initiatives;
  • Report successes to faculty to encourage further participation.

You Scored a Great Placement, Now What? How to Build Out Expert Profiles

3 – 4 p.m.

While it takes a lot of work to earn solid media placements, the reality is your job has only begun once the clip is available if you want to get maximum exposure from it. Your goal should be to share widely so that your experts are top of mind for reporters and for opportunities that advance their careers and the reputation of your department/program/unit. In this session, learn how to take the placements you’ve earned and use them to build and round out the ways in which you highlight the work of your faculty. Teresa Valerio Parrot will show how to share and repurpose content to build expert profiles:

  • On your own website and through internal communications channels.
  • Through creation of an experts guide.
  • On social media for maximum reads/views, shares and clicks.
  • With aggregators, lists and sharing platforms.
  • With associations, scholarship-based organizations and groups that matter for your faculty.
  • By assisting faculty as they build out their own social media presences.

Track: Social Media

Creating Community Online & Setting Forum Guidelines

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

UT’s Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Vice President Amanda Cochran-McCall and Associate Vice President Joseph D. Hughes will discuss best practices for protecting First amendment Rights in university online forums.

Tools and Tactics to Try on Social Media

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Nick and Orlan from the UMAC social media team will discuss tools, tactics and formats to more effectively share your stories online.

Track: BRAND

Communications & Marketing in the Age of AI

1 – 2 p.m.

With the recent surge in popularity of ChatGPT & Dall-E, artificial intelligence is a topic that constantly appears in our daily conversations – should we embrace it? Should we fear it? Will it eventually replace creative jobs, or does it have the potential to push us further?

Brand Guides and Creativity

3 – 4 p.m.

The concept is key.

When working within brand standards, designers can feel like they are limited. This workshop will explore the creative side of designing within brand standards and how they can free your mind to concentrate on messaging, concept and identifying with your target audience.