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Media 101 for Clinicians and Scientists

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Media Relations 101 session for translational research fellows at Columbia University Medical Center. All rights reserved. May not be republished or used in any way without permission of the author.

Media 101 for Clinicians and Scientists

  1. 1. Making your point in a challengingmedia environment: Steps to avoidrisks and improve outcomes Doug Levy JD MSJ Exec. Dir., Communications & Public Affairs Columbia University Medical Center April 17, 2012
  2. 2. Disclosures• Opinions expressed are my own and do not represent those of my employer, Columbia University.• My previous consulting clients include academic institutions and commercial entities, including Pfizer, Novartis, Genentech.• I am a minor stockholder of Omnicom, an advertising holding company.• No animals were harmed during the research and testing of this presentation. 2
  3. 3. What is the media in 2012?• Major newspapers and their websites• Wire services (AP, Reuters, Bloomberg)• 24-hour news networks and their websites• Legacy TV networks and local affiliates• Online publications – TheHeart.org, WebMD, etc. – Local news sites – Individual blogs– Everyone who uses Facebook, Twitter, etc. 3
  4. 4. Easy step for media and public speaking success: • Prepare the same way that you prepare before entering an exam room or talking to patients or their families 4
  5. 5. Five basic rules①Think presentation not conversation②Have a clear message in mind③Know what the audience needs to hear④Anticipate obvious & oddball questions⑤Silence can be your friend 5
  6. 6. Communicating science• Understand the difference between accuracy and precision• Tailor your details to your audience and the type of interaction you are having• For a general audience, rounding numbers and using analogies can help make your points clearer. – “About 7 out of every 10 people…” – “The prevalence was 0.652.” 6
  7. 7. Clear science communication is adesirable skill• Understand your forum and your goal• Don’t worry about “sounding dumb” by translating your research into plain language or concepts that everyone can understand• Save the technical words for your professional presentations 7
  8. 8. Some things NOT to do:• Don’t guess, speculate or test your memory• Don’t go “Off the record” or “on background”• Don’t criticize another person’s character• Don’t speak when you are unprepared or unfocused 8
  9. 9. Some Things To DO:• Get your facts together• Find out as much as you can about the reporter and the reporter’s publication• Know your goal for the interview• Make some notes• Collect your thoughts• Take a deep breath 9
  10. 10. Before engaging the media, know your goals• Every public or media interaction should have a measurable purpose – Behavior change – New policies – Research funding• The news media is not always the right conduit to your audience 10
  11. 11. Know your SOCO• Single• Overriding• Communications• Objective 11
  12. 12. Elements of your SOCO• Key point or objective. What is the most significant point in the message?• 3-4 facts or statistics (e.g., how many people may have been affected?)• The primary and secondary audience. Who are the populations of interest?• One key message (e.g., the patient is currently undergoing treatment.)• Contact information. Who can be reached for more information? 12
  13. 13. Example of a SOCO and a key message Educating people about this study’s results should motivate them to reduce sugary beverage consumption.message: If you quit drinking sugary soft drinks, your risk of heart disease will go down significantly, and the benefits are almost immediate. 13
  14. 14. Elements of a good key message• Simple, clear, direct• Credible• Relevant• Supported by facts 14
  15. 15. Don’t repeat “loaded” words• http://youtu.be/uxJyPsmEask 15
  16. 16. Know what you are getting yourself into• http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed- october-26-2011/weathering-fights--- science---what-s-it-up-to-?xrs=share_copy 16
  17. 17. Key messages “in action”• http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert- report-videos/379252/march-29- 2011/anthony-fauci 17
  18. 18. More information• Tips for Successful Media Interactions handout: http://bit.ly/sEn35g• “Sharing Your News” section at: http://cumc.columbia.edu/newsroom• douglas.levy@columbia.edu 18
  • ivanoransky

    Aug. 16, 2013

Media Relations 101 session for translational research fellows at Columbia University Medical Center. All rights reserved. May not be republished or used in any way without permission of the author.

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