Beyond Tweets And Blogs: Leveraging The Changing Media Landscape

beyond tweets and blogs

Presented by Deborah Smith, Sarah Terkes, Dr Susannah Eliott and Carol Saab.

This workshop aims to produce solutions to impediments, in regards to “where we need to get to”. Each group lists their top three impediments on large sticky notes, which are then shared. In this workshop, people leave comments as to what they think are impediments and we are to share our top solutions.

beyond tweets and blogs

Some Ideas:

  • Incentives, skills, trust of users in operating in the online space, nuances between online and traditional media. Lack of resources including specialist staff and how the organisation speaks for the staff and providing support.
  • Lack of understanding, tools, lack of control over message, fear of change and low-risk tolerance, logistics, using tools, policies to support, risk management and time allocation to managing rather than “doing work”, effectiveness and separate to communication strategies that are usually held.
  • Being overwhelmed, what to write, how to navigate a new landscape. Resources and doing it well and keeping it running.

brainstorming impediments and solutions

Possible impediments:

- Scientists getting/making the time to ‘learn communication’
- Currency of the research and working out how it coincides with current events/media worthy topics
- What is the incentive to participate in social media? Is there a benefit to scientists?
- The message going out vs owning it, how information travels through the channels to get to an audience
- Science typically has had a culture of its scientists not being communicators. Often takes itself seriously and this creates a culture disconnect
- Journalists are busy and newsrooms are increasingly ‘generalist’
- The media culture, journalists pursuing their own angle
- The lack of formality regarding communication as a skill in organisations
- The research grant system also as above
- Lack of trust and reward with social/online media. Fear of sceptic attacks
- Science having united messages and consistency
- People want to see results now – not projections
- Jargon how to avoid it but still get your message out
- Too many choices of social media and finding the time to learn it all
- What is beyond tweets and blogs? “We’ll have to ask that Google woman“, says Deb Smith.

Beyond Tweets and Blogs

Some solutions:

- Target your audience and use the right channels to do so
- What is the incentive to scientists? To demonstrate the value of their research to the public
- Media will always have their own agenda, but content will prevail and opportunities often arise in surprising ways, eg. recent Angelina Jolie mastectomy brought breast cancer into the mainstream. Choose to package your ‘story’ with coinciding events
- Provide those scientists who want to become better communicators with the opportunity to do so
- Grant systems could include communications as a part of the process
- Choose the right social media for you and USE IT! Direct your comments at the right audience
- Prepare yourself for questions, accept that you cannot control the responses – you have to accept them and move forward
- Share the benefits of social media with the scientists – show them research that shows it works, so they want to be a part of it
- Implement and fund communication training for scientists. Have policies for organisations and individuals
- Embrace change, seek and utilise the appropriate people in your organisation to help
- Add formal communications training to position descriptions

About The Author

  • Get Livefyre
  • FAQ