Suggest a Story
Timing and deadlines
It is never too early to begin preparing to publicize a story. As soon as you have a firm date for an event, or a release date for a news story, get in touch with a News Service staff member. Two weeks’ notice is a good start. For a major event, it is best to begin early preparation.
Even if the date is not fixed, it is advisable to make the News Service aware of upcoming major events.
Gather the basics . . .
The following basic information is essential for the news staff to make a determination on how to work with you to pursue coverage. If possible, have all this information ready before your initial contact with the News Service. To get started, for both news stories and events it is advisable to follow the classic journalism rule of answering the questions: who, what, where, when, why and how.
For a news story
- Who is involved. Who won the award, gave the donation, will make the speech, is organizing the rally, etc. Noteworthy information about the main participants should be included. For major events, brief biographies of key participants are useful — accomplishments, positions held, publications, etc.
- What is the nature of the news story or event. Concert, newly appointed professor, award, donation, etc.
- Where the news or event is taking place (a rally in the Quad; a talk in Kresge; an award in Stockholm). Give specific addresses when possible.
- When will the news/event take place — time, day, date, year
- Why the story/event is newsworthy. What is the purpose of the donation, the nature of the award, the reason for the rally. What distinguishes the story/event from others like it, or makes it unique.
- How was the decision made, the candidate chosen, the work of art completed, etc.
In addition, it is necessary to know:
Whether any illustrative items are available, such as a book cover, poster, promotional materials, photographs, etc. and day and night contact phone numbers and e-mail addresses for sponsors.
If your story involves an event, some additional information is required:
Title of event, if there is one.
- Sponsoring group(s) or individual(s).
- Whether event is open to the public. We generally feature events only if they are open to the campuswide community.
- Whether tickets are required; where and when available, and prices.
- Any other charges.
- Whether it is necessary to register — if so, how, where and deadlines.
- Whether publicity photos are available.
- How to obtain more information.
You are also encouraged to post your event on the Stanford Event Calendar.
To report the death of a faculty member, staff member, student, emeritus individual or other Stanford official, please call the News Service immediately. If possible, provide the information listed below.
The News Service will send the obituary out as a press release to local, national and international press as warranted. Newspapers make their own decisions on whether to print obituaries, but the News Service will assist in bringing obituaries to the attention of the appropriate editors.
- Full name
- Date of birth and age (make sure they agree)
- Birthplace: city, state, country
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Cause of death
- Current place of residence
- Education — where, what degrees
- Employment history
- Connection to Stanford
- Special contributions, activities, particularly related to Stanford
- Contact names and numbers for individuals who may comment or provide information, especially about exceptional contributions.
- Survivors and their cities of residence (spouse, partner, children, sisters, brothers, parents, number
- Services: time, date, place — if public
- Burial site, if any (graveside services, if any)
- Future memorial plans
- Where to make contributions — include address. Flowers or not?
- Photograph, or information on how to obtain one
- Special newspapers/publications to which the obituary should be mailed
Submit your story suggestion
Once you have the required basic information, complete this form to submit your story suggestion to the Stanford News Service:
For a story or event that involves the Medical School, Law School, Graduate School of Business, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the Hoover Institution or the Department of Athletics, you may wish to contact these offices directly. They all are staffed by experienced public relations professionals. If you are uncertain, contact the Stanford News Service and we will direct the information to the appropriate office.