Media coverage

ARE YOU A RESEARCHER WANTING MEDIA COVERAGE OF YOUR NEW STUDY?

I work with scientists and scholars across the globe to help them:

  • draft press releases,
  • contact media outlet editors
  • get coverage of your studies.

Did you know that coverage of your publications has the ability to increase your journal article citations as well as enhance your reputation as a scientist in front of policymakers?

As you know, the general public rarely read journal articles but they are much more likely to read an article in a national newspaper. Whilst, alone, media coverage is usually insufficient to create impact from your research, it can help you along your pathway to impact if undertaken strategically.

If you’re interested in collaborating to increase the reach and impact of your work, please do get in touch. Having worked with researchers for many years, here’s some hints and tips on how we can get the most out of your science. As a strategic communications adviser, I can also help you plan how to use communications to achieve the impact you desire.

Güiña article in New Scientist
Media coverage of a study from Chilean researchers covered by me in New Scientist

TIP 1: START EARLY

The sooner you get in contact with me, the better.

Unfortunately, some researchers don’t reach out to me until the day of the journal article being published (or even after it’s been published). By this time, it’s generally too late to help you.

The earlier we start working together, the better. As a trusted and respected Communications Adviser used by many, I will respect your embargo and everything we discuss will be confidential unless you explicitly state otherwise. This means you can feel comfortable talking with me about your work before it is published and the benefit of this is that I can help you plan the best communications strategy.

For instance, is there a big policy event coming up in a few months where your research findings will be relevant? If so, it would be useful to plan publication of your work just before this event. I can help you liaise with journal editors to help plan this.

TIP 2: PLAIN ENGLISH

One of the challenges I often have when working with researchers is that they are often highly skilled in communicating with subject experts but have forgotten how to communicate with non-experts. When reaching out to me, please send me a plain English summary of your work, including:

  • what is the research about (2-3 sentences)
  • why is this important for the world to hear (1 sentence)
  • who will care about this work? (1 sentence)

Do send me the journal article (again remembering to do this well before publication date), even if this is still in draft format.

TIP 3: PRESS RELEASE

If you have a press release, please send this to me. If you don’t, ask your Press Office to write one, or try to write one yourself. Here’s some advice from the University of Leicester on how to write a press release for scientific work.

If you’re still stuck, please reach out to me to see if I can assist with writing your press release. My rates are typically £80 GBP per press release.

TIP 4: COLLATERAL

Media outlets are much more likely to accept your press release if it comes with interesting collateral, such as:

  • images
  • videos
  • maps
  • graphs
  • infographics

Please send me these with your journal article (or store in a DropBox/OneDrive and send me the link) so that I can help create a package to sell to media outlets.

TIP 5: BE AVAILABLE

Once we’ve found some media outlets who want to cover your work, make sure you’re available for interview. Journalists sometimes have a matter of hours to get an article out and if you don’t respond to their email, call or text for interview, they will go elsewhere for a quote.

If you need help with learning how to give a good media interview, please get in touch. I offer workshops and 1:1s either in person or remotely. Contact me for rates.

I am a trained media spokesperson with extensive experience being interviewed on TV and radio
I am a trained media spokesperson with extensive experience being interviewed on TV and radio so can offer media training to ensure you get your message across with impact

TIP 6: INTERVIEW TIPS

Answer interview questions as if you’re speaking with a 16-year-old. Remember to be succinct, speak clearly and try not to talk too fast. Use jargon very rarely and only if you then explain the terms afterwards.

TIP 7: MEDIA ETIQUETTE

As a freelancer, I do not work for one specific outlet. If you are reaching out to other journalists and/or your Press Office is also trying to get coverage, please do let me know so that we don’t both contact the same outlet.

TIP 8: CHECKING ARTICLES BEFORE PRINT

If I am writing your media article, I will let you check the draft article before print but only to ensure that your quotes are correct and that I have conveyed your research accurately. As part of press freedom, I am not able to change parts of the article that are opinions or where the research has been conveyed accurately but you do not like how this has been covered.

Practially all other journalists will not let you see drafts of their work. Again this is because of press freedom – they do not want you to shape their work as this can be seen as bias.

The Guardian Tourism prevents Kenya's cheetahs from raising young
An article I wrote for the Guardian on a study from Kenyan researchers

If you have any questions or would like further advice on how to get media coverage of your research, please do get in touch and I’ll see how I can help you!