At Boston University, we believe communication is vital to scientific endeavors, and we want to empower our faculty and community to communicate in effective, compelling, and accessible ways. Our Strategic Communications Series, co-hosted by the Office of Research and the PR | Social Media team, is designed to do just that.
Learn about upcoming sessions on our events page, or browse videos from past workshops below.
The Conversation: Op-ed Writing and Pitching Workshop
This engaging and informative workshop shared tips about op-ed writing and how to pitch media. It was led by editors at The Conversation, an influential media outlet that publishes content exclusively from academics and researchers.
Deputy editor Emily Costello, and senior science and technology editor Maggie Villiger covered the best practices for op-ed pitching, drafting, and placement, as well as how to take advantage of The Conversation and work most effectively with its editorial staff. Whether you are brand new to op-ed writing or looking for a refresher, this workshop is uniquely geared towards helping faculty, researchers and scientists of all disciplines write about their work in a way that can inform public debate and shape scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas.
Engaging with Science Media
Learn to communicate your expertise to journalists and other audiences this interactive workshop facilitated by Meredith Drosback from SciLine, a program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science connecting US journalists to scientific experts for print, broadcast, and digital stories about science-related issues.
How to Connect with Policymakers and Funding Agencies
Effective communication with members of Congress and federal funding agencies is critical. Jennifer Grodsky, BU’s vice president for Federal Relations, and consultants from Lewis-Burke Associates provided insights about how to connect with key policymakers, draft testimony, seek federal funding, and engage with stakeholders in local and national government.
How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Work & Expertise
Whether you are looking to increase your following or build visibility for your department, center or initiative, this discussion will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of using social media, how to set goals and measure success, and how to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
Panelists included Karen Weintraub, acclaimed science writer and social communicator; Adam Conner-Simons, communications and media relations officer at MIT CSAIL; Steve Ramirez, assistant professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University; Eric DelGizzo, media engagement associate, Office of the Dean at Boston University School of Public Health, and Molly Gluck, digital communications and public relations associate at Boston University.
Lights. Camera. Action: Broadcast Interview Tips & Tricks
Less than comfortable speaking on live TV or radio? You are not alone. However, learning how to present yourself on camera and during an interview, is key to communicating your expertise and increasing visibility for your research. This discussion about the broadcast industry highlighted its evolution beyond TV and radio, where to look for media opportunities, and how to ace on-air interviews.
Panelists included Mike Fernandez, former professor of strategic communication at Boston University; Lindsay Schwimer, manager, media relations strategy at PAN Communications; Arianne Chernock, associate professor of History at Boston University; Joe Bergantino, co-founder and executive director emeritus of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and clinical professor emeritus at Boston University; Sarah Grucza, communications specialist, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, and Rachel Lapal, assistant vice president of Public Relations | Social Media at Boston University. The panelists talk about the difference between print and broadcast interviews, the power of broadcast in elevating research and thought-leadership, and how to best prepare for each type of interview.
New Frontiers in Social Media: Reddit AMA and Facebook Live
How can social media—specifically Reddit AMAs and Facebook Live—promote academic research, engage audiences, and elevate the faculty’s public profile? Paul Duprex, professor of microbiology at MED; Tammy Vigil, assistant professor of communication at COM; and Joshua Safer, associate professor of medicine at MED, joined Reddit moderator Liz Crocker to share how they used Reddit AMAs and Facebook Live to engage the public. Learn why they ventured into social media, how they leveraged different platforms, and what value they derived from the experience. Gain an understanding of the evolving social media landscape to evaluate opportunities strategically and participate with confidence.
This workshop brought together podcast experts to share information and tips from what to know before starting a podcast, how to structure your podcast, best practices for recording, tips for podcast guests and much more. Kerry Donahue and Lindsay Abrams from PRX along with Boston University professor Anne Donohue provided the audience with thoughtful analysis and recommendations.
Podcasts are a great way to share research findings, build your academic network, and engage the general public in your work. Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned podcaster looking to gain new skills, this orientation offers valuable information and insight.
Science Through Video: How to Tell a Compelling Story
Journals, funding agencies, and media outlets often seek video assets when reporting on science. The good news is that all of us have a camera—our cell phones—with us at all times. But how best to use this tool? This workshop examined what makes a good visual story, how to distill a message, and how to use video to promote research. Panelists included Karen Warkentin, professor of biology at CAS; James Bird, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science & engineering at ENG, Christine Daniloff, creative director of MIT News, Hilary Katulak, associate director of public relations at BU Marketing & Communications, and Devin Hahn, producer and senior editor at BU Productions. The panelists discussed how video can help bring science, proposals, and research to life.
Working with the Media
A panel with members of the media, featuring Bruce Gellerman, reporter for WBUR; Evan Hadingham, senior science editor for NOVA; Helen Branswell, infectious disease and public health reporter for STAT; and David Corcoran, former editor of the New York Times’ Science Times, senior editor of Undark, and associate director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. The panelists, who regularly cover science, research, and new discoveries, discussed what makes a good story, what makes a good interview, and how researchers and scientists can best share their findings and expertise with a wide audience. Faculty learned how to effectively communicate the substance of their work in a meaningful and media-friendly way.