Give us time to talk

August 18, 2006

Your article on the increasing importance of press offices and public relations staff at universities raises some interesting implications for academics ("Trust us, we're not academics", August 4).

I was pleased to see that it acknowledged that good media publicity and PR has many benefits for universities, including giving help when competing for funding and students. On average, I spend about five hours a week (and sometimes more) talking to the media and being interviewed. This promotes my research, my department, my university and my academic discipline.

If such activity is of growing importance to university managers, surely it should at least be acknowledged in our annual workload allocations - or is this just another example of an activity that we are supposed to do in our "spare" time?

Mark Griffiths
Nottingham Trent University

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