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Communicating eu-research

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Communicating eu-research

  1. 1. Communicating EU Research Prepared by: European Commission, Research DG, Communication Unit October 2008 1
  2. 2. Why communicating research? “Researchers are reacting to recent public concerns about the direction and potential outcomes of their work by increasing their efforts to communicate to non-specialists. While this is a necessary practice, such communication has often had limited success […]. Science communication has tended to involve researchers talking at the public about what science is doing with the expectation that this would increase acceptance.” EURAB (European Research Advisory Board to the European Commission), Research and Societal Engagement, June 2007: http://ec.europa.eu/research/eurab/pdf/eurab_07_013_june_%202007_en.pdf 2
  3. 3. Communication in FP7 Grant agreement, Annex II, General conditions II.12. Information and communication The beneficiaries shall, throughout the duration of the project, ! take appropriate measures to engage with the public and the N ew media about the project aims and results and to highlight the Community financial support. … FP6 model contract: The beneficiaries shall, throughout the duration of the project, take appropriate measures to ensure suitable publicity for the project in order to highlight the Community financial support. 3
  4. 4. Communication in FP7 Grant agreement, Annex II, General conditions II.12. Information and communication Unless the Commission requests otherwise, any publicity, including at a conference or seminar or any type of information or promotional ! material (brochure, leaflet, poster, presentation etc), must specify w Ne that the project has received Community research funding and display the European emblem. When displayed in association with a logo, the European emblem should be given appropriate prominence. This obligation to use the European emblem in respect of projects to which the European Community contributes implies no right of exclusive use. […] 4
  5. 5. Communicating withing EU- funded projects External communication helps … Increasing the success rate of your proposal (provided you have a good communication/dissemination plan) Disseminating research results Increasing visibility and science awareness Achieving successful integration with stakeholders Promoting internal communication Networking and marketing the consortium Bridging the gap between scientists and the public Making European research more attractive 5
  6. 6. Good practices MAR-ECO (international study of the animals inhabiting the northern mid-Atlantic) Public communication built-in Produced beautiful photos, amazing videos and a travelling exhibition Descartes Prize 2006 for communication http://www.mar-eco.no/ 6
  7. 7. Good practices Noah’s Ark (impact of global warming on cultural heritage) ‘Diary note’ was sent out to journalists and published on 23 May 2007 by Research DG 400+ articles published in the media incl. New York’s Metro: ‘Monuments threatened by global warming’ http://noahsark.isac.cnr.it/ 7
  8. 8. Good practices Census of Antarctic Marine Life (largest international biological research programme undertaken during the 2007- 2008 International Polar Year) During their last mission in the Antarctica, the researchers published a daily journal on the web, explaining their work, conditions, etc They found that this increased media coverage by 30% http://www.caml.aq/ 8
  9. 9. Good practices Nano2hybrids (project on the synthesis and properties of carbo nanotubes) Video clips Scientists blogs and diaries Forum etc http://www.nano2hybrids.net/ 9
  10. 10. Good practices COMNET Informal network of communication managers in 15 FP6 projects About 3,000 are engaged in the COMNET projects COMNET members address the design and implementation of communication activities in the health and food sector 10
  11. 11. Open Access Pilot Special clause added to all grant agreements of 7 FP7 research areas (Health, Energy, Environment, E-Infrastructures, ICT, Science in Society and Social science and humanities) Grant recipients in these 7 areas are required to: deposit peer reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their FP7 projects into an online repository; make their best efforts to ensure open access to these articles within either six months (twelve months for social sciences and humanities, science in society) after publication. http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1680 11
  12. 12. What is a good communication? Work and coordinate at European level Be ambitious… and modest Focus on results and background, not just methodology Work with communication and media professionals Use existing relays and organisations Try to make a difference: originality pays! Media is not the end: diversify and reach out! Remember Lasswell’s wwwww: Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect Define your messages, target and support! No propaganda! 12
  13. 13. Communication challenges Today’s challenges in communication include: New technologies (digital TV, SMS alerts, e-zines, forums, podcasts, news feeds, clips, webcasts, weblogs): how best to use them and for which audience? Beyond “popularisation”: initiatives should aim at a 2-way communication, not just providing information European fragmentation… and Europe has to compete with the US big communication machineries! Scientists to become communication-minded? Yes, but European scientists lack professional recognition for engaging with the public 13
