This section covers:

  1. Working more effectively together across teams

  2. Increasing researcher engagement

 

Summary:

  • It’s clear that both research offices and press offices recognise the value of working more closely and from learning each other’s skills, so training for each provided by their counterparts would be very useful. Additional capacity for press offices in the form of new staff to recognise the expanded role would be welcome.
     

  • Importantly, there needs to be more regular and more structured engagement between the two teams, and more proactive engagement with researchers in the earlier stages of the research cycle in order to identify and plan for impact from the start. Identifying key researchers and research and showcasing successes may help persuade other academics to engage with the process.
     

  • Ensuring researchers have the understanding of what the media can provide, the skills and the confidence to engage is key. They can make use of The Conversation’s training sessions, and writing for site itself is a learning-by-doing approach that can reveal the potential benefits of media exposure first-hand. It is vital that researchers see the process of media engagement and impact planning as part of the research cycle, not a bolt-on that is only attended to after the academic work is done (by which time it is likely too late).
     

  • There are many other ways to motivate researchers to engage more with press offices to achieve impact, including the creation of case studies where media engagement led to significant impacts, explicit discussion of career progression benefits based on case studies of researchers whose careers benefited from media exposure, and helping collect evidence that media engagement led to significant impacts (not just reach).

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