by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
Developing greater awareness is an important function of public relations. At Cedarville University, that means finding new ways of telling stories of academic excellence and Christian mission through the media.
The university will be able to better achieve this objective when it officially opens its first newsroom on campus this week. The facility, located in Centennial Library, will allow Cedarville to connect its stories and professors’ expertise more easily with local and national media.
“Advancing Cedarville's mission begins with building awareness,” said Dr. Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications. “We’re excited about this newsroom because we believe it will help us expand our reputation as a distinctively Christian university with rigorous academic programs. It will also allow us to engage our culture by speaking into many of today’s current events from a Biblical perspective.”
The newsroom is the result of consistent growth in media exposure at Cedarville University. Since 2012, Cedarville has seen a 492 percent increase in media exposure (156 stories in 2012 to 924 in 2017), with 153 faculty and staff participating in interviews resulting in a news story in 2016-17 compared to 49 in 2012.
Central to the growth in Cedarville’s media exposure are faculty and staff willing to interview on current and cultural events.
Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies, participated in 295 media interviews in 2016-17, while his colleague, Dr. Glen Duerr, associate professor of international studies, took part in 105 interviews. Dr. Patrick Oliver, associate professor of criminal justice, and Dr. Marc Clauson, professor of history and law, each conducted 52 interviews during the same period.
With the addition of a newsroom, Cedarville is poised to eclipse those numbers, as national media will have easy access to faculty and staff experts on multiple topics.
“This newsroom is designed to help us tell our story more fully, and to a larger audience,” said Mark D. Weinstein, executive director of public relations. “Cedarville University has seen a significant growth in exposure for its students, our academic programs, and ministries. Through this newsroom, I believe we will be able to communicate more news, and share more intentional content with media throughout the country.”
Though the project has taken months to complete, the process has gone smoothly thanks to support from several academic departments. Shawn Rifner, studio and technology manager for the communication department, and Mark Tucker, marketing and communications videographer, collaborated to research and purchase cameras, lights and a full editing suite – technology that allows any professor to go live with any TV station.
The newsroom will have two studio cameras, a green screen and other backdrops, studio lighting, a 14-channel recording mixer, a wireless microphone system and TVU ERA and LiveU 200E for streaming video. Cedarville is believed to be one of the first Christian colleges to have a newsroom for marketing and public relations purposes.
The space will also be used as a learning laboratory for communication students and will allow Cedarville’s marketing team to share content that can help with student recruitment and retention.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.