Why media matters – what Imperial’s press office can do for you

If last year is anything to go by, 2018 is set to be packed with more ground-breaking research from the Faculty of Medicine.

But with all of the work put into securing funding, recruiting for trials, collecting data, lengthy analysis – let alone the back-and-forth of the peer-review process – it can be hard to find the time to publicise your work outside of your peers. However, it really is worth making that investment.

When the time is right, the College press office is here to help you get the word out about your research. The team includes former journalists and public relations experts with strong scientific backgrounds, a wealth of communications expertise, and most of all, an understanding of the news cycle and how the media works.

Beyond the initial recognition, publicising your research can bring other benefits, including leading to new speaking engagements as well as being able to show the impact of your work outside the lab or clinic when applying for funding.

The press office has good relationships with the press and broadcast media and an extensive list of contacts to help to promote your research, and it all starts with letting us know when the paper has been accepted.

We’re in the privileged position of having a steady flow of high quality research to publicise – from basic molecular science to clinical trials and huge epidemiology studies – and try and find the best outlet to do this through, be it an international press release, news story, blog post, video, or Reddit Ask Me Anything.

We can work with you to draft a press release for your upcoming paper. It’s worth noting that we get a high volume of requests and sign off from funders, partner institutions and third parties can take longer than you might think, so the earlier you can let us know, the better.

Not every piece of research may be suitable for a press release, and a more suitable option may need be to target a more specialist audience, or in some cases, the timing may not be quite right to publicise the work. But there are a number of options we can explore, including promoting at the departmental level.

Over the last year we have worked hard with our communications colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine to strengthen our links across the College and there are numerous outlets for your work. In addition to the central News website, social media channels and Imperial Today newsletter, there are departmental news pages and social media channels, as well as the Imperial Medicine blog, which has been a huge success since its launch last year.

Ryan O'Hare and Kate WightonThe press office also helps to arrange filming and broadcast interviews, so if you are approached by the media, please let us know.

In 2017 we helped Imperial researchers to tell the world about their work and we look forward to helping you to do the same this year, so get in touch!

Ryan O’Hare

Ryan O’Hare and Kate Wighton are Research Media Officers for the Faculty of Medicine.

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