When it comes to communicating and reporting on KTH in general, and our research in particular, one very simple, yet difficult, rule applies: Focus on the actual news and/or story. What do you want to share, and why? The answers to these questions are a requisite for an effective and timely communication with the world outside.
A few tips for research-related communication
- What? What is the story? What is the use of this research, who does it benefit, and which consequences could it lead to? Sift out the newsworthy item, and summarise it in three sentences. Put the research into context. Think about a target audience – who would be interested in this? You should think about images/illustrations right away – an image is a condition for a push notification on the homepage for example.
- Why? Why would this be of interest to the target group? This aspect includes a certain amount of news evaluation, based on perspectives such as social benefit, consequences and how it will affect the everyday lives of people, improvements and real applications. The less abstract the better, or cutting-edge – sensational and unexpected.
- When? Is this a current issue? Is there a sense of urgency? Has this research already featured in the media? Is there a critical time line to relate to? Is it connected to the calendar year? In these respects, timing might be of the utmost importance, for example, writing about an avalanche app for the winter holidays, or subjects connected to global news reports, such as research on railway traffic apropos of delays and derailments.
- Who? Who is concerned with the recommendation/research? Are there other actors involved? Other universities, companies etc.?
- How/Where? Comprehension is the key. If you want to reach a wider audience, remember to talk about the research as you would to a novice in the field, and then gradually increase the complexity.