Explaining Research cover
Order your copy

Introduction to Explaining Research

Section I. Learning a New Communications Paradigm
1. Understand your audiences
They like science but have reservations, see you as a hero, hold pet theories, are need-to-knowers, are no longer passive audiences...

2. Plan your research communication strategy
Free yourself from suspicion and risk, develop a do-tell strategy, develop a strategy of synergy, manage your trust portfolio...

Section II. Effectively Reaching Your Peers
3. Give compelling talks
Give your audiences what they want, organize to grab and inform, use engaging slides, use good stagecraft...

4. Develop informative visuals
Invest in evergreen visuals for multiple uses, create graphs and tables that reveal the data, illustrate and animate your work...

5. Create effective poster presentations
Create an accessible design, use tight text and informative graphics, positively present your poster...

6. Write clear research explanations
Use thrifty words, make sentences sing, write for the senses, write for the glands...

7. Build a quality Web site
Plan, develop, and launch your Web site, keep your site fresh, market your site...

Section III. Engaging Lay Audiences
8. Forge your research communications strategy
Protect your scientific publication, tell your whole research story, know your funding agency's expectations...

9. The essential news release
They come in many flavors, have broad utility...

10. Craft releases that tell your research story
Anatomy of an effective news release, adapting a release for the Web, the media kit and what it contains...

11. Target releases to key audiences
Remember trade media, follow news release etiquette, advertise your clippings...

12. Produce effective research photography
Tell and show your research, control your images, recognize a good photographer, prepare for a shoot, create online image galleries...

13. Produce informative research videos
Create accessible technical videos, make dynamic news videos, document field research, writing the script, shooting and editing your video...

14. Organize dynamic multimedia presentations
Integrate text, audio, and visuals into effective multimedia presentations...

15. Create e-newsletters, wikis, blogs, podcasts, social networks, and webinars
Reach out with e-newsletters, blog your research and expertise, be a podcaster, gather online with Web meetings and webinars...

16. Write popular articles, op-eds, and essays
Prepare yourself to write, be a storyteller, understand the process, secrets of op-eds and feature articles...

17. Author popular books
Decide if you have something new and marketable to say, train for a book, decide whether to write the book yourself or collaborate, find agents and publishers...

18. Become a public educator
Give public talks, work with local schools and science centers...

19. Persuade administrators, donors, and legislators
Engage your administrators, persuade donors and foundations, lobby legislators...

Section IV. Explaining Your Research Through the Media

20. Parse publicity's pros and cons
How working with the media can help and hinder your research...

21. Understand journalists
They are like you but also different, may be an endangered species, are "journal-ists," cover stories in-shallow, accentuate the positive...

22. Meet journalists' needs
Analyze yourself, be prepared to talk, clear bureaucratic roadblocks, pitch story ideas...

23. Prepare for media interviews
Understand your interview Bill of Rights, do your homework, prepare the reporter, dealing with media you would rather not...

24. Make the interview work for you
Understand the ground rules, check out the reporter, give strategic interviews, participate effectively in news conferences...

25. Protect yourself from communication traps
Immunize yourself with understanding, monitor your reputation, avoid being misquoted or misinterpreted, guard against policy foot-in-mouth, cope with a controversy/crisis, prepare for a hyperstory...

26. Manage media relations at scientific meetings
Identify newsworthy papers, organize a newsroom, plan and conduct news conferences...

27. Should you be a public scientist?
Position yourself on the public-private spectrum, make the public-scientist career decision, perils of being a public scientist, deciding on advocacy, enjoying life as a public scientist...