Academics spend lots of time writing, analysing data and collaborating with colleagues on research. Once the research is finished comes the fork in the road with the following two options:
1) Have a glass of wine with colleagues and toast the success of the research and the fact that it was well received by a small group of academics.
2) Realise that this is only a first step. Now, it’s time to make the effort to communicate and dare I say the evil “m” word – market – it to external audiences.
Many academics say the following:
- I don’t have time.
- This won’t help me get tenure.
- I could come across as too self-promoting.
- Journalists are going to take my work out of context.
- Social media is not for serious research – it is for communicating the trivialities of life.
An alternative mindset is:
- Communicating to the public via traditional and digital media is a means of connecting me to different audiences.
- This is a way for me to help the school gain visibility among key stakeholder groups like alumni, current students, prospective students, board members and others. What an opportunity to be an ideal “citizen” for my school!
- I can benefit too! Maybe communicating to external audiences will lead to a new book opportunity, speaking engagements and/or consulting assignments.
- I am in a better position to secure future research funding because of the impact generated from building up a thought leadership platform.
- This is a terrific opportunity to share my knowledge outside of the walls of academia and thus benefit society.
- What a great way for learning!
- The contrast between these two mindsets is quite stark. Some are in the first category and just have no interest in thinking otherwise. Others are in the second category, but just don’t feel comfortable with communicating to external audiences through traditional and digital media, but are keen to learn.
The book Maximize Your Impact – How Academics Can Communicate Knowledge Through Traditional and Digital Media helps academics with the following:
1. Thinking through the big picture
2. Generating impact through the traditional media
3. Generating impact by creating content on owned platforms
4. Generating impact using social media
The book is written by Kevin Anselmo, founder of Experiential Communications and a former PR professional for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and IMD in Switzerland. The book is based on his experiences working with academics over the past 10 years in different contexts and countries as well as the insights from journalists, media-savvy academics and other expert communicators.
In addition to academics, the book will also benefit communicators looking to train their colleagues as well as leadership looking to generate buy-in from their colleagues on the importance of external communications.
More information, including access to the free Blogging Strategy Guide for Academics is at the following link.