External and internal communication

Our mission

The Science Communcation Center speaks for the university, contacts the media and communicates news from research, teaching, university administration and committees to the public via press releases, invitations and TU's own channels. It is responsible for inquiries relating to press law.

Every topic implementation begins with an analysis, evaluation and consultation. We develop a communication plan – depending on the topic, occasion and target group, we use different, contemporary formats and channels, even beyond the classic press release.

Our core competence comes into play here: “translating” topics in an understandable and interesting way.

Formats and channels

  • Addressing German and English-language media, thematically and/or geographically tailored
  • Communication of experts from the TU to the media
  • Online presence of the TU
  • Central TU social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • TU's own publications: University newspaper hoch³
  • Internal channels: Info portal and digital info screens on campus
  • Advice on questions of public relations

The following criteria, which are derived from journalistic standards and guidelines of the Bundesverband Hochschulkommunikation, help to assess whether a topic is of interest to the media or other target groups and can be presented in a media-friendly way.

Criteria for the selection of topics

  • The topic/results should have a scientific novelty value.
  • The press and the public are more interested in the results of teaching and research than in the university structures behind them.
  • Research projects should have reached a certain level of maturity – initial results should be available, evaluated and discussed in the community.
  • Topics that are currently being discussed in society or contain a “surprising/curious/colorful” element are often worth a second look.
  • For cooperation projects: Does the TU have the spokesperson role? Do the local scientists speak on behalf of the overall project and coordinate/take on the coordination of a text for internal and external media etc.?
  • Is there a publication in a renowned journal? Or a presentation at a recognized conference?
  • For publications: Does the TU have first authorship?
  • At events: Are scientists known beyond specialist circles present? Is the event open to the public and also interesting for non-specialists?

Only the Science Communication Center can speak for the university, actively contact the media and use instruments such as press releases or invitations. It is responsible under press law and is obliged to provide information. Nevertheless, there are channels through which the departments themselves can disseminate their news:

  • own news section on the department pages
  • own social media channels
  • own newsletter

Many departments have public relations officers who maintain these channels and work together with the SCC. Please contact your dean's office to establish contact.

We are happy to step up our activities by picking up on relevant news, disseminating it to the media via the central communication channels, linking back to websites, sharing Facebook entries on the central TU Facebook page or retweeting tweets. Keep us informed!

Do you have a research topic? A publication is pending?

If you want to communicate a project, a scientific result, a specific event or something else, you should first ask yourself a few important questions and answer them as clearly as possible: What exactly is my topic, who and what do I want to reach? And which organizational framework conditions (e.g. a conference) are set or optional? Based on this precise definition of objectives, clear definition of target groups and desired effects (e.g. demonstrating benefits for society or science, initiating dialog, imparting knowledge, influencing opinion), optimal strategic planning of communication activities can be developed.

We are happy to support you with your public relations work. Here you will find a checklist of the information and materials we need from you (in german) (opens in new tab) .

FAQ – The most frequently asked questions

For research topics, it is helpful to provide information on the maturity of the project, completion dates, whether there are external deadlines (e.g. publications in specialist journals, reviews, embargo periods) that must be taken into account, contact persons, a brief description, possibly with an idea of how the research results could be applied in practice, information on whether an accompanying publication is planned, reference to funding and collaborations. The Communications Department is also happy to receive abstracts or links to articles.

No. It is often advisable to first consider with us how a topic can be presented effectively in the media and to the public. As a team of trained journalists, we are happy to support you with the “paperwork”. It is helpful if you can answer a few questions (in german) (opens in new tab) about your research work.

We also have a network of renowned freelance journalists at our disposal.

We have compiled a list of questions (in german) (opens in new tab) that we are often asked by journalists on research topics, which you can download. We would like to ask you to answer these questions briefly (400-800 characters are sufficient). Your answers will help us to find the right outlet for your research news and form the basis for the content we create in consultation with you. If you would like to write a draft text yourself, you are welcome to use the list to cross-check whether your text answers essential questions. The language should be generally understandable – imagine you are explaining your work to people who do not come from your specialist field.

