TSPN would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who came out to attend our Media Relations 101 Workshop held on Thursday 28th November 2019. We had the pleasure to host two Faculty of Medicine communications professionals: Liam Mitchell(Associate Director of Communications) and Gabrielle (Gabe) Giroday (Communications and Media Relations Specialist) .
Our two workshop hosts tackled media basics such as identifying appropriate media outlets to pitch, deciding whether research items are newsworthy, and how to present your ideas in a way that is broadly accessible. In addition, Liam and Gabe shared practical tips to engage with journalists and news outlets, including how to make the most of your time with a journalist and what to expect in an interview. Both emphasised that while there are many benefits of seeking media attention, there are also some caveats or risks involved, such as the potential for controversy or a lack of time to do media engagement well.
The workshop concluded with a pitch slam activity, where attendees were divided into trios and asked to prepare a thirty second pitch to share their research with a media outlet. Gabe and Liam provided feedback on what would help the pitch be more successful, and judged pitches based on their intended news outlet and target audience
The take-away message from Liam and Gabe was that as scientists, researchers and students, we all have stories worth sharing, and seeking media attention in science should be normalized. Both workshop hosts also recommended reaching out to the Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Communications in order to seek guidance and resources before engaging with the media. You can contact the office via email@example.com.
This post was written by Claudia Lutelmowski.
The Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) aims to provide a platform for students (graduate and undergraduate), as well as post-doctoral researchers, to learn more about and engage in science policy. Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop about TSPN’s upcoming events. Read about our previous events on our Medium page here.