To celebrate our 20th anniversary in running our media skills workshops especially designed for scientists, we are offering a 10% discount off every ‘Talking science with the media’ workshop booked during October, to be run sometime before September 30 2013. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
See for more details: http://www.econnect.com.au/workshops/talking-science-with-the-media/
We are also running open workshops as follows:
Other locations and dates to follow.
Cost for open workshops is at the special price of $660/participant (incl GST), which includes venue, catering and all course materials. To register, email Dr Jane Ilsley with details of which workshop you wish to attend and your contact details.
Each workshop has a strict maximum of 10 participants.
When Jenni Metcalfe was the Communication Manager at CSIRO’s Tropical Crops and Pastures, she found that the scientists there were nervous about talking to the media. What questions would journalists ask? How should they answer them? What if things went wrong?
CSIRO Chief, John Stocker, had just launched Project Ambassador, making every scientist responsible for spreading the good word about CSIRO. So there was pressure to communicate.
CSIRO did offer media training for scientists then—a rambling one-day lecture on journalists and the media.It lacked the practical elements that Jenni wanted, so she commissioned a workshop and asked me to run it. I worked in CSIRO’s media unit at the time.
The course material had to be prepared from scratch, and this meant chasing ideas, all pre-internet! The basic aims were:
In August 1992, over 2 days, we ran the first workshop in Rockhampton at the CSIRO Tropical Beef Research Centre.
Julian Cribb, then science writer with The Australian, flew in to Rocky to interview the 10 agricultural scientists and talk about his daily routine. A local TV journalist led a discussion about TV, and was so impressed that he made it a story on that night’s news.
We quickly discovered that what scientists really wanted was direct contact with journalists to find out:
Few scientists could spare 2 days away from their other duties, so we changed the standard workshop to one day. But the backbone of both the 1-day and 2-day workshops remains the same, with working journalists from radio, TV and print media an integral part of both.
We focus now more on the scientist and the way they will tell their story. Why do they want to talk about their work? What do they hope to gain? Many organisations have beefed up the support they offer scientists doing media, so we spend less time on topics such as organising media events, leaving this to the local science communicator.
In the last year, we’ve realised the importance of social media as a means of communicating with journalists about science news and as a means for scientists to break their own news. We’re now experimenting with a segment on social media, to help scientists feel comfortable about tweeting and blogging.
Jenni Metcalfe, Director, Econnect Communication
phone: 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866
PO Box 734 South Brisbane Q 4101
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