Increasing impact through media engagement

Engaging with the media can help increase the impact of your research as a ‘pathway to impact’ and, in some cases, as an impact itself.

The media can help you to disseminate and showcase your work to a wider audience, who might not come across it via other means. These include policymakers, practitioners, industry, interested parties and the general public.

A case study of media engagement
Professor Simona Francese’s work on criminal profiling through molecular fingerprinting, pioneering the development of the Matrix Assisted Laser Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Profiling (MALDI MSI & MSP), has increased worldwide awareness and knowledge of the science behind fingerprinting.

Prof Francese was featured in a wide range of media outlets including BBC Breakfast and The Today Programme on Radio 4 .  A BBC Online piece was the most read on the day across all BBC online platforms (>1.6m reads).  Watch Prof Francese’s TED talk (9:57mins), which accrued in excess of 2.5 million views and has been translated into 24 languages.

As a result of the media coverage, underpinned by fundamental research publication and dissemination, Prof Francese received casework enquiries from government lawyers, law enforcement agencies, forensic providers, criminal lawyers, including requests for information to help inform ongoing investigations to Senate hearings. In addition, the coverage prompted in excess of 100 online commentaries, personal letters and emails requesting more information about molecular fingerprinting, demonstrating an active engagement with Prof Francese’s research from the public.

Getting started with media engagement                                                                                                                         Our in-house team regularly write internal and external news stories about research that has been developed by our researchers.  Contact the Recruitment, Communications and Marketing team if you think your research could be featured in a news story.

The Conversation
A great way to get started with engaging with the media is to write for The Conversation. It is an independent source of news and views, written by the academic and research community, alongside trained editors, through comment on topical news stories or publication of new research. Articles are often picked up by the mainstream media and published more widely.

SHU has an established relationship with The Conversation and has organised training sessions to help academics write articles based on their work, including promoting the publication of research. Look out for future sessions in the Academic Digest.

You could also visit Hallam’s Research in action webpages to view content developed around research.

Tracking references to your work                                                                                                                            Altmetrics, i.e. alternative metrics, show non-traditional attention and engagement with digitally published research. Altmetric Explorer is a platform which tracks online references, or ‘mentions’, of your research, in social media, news outlets and policy papers.

See below for an introduction to Altmetric Explorer, including how it can help identify leads for impact.  Contact the Library Research Support team for more information on how to use Altmetric Explorer.