The SMC offers a collection of online resources for busy researchers and communications managers keen to develop their science communication skills.
We have partnered with our colleagues at the Australian Science Media Centre to present a series of short videos and tip sheets on topics including dealing with the media, using social media, and communicating contentious science. Ask us for the log-in details if you want to access the contentious science module.
Who’s covering science?
The New Zealand media landscape is constantly changing, but there are a number of keen science and environment reporters across different outlets. If you’re interested in pitching a story to a journalist, see who’s covering science to find out what areas they’re interested in.
Sciblogs is website is for New Zealand scientists who want to reach out to a general audience to explain their science and how it relates to society.
Some Sciblog contributors spend most of their time in the lab or buried in research. Others are authors or entrepreneurs. All of them know what they are talking about and have an interest in engaging in discussion on the big science-related issues facing society.
Sciblogs brings together the best science bloggers in the country on one website, creating a hub for scientific analysis and discussion and facilitating reader interaction.
If you would like to inquire about hosting a blog on Sciblogs or contributing a guest post, contact us here.
Finding Creative Commons material
Whether you’re writing a blog, creating a video or producing your own podcast, you might run into issues trying to find external images, audio or video to embellish it — though we encourage you to collect your own!
It can be hard to navigate what’s restricted by copyright and what’s not, but there’s a whole host of freely available material under Creative Commons. The Creative Commons makes it easy to comply with copyright restrictions – you just need to correctly use and attribute what you find.
Unitec have a useful guide to finding global and New Zealand Creative Commons content.
Creating your own video
Being able to provide journalists with audio and video recordings of research in action or premade videos about key concepts involved in your research could be the ticket to give your research the boost it needs.
In March 2017, the SMC ran a webinar covering trends in online video, the best work with media outlets to promote your videos, collaboration tips for working with the media’s own videographers and gathering footage now for use when you publish your research.
In conjunction with video producer Baz Caitcheon, several times a year we also run half-day workshops teaching you to plan, film, edit and publish short videos using only a smartphone or tablet.
Design tips for posters
Conference posters are a right of passage for many researchers, but you’re often given very little feedback on layout and design – all of which have a huge impact on how you communicate your research. This blog has some great tips for you or your students on poster design, some of which you can also use for presentations or other display material.
As a researcher, you can register a profile on Scimex to showcase your areas of expertise, outline your media experience and feature in our searchable expert database. Register here.
Media officers can upload press releases about new scientific research, linking in researchers’ profiles and content and making it easy for journalists to find new science stories.
Working with the media
Desk Guide for Scientists
We’ve also distilled the essential lessons from our SAVVY courses into a handy desk reference. Includes a media checklist and worksheet for preparing key messages. Order free copies for your colleagues online.
Publications for scientists
The Science Media Centre in the United Kingdom has created a set of pocket-sized guides for scientists that list effective ways of talking within the context of a short interview about various issues. These cover why you should engage with media, what to do if you’re being harassed and some top tips for working with media.
Communicating risk in a soundbite
This guide was created by the UK Science Media Centre and is a useful resource for scientists and science press officers who are likely to field questions from journalists around safety and the risks associated with scientific research. It is not an official guide on how to handle queries from the media but it has been put together with feedback from top British scientists and journalists.