How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders


Letter-to-the-Editor Mode

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).
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Left to Our Own Devices

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.
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Fact Checking: Your Boring New Advantage

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?…

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Avoid Research Snapocalypse

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.…

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Tuesday TL Teardown: Anti-Vaxxers & You

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.…

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