No one builds their communications strategy around writing letters to editors.
So why is so much research communications still stuck in letter-to-the-editor mode?
When you write a letter to an editor, you stick a message into a bottle that
- Is 100 percent reactive to another current (i.e., to someone else’s idea);
- Will surface on some unknown shore at some unknown point (i.e., someone else’s platform), beaten and bruised by their style guide and word count;
- Will be indistinguishable from the surrounding message flotsam; and
- Has no sense who or if anyone will read it (target audience).
Screen time research is poised to become the next nutrition research:
- A slow-motion war of public claims and counterclaims,
- Based on conflicting studies and shifting definitions,
- That will confuse everyone,
- Devolving into the public ignoring the science, and
- Science as a whole once again losing credibility.
I hate almost all infographics. (Those often cute, overproduced, have-to-pinch-and-scroll-around-to-see-everything graphic narratives that are really made for taping to a wall, not consuming quickly on your phone.)
Infographics usually try to show everything, or almost everything, about something. And thus I remember nothing.…Read More
Superstar authors don’t do it. Neither do publishers. And, increasingly, neither do media (except for politicians).
But you do, as researchers and research communicators. You just don’t talk about it.
It’s called fact checking. And it’s your new competitive advantage.
How could that be?…Read More
As researchers and research communicators, we’re always explaining. Our fear: If we don’t explain, our authority vanishes.
Sometimes it’s better not to explain. To simply market our authority.
And to understand when you have the choice.
Yahoo! Finance interviewed Tyler Cowen for five minutes recently, ostensibly about his new book on the underappreciated virtues of big business.…Read More
I love starting my week with a jolt.
And a list member provided one (edited lightly and published here with permission), in response to my post last week about the recent UN biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment and the UN’s failure (so far) to create a marketing campaign around it:
… Read More
What irritates me is that they don’t pick up on the obvious.
I love this term — coined to describe research that has a contagiously negative impact on society. But I think that’s too narrow a definition for what could be a broadly useful concept.
The poster child of grimpact is the 1998 Lancet article that found recipients of the MMR vaccine were at heightened risk of developing autism.…Read More
The economist and journalist Tim Harford writes for the FT that Avengers’ archenemy Thanos is really “an economist on steroids.” That’s because Thanos sees a problem (a universe with finite resources and ever-expanding population) and he uses a rational, hyper-utilitarian approach to reach a solution — “specifically, to eliminate half of all life in the universe, chosen at random.”
(Thanos doesn’t seem to understand that a rapidly growing population would soon replace everyone he eliminates.…Read More
What separates researcher thought leadership from the kind of thought leadership everybody hates is…research, and the uniquely deep expertise that flows from being a researcher.
Saturating your thought leadership with supporting research doesn’t work. But not having any research doesn’t work, either.…Read More