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Media Relations

Strategic Initiatives partners with UCR's University Communications Office (UComm) to provide comprehensive communications and media relations services to School of Medicine faculty, students and staff.

Our public information officer contact at University Communications is Iqbal Pittalwala. We ask that you please contact Vladimir Oge and Ross French on via email before contacting him directly.

Press Releases and News Stories

News stories published on the UCR News and School of Medicine websites allow us to tell our stories to the world. Some of these stories may also be sent directly to media as press releases.

Strategic Initiatives works with University Communications to ensure comprehensive coverage of the School of Medicine and departments, including UCR Health.

Story Ideas

Please contact Vladimir Oge and Ross French in the Office of Strategic Initiatives with your story idea. Please provide as much information as possible. We will work with our colleagues to determine the best outlet for the story.

Options include:

Press Releases

Press releases are intended to promote a story to the media that may warrant regional or national attention. They are distributed through University Communications (UComm). The public information officer (PIO) who covers the School of Medicine is Iqbal Pittalwala, who can be reached by phone at (951) 827-6050 or by email at iqbal.pittalwala@ucr.edu.

Subjects for press releases can include, but are not limited to:

  • Announcements of the publication of a noteworthy scholarly paper
  • Announcements of upcoming events
  • Significant achievements by an individual or organization, including receipt of awards
  • To promote an individual with quotable knowledge on a trending, newsworthy topic

Announcing Scholarly Papers

Faculty members who are seeking a press release on their scholarly paper should contact the public information officer (PIO) as early as possible in the process to ensure there is enough time to write a story that can be released upon publication. Failure to contact the PIO in a timely manner may result in a press release not meeting the publication deadline or not being sent out at all.

For event press releases, the PIO should be contacted at least four weeks before the event.

UComm reserves the right to decline to write press releases for subjects that are not deemed newsworthy.


Media Interviews and Opportunities

University Communications and the School of Medicine regularly receives requests from print, electronic and non-traditional media, seeking quotes and comments from individuals who can share their expertise on trending and noteworthy topics.

  • These requests often have a short windows of opportunity.  If we reach out to you as a potential source, please respond as quickly as possible, even if the answer is "no."
  • If you are directly contacted by a member of the media, we encourage you to contact Ross French and Iqbal Pittalwala prior to talking to them. We can vet the reporter, make sure they are from a reliable source, and provide you with tips before the interview takes place.

Experts on Demand

If you have expertise in a specific subject area that might be of interest to a media member, we can increase the chance of them finding you by adding your information to the Experts on Demand database. This list of experts can be searched by media directly and is used by our media relations team to quickly find experts in response to fast breaking media requests. In addition to areas of expertise, you can also cite your preferences regarding the types of interviews you are willing to do, e.g. television, radio, or print.

To be added to the Experts on Demand database, please contact Iqbal Pittalwala in UCOMM or Ross French in Strategic Initiatives.

Opinion Pieces

Opinion pieces, either at an online outlet such as the Huffington Post or in a traditional newspaper, are a great opportunity to discuss important issues in a public forum. Opinion pieces are usually between 500-700 words and address a particular important topic. Strategic Initiatives will work with Strategic Communications to help you craft your piece and pitch it to the best outlets. Contact Ross French in Strategic Initiatives for more information.

Media Training

Our team has many years of experience interacting with the media and is happy to provide individualized guidance and media training to faculty, students and staff in advance of interviews. For more information, contact Ross French.