kinds of editing

Top tips for media releases and more

This time I am continuing with the theme of communicating outside of the formal channels of research publication. As you can imagine, this calls for a less formal approach in writing. This doesn’t necessarily involve dumbing down your ideas or making broader claims when we all know that your research is very detail focused.

We are in luck as there is some advice available from people with a lot of experience in this. One example is the Australian Science Media Centre (ASMC) operates to improve the media’s coverage of science “for the benefit of all Australians” (and hopefully beyond this to the world). “We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines” they proudly state.

So if you have produced some research which is relevant to a topic of current interest, how do you make a media release about it?  (Arguably, anything to do with economics, health, energy, sustainability or climate change is constantly a hot topic, to name a few).

As the face of an organisation called Scimex, the ASMC hosts a range of fascinating information including a multimedia hub. What I found most helpful were their tips for reporting research which are useful for journalists, researchers and anyone reviewing research.

Where do you start?

Here is an introduction to what to expect when communicating with journalists and some interesting social media tips.

How can you get your message published accurately?

There are some practical ideas on best practice from New Zealand’s Science Media Centre (see page 10).

Is there a step by step process?

Yes. If you are a researcher, at Module 1, scroll to Part B). The top tips for creating feature stories follow this. This is directed to science journalists but you can get some great insight here when looking at the process from the journalists’ perspective.

How can you send your message to the wider media?

Best of all, on this site you can ask for a journalist.

I hope you will find some of these tips and resources useful to aid you in sparking and spreading the interest in your research focus.

While the Australian Science Media Centre has funding to promote Australian researchers, there are certainly other organisations out there if you are not Australian which can promote your research to the general public. Please let me know what you find and we can share it on my blog.