No. The Science Communcation Centre is responsible for actively approaching the media. Please contact us in such a case, we will be happy to support you.

Yes, we would be pleased if you let us know in advance that an interview is scheduled and later send us specimen copies or links to online publications for the press review. Please also remember that filming and photography in the rooms and on the grounds of the TU requires a filming and recording permit. You or the media can obtain this quickly via the short link www.tu-darmstadt.de/drehgenehmigung.

For inquiries that do not concern research work or your specialist expertise, but the TU as an institution in general, please pass them on to us. In these cases, the Centre is obliged to provide information under press law.

In this case, the Centre is responsible and obliged to provide information under press law. If you are approached by journalists, please refer them to us or contact us first.

No. This contradicts professional standards and the principle of freedom of the press. Experience has shown that journalists rightly react very sensitively to such requests, and in the worst cases this can turn goodwill into a critical attitude. You can ask to be provided with quotes or a complete verbatim interview. With most media, it is usual for you to be given a verbatim interview again for approval. (see next question)

We will be happy to advise you in case of doubt.

We strongly advise a sense of proportion. Journalists know their target group very well. The media work with journalistic, not scientific criteria and have tight space and time constraints. You should therefore refrain from: stylistic changes, significant lengthening through additions. Simplifications are essential for press coverage, but you can and should correct technical errors in any case. If you want to change quotes afterwards, you should make sure that the character of the spoken language is not lost. We will be happy to advise you in case of doubt.

Immediately. The media often have to react very spontaneously to current events and then look for people to talk to on the same day. Even if a request does not relate to “your” topic or you are not available for time or personal reasons, you should cancel immediately so that the media have a chance to do their research elsewhere. Even if a topic is not urgent, you should contact them immediately and arrange a later meeting, for example.

Even if press releases are often taken over by the media – ideally, journalists use them as an opportunity to pick up on a topic and explore it in greater depth. Specialist journalists in particular often have questions that go beyond the press release. You should therefore be available for a few days after sending it out. It is impossible to predict how much demand a publication will generate.

The TU issues around 80 to 100 press releases per year. A large proportion are strategic and structural issues that affect and reflect the university as a whole – for example, major new building projects, university policy and structural issues. The announcements on research topics are distributed across our 13 departments and five study areas. To avoid the risk of “wear and tear” – too many press releases from one institution can lead to fatigue – we cannot and do not want to increase the number of press releases sent out by the TU at will. We will be happy to work with you to determine which of your topics is best suited to the press release tool and, if necessary, look for alternatives. It doesn't always have to be a press release (see Our offer).

The Centre continuously evaluates the media response to topics published in cooperation with it. The focus is on print and online media. The tracking of reports in audiovisual media is only possible to a limited extent for technical reasons. If the Communications department has issued a press release in cooperation with you, we will send you a collection of the media reports we have recorded as soon as no more new contributions are received.

No. This is not possible for technical and time reasons. In this case, we recommend activating a Google Alert.

The number of interested parties has risen steadily in recent years, so that the available licenses have been exhausted. Departments, faculties and central institutions that need the press review for their daily work receive it at central addresses. This could be the dean's office, the management, the head of department or public relations officers, for example. Unfortunately, we can no longer supply individuals.

The editorial deadlines for the current year can be found on the hoch³: Editorial and publication deadlines .

The editorial team welcomes suggestions for topics and short exposés. Please send an e-mail to or . If you would like to write your own articles, please contact the editorial team in advance by e-mail to agree on content and scope.

If you have any photos, we would be pleased if you could send them to us in the highest resolution available to you. However, we reserve the right to publish them.

You can find the distribution points at a glance in this site plan .

You can search for articles in older issues in the online archive .

In principle, departments or specialist areas may operate their own social media channels. However, please note that such a presence requires editorial effort – you need continuous content and news. Before launching your own channel, you should be clear about your editorial concept. Continuous monitoring of user activity is just as important. The online editorial team will be happy to advise you in advance.

A social media presence is also subject to the imprint obligation. Please contact the online editorial team in this regard.