Why Science Communication as a Business works.
We founded mediomix following our inner conviction that the time for a „media agency from scientists for scientists“ is now. After three years, the fact that mediomix is still on the market and steadily growing suggests, that there is a real need for science communication services. Here are our top three reasons why according to our observations science communication as a service works as a business model:
#1: Science communication matters:
Knowledge that is not communicated, is lost. Scientists that think their work is done after publishing in a journal will need to revise their expectation how science communication will work in the future. With the ongoing digital revolution, the media landscape is profoundly changing. As a result, opportunities for scientists to successfully communicate science are simultaneously shrinking in some areas while expanding in others. The reason for this, of course, is the rise of the Internet and social media in an increasingly wired world.
Where is this all going? The bottom line is, that modern day scientists need not only skills in modern media, but also guidance to choose the right means for science communication. They have to embrace change and need to get familiar with strategies and science communication tools and platforms.
#2: There is demand for scientists to stand out:
When some time has passed after a conference or meeting, out of all the science, which has been presented, you will probably only remember that one brilliant talk that truly stood out.
How to stand out? Nowadays, it is not only about making yourself visible, but also about not getting buried in the daily information flood. With the Internet and modern media it has never been easier to reach out and to connect. If you have a message to tell and you are in front of your computer your potential audience is practically at your fingertips.
Where to start and how to do it? The good news is, these abilities can be learned, but it takes practice. The earlier scientists deal with this topic, the higher the chances to successfully use this skills, tools and strategies in their careers.
#3: Science needs to be clear, understandable and targeted for different audiences:
It sounds trivial, but it still needs to be done: Structure your thoughts! Whenever you talk to fellow scientists, write a publication, talk to friends and family or meet a media representative for an interview, you need to be able to explain in broad terms “What is the topic that your are working on?”, “Which are the problems that you are aiming to solve?”, “Who is going to benefit from it?” and “Why does it matter to your audience?”.
Reduce your topic to the essentials and try to explain those as brief and as concise as possible. This takes time and practice, but will ultimately lead to better understanding.
Furthermore it is very important to know your audience and build bridges to them. Think of things that your audience is already familiar with and start from there. Often surveys or polls can give you a quick and accurate overview about the public opinion of your topic. This will help you to avoid rejection that may result if you ignore the public opinion about a certain topic.
Here is a nice TED talk about this topic:
- Escape from the Ivory Tower (2010)
- Successful Science Communication – Telling It Like It Is (2012)
- Science Communication – A Practical Guide for Scientists (2012)
- An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists (2013)