Communicating research to non-academic audiences is crucial to generate research impact which is often defined as the effect of research on key stakeholders outside academia. Within our research field of education, these stakeholders can include teachers and parents who are often very busy and do not usually have time to read 40-page jargon-laden peer-reviewed research articles. Therefore, being able to communicate complex research ideas and findings accessibly and effectively through everyday media platforms is an important skill for all academics to have.
With that in mind, IoE research staff recently received professional media training from a highly regarded firm ran by two BBC journalists. This three-hour action-packed workshop on Wednesday 7th November 2018 gave our staff insights into what journalists look for from academics. Discussion of good and poor “story telling” by academics using real-life examples of radio and TV interviews were then shown and discussed. The participants were then invited to come up with the core message of their research, and to share it with each other and with the trainers.
Five of the participants were later invited to do a mock five-minute one-to-one on-camera interview which was designed to imitate real-life TV interview situations. The rest of the group continued working on their core messages and practise delivering them in short mock radio interviews with the trainers. Everyone then joined together for feedback on the filmed interviews.
The whole afternoon was very useful in giving our research staff a higher degree of confidence, and we hope to spot them passionately (and accessibly!) talking about their research in radio and TV interviews soon!