Friday, January 24, 2014

Getting Your Academic Research Noticed by Journalists

English: Finnish researcher and writer Panu Ra...
Academic being interviewed (Photo: Wikipedia)
by :

Interested in getting your research noticed by journalists?

The LSE Impact Blog recently published an article by a politics PhD student which reflected on this process.

Engaging with the media is something which PhD students are rarely encouraged to do but it can be an enormously worthwhile experience.

We’ve attached Stuart’s tips from his article below.

  1. Be nice to your colleagues and supervisor - you never know when they might be in a position to do you a big favour.
  2. Don’t break mirrors, walk under ladders and stay away from black cats - we need all the luck we can get.
  3. Never pass up an opportunity to find an opportunity; if someone wants to talk about your research, meet them, no matter how busy you are. You don’t have to agree to work with them this time around, but you never know what they’ll be doing in the future, or who they might speak to, which could present another opportunity down the line.
  4. Make yourself and your work as accessible as possible. Maintain an up-to-date webpage with accurate contact information, make sure you have links to all the published work you can (e.g. conference papers, blog posts), and use every possible avenue to communicate your work (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, blog posts). Do anything you can to increase the chances of someone coming across you and your research - and of them quickly being able to determine if you’re the one they want to talk to - if they go looking for information in your field.
  5. Always make sure you can tell someone about your research, why it’s important, and why they should listen to you in under a minute, and in a straight-forward and clear way. If they can’t work out what you’re doing, why it matters or why it might be useful to them (or their readers) within a minute of encountering you - and without the need for a crash course in political theory or quantitative data analysis - chances are they’re not going to.
  6. If and when you have the chance to meet with someone to discuss your work, prepare, prepare and prepare. Make sure you familiarise yourself with whatever material you think is relevant (such as a pertinent news story, a policy relating to your research area, and particularly the articles or posts of yours they are likely to have read) so that you can easily and confidently answer their questions. The more impressed they are with you in that meeting, the more likely they are to remember you in future, and put their reputation on the line by recommending you to their own contacts:
Are there any you would add? If you’d like more ideas then check out this podcast we posted a couple of years ago.

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