Your manuscript's new best friend is a strategic science communication portfolio

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Elisha M. Wood-Charlson, Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, Honolulu, HI
If you don't communicate your science, someone else just might do it for you! In this age of social media and rapid-fire communication, it is essential that researchers learn new tools and techniques to effectively share their science in a timely manner to a range of stakeholders, including funding agencies, policy-makers, taxpayers, and journalists. At the same time, scientists have a day job to do, which typically entails conducting research and writing peer-reviewed publications. In this poster, we outline a coordinated approach that can strategically pair writing a research manuscript (or research proposal) with developing a communication portfolio aimed at a broader, non-scientific audience. A typical portfolio consists of two main communication strategies: verbal and written. The verbal portfolio will help you design your “hook”, a concise message that can effectively engage your audience through something like a 30-second elevator pitch or sound bites for an interview. It will also provide guidelines for creating longer presentations targeted at key stakeholder groups. The written portfolio is mostly designed to reach an online audience through short, engaging highlights for Twitter and Facebook, or longer communications pieces, such as blog entries and science news features. The poster will provide specific, easy-to-implement guidelines for developing both the verbal and written aspects of your communication portfolio. We recommend compiling this science communication portfolio while you write your research manuscript (or research proposal) because the broader perspective on your research can often improve your science writing as it brings you back to the key, big-picture messages. As a scientist, when you effectively communicate your research to a wider audience, you naturally achieve a broader impact by sharing the value of your work with our society.