Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Science of Communicating Science

I had an interesting conversation with reporters this week at a Washington Women in Public Relations lunch series at the American Chemical Society. We discussed the science of communicating with scientists and how to turn technical matters into compelling stories.    

Anna Edney of Bloomberg and Kimberly Leonard of US News and World Report, who often write about the latest medical technologies, emphasized the importance of remembering your audience: people.    

Readers like to hear stories, and more than anything, want to know what’s in it for them.

The reporters shared the techniques they use to create personal connections on technical matters—techniques that are very much a part of the PR world and the work we do at PCG:    

·         Use analogies. Comparisons can put technical subjects into terms with which your audience can relate.

·         Remember the big picture. Readers want to know the implications of the science. How does it affect society and the way in which we live?

·         Add a human face. Anecdotes can spruce up your story with emotion, personality and suspense. Tell the story of the scientist, or of a person affected by the science.

·         Incorporate multi-media. Videos, pictures and infographics are effective tools to break down complex information.

At PCG, we’re in the business of helping our clients communicate complex information and we know firsthand the effectiveness of these techniques.

After all, that’s what keeps our work fun. 

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