  14. 14. Transnational initiatives Despite European fragmentation several initiatives may help you communicating EU-wide: European Commission (DG RTD) Cordis AlphaGalileo EurekAlert ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) EUSCEA (European Science Events Association) etc 14
  15. 15. Useful websites Press room of the European Commission http://europe.eu.int/comm/press_room/index_en.htm Press room of Research DG http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=press&lg=en Communicating European Research Conferences http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2004/cer2004/index_en.html http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2005/cer2005/index_en.html European Guide on successful communications http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2004/cer2004/pdf/rtd_2004_guide_succes s_communication.pdf 15
  16. 16. Useful websites PCST network www.upf.edu/pcstacademy/PCST_Network/ Successful communication website http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/science-communication/index_en.htm European Forum on science journalism http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2007/bcn2007/index_en.htm CORDIS news http://cordis.europa.eu/news/home_en.html research*eu magazine http://ec.europa.eu/research/research-eu/index_en.html 16
  17. 17. Originality pays! Unusual venues/places for science communication Demolition houses, garbage places Cafés Schools, universities Public places, public parks Museums, art galleries Shopping malls, department stores, banks Factories, companies Lighthouses In nature: wood, mountain, beaches Railway station Amusement/Theme parks Jazzhouse Theatres, Opera house Exhibition Ship Parliament Tents, containers www.euscea.org/ 17
  18. 18. Attitudes towards research Scientists are dangerous! “Because of their knowledge, scientists have a power that makes them dangerous” Percentage of people who tend to agree 80 Scientists ought to communicate 70 their scientific knowledge better: 85.9% agree 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 MT LV HUN CY EU15 SL PL CZ SK EU10 EE TR BU RO LT 18 Source: Eurobarometer, 2002, http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1220
  19. 19. Attitudes towards research People are optimistic about science and technology % of people agreeing that s&t will improve the quality of life of future generations 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 AT 19 LV IT FI T LT K E Y K SI PT IE H Z U EL PL SE BE ES SK EE L LU FR 25 M D N D C C U C H EU Source: Eurobarometer, 2005, http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1220
  20. 20. Attitudes towards research Where do Europeans get their scientific information? Television 51 Written press 21 Internet 13 Radio 5 Podcasts 0 0 20 40 60 20 Source: Eurobarometer, 2007, http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_282_en.pdf
  21. 21. Communication @ EC Communicating research: Web (EUROPA + CORDIS) Media events Research*eu magazine Research FUTURIS on Euronews Publications (400 per year incl DG videos, DVDs, VNRs…) Public awareness (Science Week) Visitors Events 21
  22. 22. European Commission: research*eu Monthly magazine Focus on ERA, successes, people Available in English, French, German and Spanish 120,000+ copies, 1,000,000+ readers in 150+ countries A real online version http://ec.europa.eu/research/research-eu/l 22
  23. 23. European Commission: Futuris on 15 M EuroNews viewers / episode 23
  24. 24. Research on the web: Europa and CORDIS CORDIS information for (potential) FP participants results and news http://cordis.europa.eu/home_en.html Europa - the EU’s ‘portal site’ - is aimed at all kinds of audiences: policy makers, students, researchers, industry, press, information multipliers, etc. general information http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?lg=en 1.5 million hits and … 300k unique visitors per month Growing steadily 24
  25. 25. European Commission: Guide to Commission communication and media relations Establishing target audiences and selecting the appropriate media; Defining key messages; Preparing and supplying information to the press; Building good relationships with journalists; Evaluating results; Maximising the exposure of news stories and press articles, and Tapping useful Commission resources http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2004/cer2004/pdf/rtd_2004_guide_success_communication.pdf 25
  26. 26. European Commission: Commission AthenaWeb A video library on science and research in Europe A resource platform for science journalists and producers www.athenaweb.org/ 26
  27. 27. European Commission: PIDS PIDS stands for Project Information Dissemination Service PIDS enables FP6 Project Coordinators (COs) and Project Officers (POs) to Find information on their projects Store their projects’ deliverables (news, events, results, documents…) Disseminate these deliverables through CORDIS services (CORDIS Wire, results database, CORDIS Library…) and in a longer run, through projects’ mini sites. PIDS should offer a complete service to assist the Participants – and the Officers - throughout the whole participation process: Proposal preparation (foreseen) Project Publication http://cordis.europa.eu/pids/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.home 27
  28. 28. How to write a good press release? Have something to say … that is real news… ... and make it sound interesting Get to the point. Why should anyone care about this? Think like a journalist: how can they make a story out of this? What would you be interested in reading about over your cornflakes? Give them all they need. Don’t wait until they call you looking for more 28
