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January/February 2009

boost participation, get the word outWanted: Committee Publicity

A Single Contact Will Do It

Participation is key to a healthy consensus standards development process — and publicity helps. With just one form sent to one contact at ASTM International headquarters, you can help boost participation and get the word out about your activity in ASTM Standardization News, on the ASTM Web site, in the monthly e-mailed eNews and to outside media outlets.

The starting point is the “Publicity Request Form” that can be found here; click on the link for the form.

The publicity request taps into the resources of ASTM International’s Corporate Communications staff when you e-mail it to Barbara Schindler, director of Corporate Communications (phone: 610-832-9603). Or, for specific ASTM Standardization News requests, contact Maryann Gorman, SN editor in chief (phone: 610-832-9606).

When do you contact Corporate Communications to develop a story? Consider these possibilities:

  • Your task group has just registered a new work item for a new draft standard or a major revision to an existing one;
  • A significant new standard has been approved and is now available;
  • Your group’s draft standard needs or would benefit from additional technical input;
  • A new task group or subcommittee is or has been organized; or
  • A significant collaboration among technical committees or a committee and outside organizations has begun.

If you provide the who, what, where, when, how and why on the request form, then you will have given staff a head start in gathering the details for an article and/or news release.

Corporate Communications uses completed request forms for both public relations and the bimonthly SN magazine distributed to all ASTM members. The group collaborates to cover new standards, new activities and other news in the magazine, on the ASTM Web site, in eNews and through newsreleases distributed to appropriate media outlets.

If you’re wondering about news regarding society-recognized awards, new committee chairs, and symposia, seminars and workshops — write-ups or information on these topics come directly to Corporate Communications staff from other ASTM departments.

When you request publicity, the information could become an UpDate news article or a feature story in SN. For UpDate stories to appear in SN, please allow six weeks lead time; for feature possibilities, allow at least four months.

In addition to SN, your committee or related news will be disseminated through the monthly eNews, which is e-mailed both to ASTM International members and customers.

And, Corporate Communications prepares news releases for the ASTM Web site and distribution to the media. Uploaded releases can be found online here. (Also available through the “News Releases” link on the left-hand side of the ASTM International home page with the newest releases appearing at the top of the list). Note that the home page “Latest News” and “New Initiatives” sections link to certain news releases; some releases may include video links.

News releases are distributed to media lists that consist of trade publications and other related outlets; each ASTM International technical committee has its own media list.

Plus, online search functions for both SN and news releases keep articles available long after their posting.

These options are all about getting the word out. While many methods of communicating exist, it takes only one contact to start the process of publicizing your group’s work. Consider starting the publicity process today.