How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders


Where’s Your ‘Boundary’?

If you lead or work for an applied research center or organization, telling the world that it’s a “boundary organization” or that you do “research-to-action” or “research-to-policy” today means nothing.

By which I mean: These terms no longer differentiate the value your group brings to potential partners and to the world.…

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We Might Be Doing It All Wrong

The way almost everyone communicates and markets is to start with one of two things:

A. Ourselves (our research, process, product, vision, etc.); or

B. A problem in the world that our audiences or market face (that the audience soon learns our research, process, product or vision etc.…

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So Frustrating: The Science of Research Communication

The science about how to communicate research is eternally promising, tantalizing and…frustrating.

For this science to be helpful to communicators, its researchers need to

  • Use study subjects that closely resemble the ones practitioners target;
  • Provide findings that are close to shovel-ready; and
  • Test whether and which communications strategies and tactics can prompt behaviors that would translate into real world impact.
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What Kind of Science Storytelling Works Best?

What’s better at motivating climate change action — analytical information, or a story?

Most science communicators would automatically say “storytelling” — and now a new study out from the journal Climatic Change will only strengthen that reflex.

The paper argues that embedding climate change messages within an actual story is more effective than fact-based arguments at provoking durable “pro-environmental behaviors” in your audience.…

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You Are in the Explainer Business

We all agree: Researchers aren’t journalists, and research-driven organizations aren’t in the journalism business — at least as we’ve understood that business for the last century plus.

But let’s also agree that the old model of how research works with journalism — research as a kind of raw material that journalism turns into public attention and then action — is also no longer broadly viable.…

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