  29. 29. What is a press release? A message opportunity. Every press release should have a clear message, and a clear target audience. Who are we talking to? How best can we reach them? An information resource. A press release is the basis for articles on the day or later. All the facts a journalist needs should be there. Influencing the news agenda. A good press release will encourage journalists to write about your subject. Bad press releases mean they look elsewhere... 29
  30. 30. How to write a good press release? BAD: Commission launches European Round Table on GMO Safety Research, and publishes Review of Results of GMO research Brussels, 3 April 2003 News alert Science in the Candidate Countries: GOOD: enthusiastic but with poor prospects, the young abandon research careers Important questions for the future of science in an enlarged Europe are raised GMOs: are there any risks ? by the first major Commission survey in the Candidate Countries published today. More than half of all people questioned had little interest in science and technology, with young men in Cyprus and Hungary the most likely to value science, and older women in Bulgaria and Turkey the least. Young people are turning their backs on scientific careers, citing poor salary prospects as the chief reason. However, eight out of ten people believed that science could improve their quality of life and cure terminal illnesses and that generally European research delivered positive results. Presenting the results of the Eurobarometer on research in the Candidate Countries, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said: "People are more optimistic about science in the Candidate Countries than in current Member States. They are more confident in the capacity of science and technology to build a better future. But they are abandoning research due to a lack of resources and career prospects in science. The time is ripe for greater investment in research in these countries as part of an enlarged EU. We must ensure that we invest now in our scientific legacy for future European generations.” For this Eurobarometer survey sample questions were fielded in November 2002 to a total of 12,247 nationals in the 13 candidate countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey. Lacking information… The Eurobarometer shows there is a clear science divide in society. 56% of Candidate Countries’ nationals are neither interested in nor informed about science and technology (EU15: 45%). Only 35% of people expressed an interest in science (EU15: 45%). Two thirds of participants in the survey think they are badly informed about science and technology. High interest in science and technology is seen in Cyprus (58%), Hungary (53%), Malta (50%) and Slovenia (50%) while two countries present a below-average interest: http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=press&lg=en Bulgaria (34%) and Turkey (22%). Romania is exactly on average: 35%. ….but confident science can improve our quality of life Demographic analyses show that women are less interested in scientific topics (29%) 30 than are men (41%). The youngest age group has the highest level of interest in science and technology (44%), compared to 26% in the oldest age group. Science is seen as a very positive value in the Candidate Countries; citizens expect a lot from scientific progress. About eight in 10 people in the candidate region believe
  31. 31. How to write a good press release? We are competing for journalists’ time and interest. So you should have real news and make it interesting! Make your news relevant to people! Relate our message to things that matter to ordinary people! Try twice as hard to sell good news Focus on results, tangible things Find the angle 31
  32. 32. Main problems with press releases Too bureaucratic – in content and language. Nobody cares about procedures. Nobody cares about “agreed text”. News is about real people. What does your story mean? Upside down. Put the interesting bits first. Save the details for the end. Missing information. Are all the facts there? Have you got comparative figures? What will the journalists ask you for? Jargon. Don’t say “Community Support Programme for employment”. Do say “EU plan to boost jobs” 32
  33. 33. Making a press release work Content : give them what they need Language : write like a journalist Structure : a hierarchy of information. Most press releases follow the following structure: Title Chapeau Quote (not always) Details Background 33
  34. 34. What makes a good title and chapeau? Title: think of it as a possible headline Short : 2 lines max Clear : Tell them what it is…straight up Simple : The details come later Action : Make something happen…use a verb Chapeau: a summary of the main story - which stands alone Ideally 10 lines… maximum 15 Answer the main questions : Who? What? When? Why? How? ….and if possible Where? Only the main news… the details come later 34
  35. 35. The main text Keep following the pyramid of information - main messages still come first. Provide a quote or two - and make them snappy and relevant Try to guess the journalists’ questions : Who? What? When? Why? How? Where?….and what’s new? Make it easy to read - use headings, bullet points, 3 key themes, a section of Background at the end… Details, graphs, tables, analysis, information with a longer shelf-life, can be incorporated in an annex, rather than all having to be in the press release 35
  36. 36. Directorate-General for Research Communication Unit research-eu@ec.europa.eu Phone +32-2-295 99 71 Fax +32-2-295 82 20 36