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+ Unconventional Ways of Communicating Science with the Public — outreach or outrageous? Oana Sandu Lars Lindberg Christensen 13 October 2011, Beijing, China
+We communicateastronomy! Panoramic view of the WR 22 and Eta Carinae regions of the Carina Nebula. Credit: ESO
+ How well do we know our audience?Image source: www.arthursclipart.org
Watch video at: http://scaryideas.com/content/21996/ Screenshot from the video “We are the future” from the advertising agency PHD, USA, February2011. Credit: PHD, USA Source: scaryideas.com.
+ Traditional ways of communicating astronomy People reading or ignoring the news Journalists selecting stories for newsPIOs writing press releasesImage sources: www.techﬁlipino.com, www.sciencesurvivalblog.com, www.thelondonrulebok.co.uk
+ “China has the most complex, fragmented and developed social media landscape in the world with a unique online culture that requires its own specialised understanding” Sam Flemming*, CIC Chairman and Founder*The ﬁrst and foremost provider of social business intelligence in China
+ The “public” becomes individuals with personal opinions, ideas and preferences connected opinion leader gatekeeper Image source: www.cutcaster.com
+ We have to communicate science No young people No adults No No No interested working in astronomy research funding in astronomy results astronomy
+ What is outrageous outreach? the process of communicating science in an environment where individuals are most open to receive information because this medium is frequented by the targeted group by choice and out of pleasure, and not as a result of a call for action from the science communicator. information takes familiar forms the message is integrated naturally and placed in a context communication is done in a language that the target understands.
+ It proactively goes after the target Image source: www.supercuter.com
+ It is niche-targetedImage source: www.transnet.co.mgr
Robert’s Mug+ It is personalised and has a human touch Image source: www.wikia.com
+ It tells a story and creates a bondImage source: www.thumnpeople.org
+ It is interactive and engagingImage source: www.techwarelabs.com
+ It is unexpected and originalImage source: www.bloc.ning.com
+ It adheres to the individuals’ beliefs "Image source: www.winjitsu.com
+ It generates word of mouthImage source: www.lsgeekster_blogspot.com
+ It is often controversialImage source: www.lovetoknow.com
+ Information sources… Research studies Focus groups Public studies from NGO’s, governments, mass media Social media Proﬁles of magazines readers Latest trends, gadgets, aps etc. …give you insights!
+ Insights… Where does your audience spend their free time? What are their concerns? What makes them laugh? Where do they meet their friends? What gadgets do they use? How often do they travel? …give you the ideas!
You Your target group + The right channel is the one used by your target group and not the one you use or the one you think they should use.
+ Bigger is not better. The Daily Telegraph is Britains biggest-selling quality daily newspaper, but readers between 15 and 24 are only 5% of total readership*, while most readers are 45+ which makes it an inefﬁcient channel if you target adolescents. Top 10 magazines for teenagers include: Cheerleader, Girls’ Life Magazine, Seventeen, TeenVogue etc. (allyoucanread.com) How many of your outreach products addressed to young people were featured in these magazines? * www.nmauk.co.uk
+ Learn a new “language” every time you start an outreach initiative Tone: cheeky, bold, ironic, parental, polite, informal, friendly Vocabulary: jargon, colloquialism Style: neutral, story plot Length: tweet, slogan, blog post, script Symbols, images and characters: # D @ RT 4u
+ Write AIDA messages Attention — choose the right language to be understood Interest — focus on your audience’s areas of interest Desire — offer desirable beneﬁts Action — make it easy for your audience to act
+ Astronomy news for childrenImage source: www.unawe.org
+ She’s an Astronomer visuals Credit: Alex Conu for Baneasa Shopping City
+ She’s an Astronomer visuals Role mothers for daughters, as chosen by mothers: Life-saving doctor – 47% Nobel prize-winning scientist - 20% Olympic gold medalist – 14% Best-selling novelist – 9% 5% of respondents chose a celebrity or pop star as suitable role models for young girls* More than half of teenagers do not want a career - they just want to be famous. When asked "What would you like to do for your career?”, 54% answered "Become a celebrity”** *Study by ICM for the Royal Society **A survey on 1032 16-years-old done in 2010 in UK
+ How to manage outrageous outreach? No bumps, no bruises.
+ Planning outrageous outreach Have SMART objectives Speciﬁc Measurable Achievable Realistic Time- constrained. Design a tool to assess the pros and cons on a case-by-case basis; Set up a decision tree; Sign an agreement if you are entering a partnership; Implement, evaluate and record; Don’t forget about traditional methods/channels.
+ Assessing outrageous outreach. Basic facts: • What? • Why? • When? • How? • Where? • Who? The logistics involved; The number of people involved from the outside and inside; The costs for the organisation; A possible programme for the event; The timeframe.
+ Assessing outrageous outreach An example workﬂow for assessing a non-traditional initiative.
+ Evaluating outrageous outreach website trafﬁc social media activity (going viral) exposure to new audiences trackbacks number of downloads in iTunes views of videos posted online search results in Google and Google News number of movie or concert tickets sold/ number of movie DVDs sold etc.
+ We have a communication environment that has placed the individual at its centre, changing our ﬂows of information. Know our target group We have highly demanding and hard to impress audiences. Find the right channel We have serious competition from Choose the best approach other areas like entertainment Yet, we cannot afford to let people lose their fascination for the Universe"
+ Go out there Gather data and research on your audience Present your management and your peers why you need to be unconventional Support untraditional initiatives with funding and resources Challenge traditional-only approaches Encourage your colleagues in the ﬁeld to up the game Create your own innovative outrageous outreach
+Communicateastronomyoutrageously! " Panoramic view of the WR 22 and Eta Carinae regions of the Carina Nebula. Credit: ESO