Media Training for Historians

Recap of a special media training workshop held at AHA 2015


  1. This extraordinarily informative session featured a prominent op-ed editor and two PR professionals, offering advice on editorials, media training, and building your brand.
  2. Clay Risen, New York Times (@risenc)
    William Parkhurst, Parkhurst Communications
    Sarah Russo, SarahRussoPR (@sarahrusso)
    Chair: Christian Purdy, Oxford University Press (@PurdyOxford)
  3. Since we're talking Twitter, branding, social media, etc., I thought a session-specific hashtag was in order.
  4. The session began on an extremely positive note, with Clay Risen, a senior editor for the New York Time's op-ed page, encouraging historians to pitch editorials. While it certainly doesn't hurt to have an "in," a compelling pitch can do the job.
  5. Risen is not the only editor to feel this way:
  6. (Wolly is the digital editor for
  7. Much of the rest of Risen's presentation focused on what makes for a good op-ed piece.
  8. Actually, that should be This was the next to last session, folks. You want accuracy?
  9. Parkhurst's talk filled listeners in on the history of media training. He provided a helpful handout.