Working with the Central Communications Team

Coordination is Key! ​​

Mason's Strategic Communications team in the Office of University Brand (OUB - formerly Office of Communications and Marketing) covers high impact faculty research, major events, and significant leadership announcements. If they determine it is high impact, they will pitch the story to the media.

Members of the CHSS community are welcome to pitch to central directly. However, it often works well if you work with the CHSS team first to refine the story idea and timelines.

If you pitch a story, research release, or event to the central team, please copy Melanie O'Brien at The CHSS communications team keeps track of stories in the pipeline, and coordination between the central and CHSS teams is key to our mutual success.

The central communication team uses a portfolio systemfor writing assignments including:

  • Melanie Belog supervises the communications officers, oversees content for the Newsdesk and The George. 
  • John Hollis works with media to tell Mason's story externally.
  • Anna Persky is the CHSS contact for humanities stories while Mary Lee Clark's position is vacant.
  • Damian Cristodero has covered Horizon Hall and runs the new Mason podcast, Access to Excellence.

Learn more about the central team along with their contact information here: 

Office of University Brand content guidelines

George Mason University’s internal newsletter, The George, is emailed to more than 12,000 Mason faculty and staff and additional subscribers (parents, community members, some students) three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The newsletter is produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing and helps keep Mason’s internal audiences informed.

The George is also the name of the strategic communications news website (aka the newsdesk). 

Below is a brief outline of the kinds of stories The George publishes. We welcome story pitches throughout the year. We also link to stories on the college/school websites in the George and can help amplify your content. We can also help you work raw materials and information into a story.

Campus News

These are campus-wide news stories and include stories on rankings, major gifts, significant operational or structural accomplishments or changes, and are often big stories with an external appeal. COVID and related public safety messaging is also in this bucket.

Classroom Stories

We look for faculty doing innovative things in the classroom and providing students with opportunities for hands-on research, service learning, and career development opportunities. Sometimes just being a fun class works.

Faculty and Staff News

This category is for stories that have more of an internal focus: Employee of the Month, names or process changes, and faculty and staff recognitions, among other topics.


We are open to all kinds of research stories. We especially like stories that focus on specific researchers. We try to steer away from product-focused stories, whether that’s a research paper, a book or an app. We would prefer to focus on the researcher and his/her work and highlight the published paper as part of the story.  Same goes for books: While we don’t promote faculty books, a book indicates a body of research that the author/faculty member has done. A story can be reframed to talk about the work.

Tip Sheets

These are often tied to current events and offer the opportunity to get our experts out there on a particular topic. They work better if they’re limited to one expert. They are most effective when conceived and shared quickly within the context of the news cycle.

Student Profiles/Stories

Many amazing students attend Mason. For these stories, we look for someone who is doing something a little different or maybe a step above other students. This could pertain to what they are working on (research/scholarship), an award they’ve won, their service work, an athletic record/discovery, etc. We strive for diversity here including in degree program.

Alumni Profiles/Stories

Alumni fall under the Students category on the news desk. We welcome stories about alumni doing incredible things out in the world. As with the students, we look for someone who is doing something a little different or maybe a step above others. We would focus on those who have won awards (like Pulitzers), or have an interesting or significant job (dancing on Broadway or serving as a commissioner on the SEC). We don’t usually profile alumni who have started their own companies or restaurants or have written a book (unless Pulitzer or another national level award).

Press Releases

These are externally focused communications and are often press releases issued jointly with a third party. We often also use this for high-level hires, like presidents and provosts.

Around Mason

These are small news items and most often internally focused, including trainings, seminars, and events such as staff appreciation days, well-being opportunities, etc. Much of this material comes from the Around Mason weekly roundup, which is managed by Lauren Reuscher in University Information.

In Memoriam

We also share news of the passing of current or retired members of the Mason community. We generally coordinate with the school, college or unit on these notices, as well as with Advancement if there is a memorial scholarship component.