Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

Main Page Content

Iowa Now is the official, one-stop source for University of Iowa news produced by the UI Office of Strategic Communication and partners across campus.

Users can get Iowa Now news via the web, email, and RSS. We can also deliver customized news feeds to other university web sites.

We welcome content and ideas from campus communication professionals. Share draft content and story suggestions with your unit’s Office of Strategic Communication liaison, or contact Lois Gray, 319-384-0077, for more information about Iowa Now.

General submissions

All content published in Iowa Now appears on the website — new headlines show up in the running list of “recent” items on every page, every story gets a permanent URL, and users can easily find items and topics via searches, tags, and keywords. Headlines for all stories also are included in RSS and other feeds.

Iowa Now is the central venue for sharing UI news with various audiences, including external media — many of the items once labeled "press releases" or "news releases" are now presented as stories aimed at multiple audiences. We encourage external media to follow Iowa Now feeds or subscribe to email alerts to get the latest.

The Office of Strategic Communication strives to keep Iowa Now engaging, informative, and broadly representative of the university. The following guidelines help us meet that goal:

  • All content must reflect and advance the university’s missions.
  • All items should be timely and relevant.
  • Text items should be concise. For example, 350 words is the preferred target for items about events, awards, publications, grants, gifts, and other general news.
  • Text should follow common rules of spelling and grammar, as well as OSC editorial style.
  • Events promoted via Iowa Now must be sponsored by university units or recognized student organizations, be open to the public, and be submitted at least two weeks before the event.
  • Items should be approved by subjects and other appropriate sources (program administrators, etc.) prior to submission.
  • In general, every item should include a headline, short summary, and contact information (name, title, department, phone, and email) for subjects and contributors — see published stories for examples.

Ideal content will also:

  • Be of broad interest to the campus and the general public
  • Be presented as clearly and compellingly as possible
  • Avoid jargon, acronyms, and specialized terms that a general audience might not recognize
  • Enhance the university’s reputation

All stories go through standard editorial review prior to publication. We may edit, repurpose, or decline content that doesn’t meet submission guidelines.

Photos, art, and multimedia

Iowa Now features photos, galleries, graphics, videos, and other kinds of multimedia content. In addition to being relevant, timely, and complete, these items need to meet technical specifications and general standards for quality (color, composition, etc.).

Contact Tim Schoon, 319-384-0053, or Sondra Cue, 319-384-0038, for information about submitting multimedia content, including photos intended to accompany text stories.

Top stories and features

Every day, Iowa Now editors showcase some of the most engaging and important stories on the website’s home page. In general, these stories:

  • Highlight especially newsworthy or unique aspects of the university
  • Appeal to particularly broad or influential audiences.
  • Are told creatively and compellingly
  • Feature captivating visual elements

These stories include greater depth and detail, frequently using photos, illustrations, video, and other media. They often require advance planning. Ideas are welcome — please share suggestions at least eight weeks before the ideal publication date.

Contact Lois Gray, 319-384-0077, for additional info.

Departments

The Iowa Now home page also includes rotating, regularly updated departments designed to highlight different kinds of content. They often offer great alternatives to standard news stories.

Iowa Now editors plan these departments in advance, so share any ideas at least four weeks before the ideal publication date. Contact Lois Gray, 319-384-0077, to learn more.

  • Coming Up: Presents brief information about select events that demonstrate the spectrum of campus life.
  • Spotlight: Highlights other UI websites, as well as specific content published on those sites.
  • Newsmakers: Points to stories about UI programs and people in non-university media.
  • Get to Know: Profiles UI faculty and staff.
  • Did You Know?: Presents facts about the university in a question-and-answer format.
  • Campus Voices: Shares first-person perspectives from people throughout the university community.
  • Achievements: Highlights select awards, appointments, publications, presentations, and the like.
  • Daily Palette: Features work from the university’s long-running online arts showcase.

Death notices

Iowa Now announces deaths of current or retired/emeritus faculty or staff members once we receive official confirmation including name, age, position with the university, and date and location of death.

Example:Roger Smith, 72, professor emeritus, June 15 in Pensacola, Fla.

If the deceased’s survivors publish an obituary to funeral home website, newspaper, or other public online source, we'll include a link in the notice.

At the discretion of Iowa Now staff, and when circumstances dictate, we may provide additional coverage about a death—for example, if a campus memorial event is planned, the death garners national attention, or a scholarship is established in the person’s name.