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Office of Marketing and Communications
Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

local: (727) 864-7979
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
fax: (727) 864-8423

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Office of Marketing & Communications

Office of Marketing & Communications

Media Relations/Publicity

Media Relations

We are responsible for managing communication between Eckerd and various media outlets to obtain optimum media coverage for the College. Considering that 80 percent of our students hail from somewhere other than Florida and that our alumni are scattered all over the world, it is to the College's advantage to appear in national and global news placements that will reach prospective students and families, graduates and friends everywhere.

Our liaison role with the media is two-fold: 1) we push information out to local, regional and national media sources and journalists to keep them apprised of the most compelling stories at Eckerd; and, 2) we guide media sources and reporters to the appropriate person(s) on campus who can provide them with firsthand knowledge of the topic or issue in question.

We are successful in placing stories locally and nationally because of the willingness and continued cooperation of our administration, faculty, staff and students to speak with media sources and reporters. Learn more below about how we work with members of the media.

Who do I contact?

Contact Director of Community and Media Relations Alizza Punzalan-Randle to discuss your potential news story and/or college-sponsored event. She will help identify the best target audience(s) for your story and/or event as well as a timeline for the project. Writers, reporters and community calendars have varying deadlines, so contacting us more than 3 weeks in advance of your event is preferable.

How do you share information about the College with the media?

We communicate with local, regional and national outlets via press releases, Eckerd's online News Center, pitches to select reporters and editors, op-eds, hometown news releases and/or event calendars (monthly releases distributed to print, broadcast and online news outlets in the region for consideration in community events calendars).

What if someone from the media contacts me directly?

Unless one has experience speaking to the media, the first interaction can take one by surprise. Please wait to respond to the reporter/editor and contact us immediately so that we can help strategize a response with you.

How quickly do I need to respond to a media inquiry?

The media may throw a wide net when seeking expertise and/or commentary on a topic. They also work on tight deadlines. A delayed response may result in the reporter turning to another source for its information. To ensure a smooth relationship with media sources and reporters, we appreciate your cooperation with working with us to respond quickly and accurately.

I have a great idea for a news story. Should I contact the media directly?

We work diligently to maintain our relationships with media sources and reporters by serving as the College's official liaison and clearinghouse to all media – local, regional and national. A major advantage to this approach is monitoring the number of 'touch points' Eckerd has had with a particular media outlet about topics, people and programs. However, if you have a personal relationship with a member of the news media and you are comfortable with sharing their contact information with us, we will gladly add them to our media contact list and work with you on the best way to communicate with that person.

How do I submit a news story?

Do you know a student, a graduate, a professor or a colleague who is doing something newsworthy? Is it you? We want to know about it. Please use the form below to suggest stories that the Office of Marketing and Communications and the entire Eckerd community should know about.

  • Name of newsworthy person/program, graduation year, or title
  • The full story
  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Your phone number

Publicity Planning

We work with members of the Eckerd College community on promoting public events, accomplishments, activities and publications in one or more of the following ways:

  • News stories and announcements produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications are considered for inclusion in the 'Campus News' section of Eckerd's online News Center.
  • All news and events are included in Inside Eckerd, a bi-weekly e-newsletter full of news and information about what is happening at Eckerd College. Inside Eckerd is distributed by the Office of Marketing and Communications and sent to 3,100+ members of the Eckerd community. Members of the public are welcome to subscribe to Eckerd's Inside Eckerd mailing list.
  • If a speaker's topic/presentation is relevant to the annual Presidential Events Series, the event will be included in a special print brochure distributed at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters to 10,000+ friends of the College. This information is due to our office on August 5 and January 5.
  • If designated as a College Program Series (CPS) event (which must be approved by Associate Dean and Professor of Psychology Marjorie Sanfilippo), the event will be included in the printed/electronic CPS brochure that is distributed at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
  • All events that are open to the public are listed in Eckerd's online public events calendar, Events@Eckerd.
  • All events that are open to the public are listed in the monthly calendar of events release sent to numerous community events calendars in the Tampa Bay region.
  • Current members of the Eckerd community with a valid Eckerd e-mail address are highly encouraged to self-promote their on-campus events via the campus-events@lists.eckerd.edu e-mail alias. Your e-mail will reach all current Eckerd faculty, staff, students and ASPEC members and eliminate the step to send separate e-mails to each audience. This alias is moderated by the office of Marketing and Communications.
  • We recommend that you use other campus vehicles to help increase attendance at your event. Some ideas include asking faculty members in advance to designate your event as an 'extra credit' event; sending your event information to The Flush (over-sized weekly flier produced by Campus Activities); and, creating self-produced fliers/posters to post around campus and in dorms.
  • We encourage the Eckerd community to reference the Events@Eckerd public events calendar for advance planning.

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