As a former Murdoch University media officer and current AIM WA blogger and corporate writer, I have more than a vested interest in both research and the media.
With this in mind, I was eager to attend UWA media manager David Stacey’s excellent presentation at the University this week entitled ‘How to get the media to notice your research’.
Held as part of UWA’s Research Week, Mr Stacey’s talk outlined exactly how the UWA media unit goes about presenting the University in a favourable light in all areas of the media; from print to TV, radio and online.
Mr Stacey also touched on those research areas most favoured by the media – and therefore the most newsworthy.
He said one very popular area was UWA’s successful shark research program – which has had extensive media coverage in recent years.
Mr Stacey also highlighted the importance of a good media release in attracting journalists to a research story.
“Being available, or ‘turning up’, is probably the most important thing for a researcher to do when contacted by a journalist,” said Mr Stacey.
“Most news journalists like stories featuring new developments or ‘breakthroughs’, although large research grants, and particularly those involving important industry donors, also feature highly on a journalist’s radar.”
He also explained how to construct a newsworthy media release: emphasising the importance of a catchy headline, and putting the most important or ‘quirky’ information at the beginning. Finally, Mr Stacey outlined the importance of using social media and how these days, some online platforms such as Twitter are able to achieve better media coverage in terms of viewer numbers, than some of the TV stations.
Mr Stacey presenting his semianr
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