- We opened the meeting with a discussion of the Yik Yak threat and subsequent response
- Communicators heard that faculty weren’t always sure what was happening – they received the Safety First emails, but not the emails from Les.
- Should the distribution list for Les’ emails include faculty and staff? Or at least be open to opt-ins?
- Kudos to UMC’s Twitter staff for recognizing the threat and immediately reporting it
- If you ever come across something that you’re not sure about, please don’t hesitate to contact UMC, and they’ll work with you to figure out the next steps
Allison Mills and Jessica Brassard
- We started with a round of Picture Telephone
- This activity showed how research stories can change as they’re interpreted and re-interpreted by different people
- Things to think about in science writing:
- Visuals: do your visuals accurately represent the story? Are photos of people current (check hair cuts, glasses, etc.)? Are diagrams labeled properly?
- Marketing vs. science writing: sometimes, the visual you have isn’t compelling. Talk to your faculty to see if another visual can be substituted, or if the communication is going to an audience that will know the context. General rule of thumb: marketing pieces have some leeway. Science writing and writing about research doesn’t.
- Explanations and analogies: most science articles need to ‘translate’ the science into layman’s terms. If you use analogies to explain the concept, are they accurate?
- Working with researchers: ask your subject what they think is the most important takeaway.
- Don’t be afraid to say “Let’s come at this like I don’t know anything,” or “Pretend you’re teaching someone about this.”
- If researchers aren’t used to coming to you with story ideas, you may have to seek them out. Go to doctoral defenses, look at funding announcements, or just walk around and chat with the people you see.
- Content strategy
- It’s hard to get started if you’re not used to this!
- Jessica made a one-page content strategy guide that will help you define your audience, detail what you want to communicate, and determine your schedule.
- Next month: part of communication is being creative! We’ll meet for a creative activity that’ll help us relax and rejuvenate before the holiday break.