Many researchers think publishing their research results in an academic or professional journal and presenting at a conference is the end of the research process.
However, there is a growing realisation that more effort needs to be made to reach a wider audience as well as engaging more effectively with mainstream media.
Have you developed a media strategy?
Are you ready to get connected to a wider audience?
If so, here are some mainstream media strategies you can use to get started right now.
1) Engage with journalists
If you can engage more effectively with mainstream media, you can get your research results in front of journalists looking for new ideas or a new story. However, before you reach out to the mainstream media, you might want to consider that there are opposing views about communicating your research results before they have been peer reviewed.
2) Decide the right time to approach journalists
Some media professionals are wary of reporting on research before it’s been peer reviewed and there are others who prefer research results not to be held up by waiting for traditional journal publication.
3) How to disseminate your research to mainstream media
When you've decided on the right time to release your research results, here are ten tips on how to disseminate your research results more effectively to mainstream media:
- In your media strategy you will have noted the names of journalists interested in your field, whose stories cover your area, and those who have written stories that have attracted your attention. You should already have developed solid relationships with them rather than waiting to make contact when you have completed your study.
- To get your research to the top of a journalist’s pile of other newsworthy science stories, your results must be new, interesting, factual and appealing to their readership.
- As soon as your journal article is published, make contact with one of the journalists most relevant to your field. Don’t wait days or weeks until it has become old news.
- Be direct - pick up the ‘phone to introduce yourself and your research. Find telephone numbers and email addresses on a newspaper’s website. Best time to call is probably before copy deadlines, during the morning, but always ask if it is a good time to speak.
- Get to the point quickly - journalists are busy people. Be ready with your pitch on why your research results are important and interesting, and explain why they will capture the interest of the journalist’s audience.
- Arrange a date to meet, probably over lunch, to deepen the journalist’s understanding of your research and expertise and to build a trusting relationship.
- Follow up your first introductory ‘phone contact with a confirmation email; get your contact details into the journalist’s contacts book for future contact.
- Create a Search Engine Optimised online Press Release, using relevant keywords, and keep the copy brief, interesting, and focused.
- Develop your relationship with journalists by staying in touch with research updates, or events they may be interested in.
- Keep your contact list of journalists up-to-date, including their contact information, which tends to change, as well as best times to contact them.
How do you communicate with mainstream media?
I’d love to hear how you have communicated with journalists to market your research and whether any of the above strategies have worked for you.
For those who have yet to promote your research to mainstream media, is this something you’re more likely to try now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
SHARE: Remember to pass this on if you found it useful.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please click the Like button below and send me some love.