Because I am a writer and not a speaker, I like to watch TED-talks. Science communicators need to watch and analyze as many good (TED) talks as possible to become a better speaker, and to get our message across. So what have excellent TED speakers in common? I come to three characteristics.
Tropenbos International is active in seven countries, making it difficult to communicate with a single voice. The organisation opted for communications training for all of the organisation’s programme directors and communications staff to resolve the problem.
Recognise the impact
Results remain invisible if they’re not recognised as such. We teach staff to have an eye for impact and to recognise what’s news. And we show how you to communicate it.
Share your news
Research results or projects are often relevant and newsworthy, of interest to policy makers, financiers or journalists. But how do you package your results into an attractive story? In the ‘share your news’ workshop, participants learn how to recognise news within their own organisation, how to formulate a news message and how to develop a strategy to disseminate this news via various media channels, including social media.
Find your way in the media and social media
More and more professionals are posting the results from their projects on social media such as LinkedIn, blog sites and open e-platforms. Others want to write a book, make a film or to be picked up more frequently by the press. All media have their own target audiences and style. How do you handle these aspects? In this workshop we examine the added value and pitfalls of the various media. And the aspects you need to take into account when you want to raise your public profile.
The art of blogging
Blogs give their readers news and views. They contribute to the public debate and they help you raise your profile and that of your organisation. With a blog you’re able to showcase your expertise. In our ‘The art of blogging’ workshop we examine the characteristics of well-written blogs. We help to translate ideas for a blog (or blog site) into easily understandable key messages. And of course we offer tips on how to bring your point across clearly, without using jargon.
We have given workshop and training courses at, among others, Wageningen University, STW, Wetlands International, Leiden University, TU Delft, Topinstitute Food and Nutrition and Centre for Genetic Resources in Wageningen.
Blogs about our training courses
Read the leaflet about our Training
7-12-2013. Are you struggling to create and maintain a website for a research program? View the Water, Land and Ecosystems CGIAR research program for a while. In my eyes, an inspiring site that excellently serves readers, the blogsite is particularly interesting.
In my role as a science writer, I follow research news in controversial fields including ‘land grabbing’ in developing countries. The greater the contribution from research to a topical issue, the better. Yesterday, while surfing on that CGIAR-site, I found an interesting blog about the amount of agricultural land (in hectares) that has been ‘grabbed’ in developing countries. A couple of years ago, Oxfam claimed that an area almost the size of Western Europe had been taken over by foreign investors. But then a recently published report claimed that most of these big ‘land grabs’ never got beyond the planning stage. So what is the truth? Accordingly, journalist Fred Pearce (author of ‘Land grabbers’) started researching different sources and figures (including figures from CGIAR). The result is a convincing blog/story that NGO”s such as Oxfam are probably right, but that they used the wrong figures to support their claim. Well, such analysis – with links to different figures and sources – really help a discussion further.
The homepage contains ‘news articles’, ‘Upcoming events’, ‘About’and ’Twitter’ (5000 followers). But three years after the start of this CGIAR research program, the blogsite is the most interesting and relevant part. It meets the program’s goal of providing a ‘platform for discussion and networking on ecosystems services and resource management’.
‘Critical opinions can be expressed here’, to quote the site, ‘but discussions must be forward-looking and solution-oriented.’ In this way, (blog)sites are fulfilling the traditional role of a professional journal, but with a broader based, more diverse audience. Journals calling themselves independent have a comparable goal of being a platform. And when research programs start inviting or recruiting good journalists such as Fred Pearce to actively participate, the difference between the professional journals and quality blogsites are negligible.