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News Visibility and Event Promotion at MICA

Overview, Policies, and Procedures

There are many, many great things happening at MICA every single day. The Communications Department works hard to ensure that programs, exhibitions, events, activities, and engaging human interest stories receive visibility appropriate for the scope and engaging nature of the item. It is very important to engage the Communications Department as early as possible to secure maximum impact.

Items of interest can be shared with communities both inside and external to the MICA campus in a variety of ways:

Earned Media

MICA pursues earned media opportunities based on a good faith assessment of a story's ability to generate mass interest. Pursuit of earned media opportunities is based almost in its entirety on the department's belief that the effort will result in a reasonable amount of interest from print and online publications and broadcast outlets. For events, it also is based on how far in advance Communications is made aware of the event. In a limited number of circumstances, the Communications department will disseminate press releases to selected media outlets based on that outlet's editorial interests. These are normally based on announcements, occurrences, or activities of a novel nature that the general public would quickly find compelling and interesting. In some cases, the department will suggest story ideas directly to a few specialty publications or writers that have a more focused target audience in a manner that does not warrant the creation or dissemination of a press release.

MICA's policy is that any direct media outreach about an institutionally funded or sanctioned activity or program, or one that affiliates itself with or purports to be administered under the jurisdiction of the College, must be coordinated with the Communications Department. It is much more effective to engage the department early in the process to analyze the potential for media appeal, design a media relations strategy, secure maximum visibility, and track outcomes.

For more information on working with Communications on a media relations strategy, click below:

Juxtapositions

MICA's official college magazine is Juxtapositions, published four times a year:

  • August-September edition
  • November-December edition
  • January-March edition
  • April-Summer edition

Juxtapostions's primary purpose is to demonstrate the impact of a MICA education. This is accomplished by presenting stories of interest to readers about MICA students, alumni, faculty, programs and achievements that either currently or have the potential to bring notoriety to the school and make a difference in society. Stories are often published in Juxtapostions that would be of extraordinary interest to students, graduates, and friends of the College, even if they would not be covered in mass media. Juxtapostions also highlights upcoming events.

For more on pitching a story idea or event for promotion in Juxtapostions, including deadlines for submission, please visit:

Earned Media/News Deadlines, Guidelines and Policies (PDF)

Promotions

Some activities, events, and exhibitions will not reasonably be expected to generate significant media interest. That does not mean, however, that they will not generate attendance and public interest, and every organizer has an understandable desire to generate awareness. Communications can help promote activities in a number of ways, including:

  • Inclusion on the fyi.mica.edu events calendar
  • Inclusion in the weekly FYI: This Week at MICA electronic newsletter
  • Inclusion in the monthly News Sketch electronic newsletter
  • Free development of an online landing page for the event, either through fyi.mica.edu, or, in special circumstances, through a page built by the Communications Department specifically for the event
  • Posting on event calendars in publications around the region (selected events)
  • Inclusion in Juxtapositions
  • Sharing via social media in MICA's Facebook and Twitter feeds

As a general policy, Communications supports promotion of events that are sponsored by the institution or departments, not individuals. For more information on promotions via FYI, visit FYI.MICA.EDU and FYI: This Week at MICA Procedures (PDF).

Paid Advertising

It is MICA's policy that all advertising featuring MICA's name or logo in any form is coordinated with, though not necessarily controlled, by the Communications Department which must approve any final advertising design.

The Communications Department can help departments with allocated funding for marketing to design, procure, and place advertising online and in regional print publications. The Marketing Director will help explain available advertising vehicles (print, online, out-of-home, broadcast, and team-based) along with costs and timetables. Once a marketing strategy has been determined, the director will also provide guidance regarding advertising copy and design (including conformance with brand standards), secure placement, and communicate results.

Print advertising is often relatively expensive, and the reach is normally broad based on the publications target audience. This type of advertising is best if you believe your event will have broad, general appeal. The more publication's target market is aligned with the interests of your expected attendees, the more impactful the advertisement will be.

Online advertising follows the same targeting trajectory, but procurement often differs depending on the outlet and format. Text advertising, for example, is often paid for only if someone clicks the ad ("pay per click"), whereas banner advertisements may be pay per click or may charge one rate no matter how many people click it.

Broadcast advertising is much harder to target, though most stations do purposefully attract a certain audience demographic. Impact is also harder to track, and action based on the ad is most often delayed, so this type of advertising is best used for broad visibility and awareness.

Out-of-home advertisement, like billboards, are the hardest way to reach a specific target audience, and targeting is really limited to the types of people who drive through a neighborhood, frequent a bus or train stop, or travel a specific highway. This type of advertisement is also best used for broad visibility and awareness.

To contact the Marketing Director, click here.

Additional Institutional Publications

MICA is a school well known for design, and the Communications Department maintains a balance between encouraging artistic freedom and protecting MICA's brand standards. Before producing a publication designed for mass distribution, it is important to contact the Communications Department to discuss scope, reach, and conformance with brand standards. In most cases, publications designed to reach a small audience will require much less coordination than publications designed to reach large ones, but any non-student publication featuring the MICA logo or name in an official capacity is regarded as an official communication from the College and must be approved by the Communications Department. must be approved by the Communications Department. This includes student-produced pieces supported by institutional funds.

To discuss upcoming publications, click here.

Website Support

MICA's website, mica.edu, is its primary public face, and changes and updates are made primarily by the Communications Department in consultation with the Web Advisory Committee and Technology, Systems, and Support Department. Individual departments should, however, be very active in determining how their functions are represented on the website, and be partners in keeping information and imagery fresh and engaging. In general, the homepage and subsection landing pages are maintained solely by the Communications Department, with input from individual departments, while departments have direct control and the ability to update informational pages via the content management system. For important large events or programs, the Communications department will work with individuals or departments to create a specialized landing page or "microsite" to support visibility and related transactions.

In a limited manner, departments may maintain "blog" sites, which are not official institutional pages but celebrate the unique culture and inner workings of the department. These pages should be kept to a minimum, and must fit within approved parameters:

  • These pages should not be used for marketing purposes
  • Persons outside of MICA should only be invited to view these pages on a limited scales
  • Faculty and course listings should not be included or maintained on these pages, but should instead link to the official listings on mica.edu
  • Pages should be approved by Communications prior to publishing

For more information on website development, please click here.