I feel like I may have created a bit of an impression that I actually know what research communication is and am really good at it. Let me put the record straight: that is not the case.
When I first set up the blog, I wanted to get a baseline for how well I have been communicating my research pre-blog so that in a year or two I can see if the blog has led to any improvements. So I sent out a Google Forms survey to friends and family with a couple of questions, for e.g.: where do I work; what does my job entail; what is my research about; what was I doing in the UK a couple of weeks ago.
The good news finding from my survey is that I can only improve…
Although friends and family are arguably not the primary audience I am trying to communicate my research to, they are a good place to start. Let’s face it, no one else is reading my blog yet!
I must admit, however, that thinking about who my primary audience is, is a little daunting. Largely because they’re the same group of people that I need to use as research participants. My research around policy process – who influences policy, how is policy influenced, etc. – requires interviewing, working with, and critiquing policy makers, key stakeholders, and CSOs (Civil Society Organisations – what we now call NGOs I’m told). But these are the exact same people I need to communicate my findings to and who I hope will learn from my research. And let’s be honest, this is going to require a level of tact and subtly that I do not have!
So while I’m feeling suitably more au fait about writing press releases and facilitating workshops, successful research communication is going to require a lot more.