Promoting your research in the media
Medical research gains a large amount of coverage in the media. The public has an enormous appetite for learning about the latest discoveries in healthcare and the majority of them rely on the mainstream media for this news.
As such, most major news outlets have dedicated science and health reporters who cover a range of research carried out by universities and hospitals.
This presents a huge opportunity for the NHS. Barts Health runs a large number of clinical trials across its hospitals and already has a high profile in the media for some of the research we carry out. But there is scope for the Trust to do much more!
Why use the media to promote research?
Promoting your research brings a number of benefits. It can:
- Help raise the profile and reputation of you and your team
- Assist with securing funding for future research projects. For example, grant applications often have sections to detail your past media coverage
- Improve participant recruitment onto your clinical trial
- Lead to collaborations and partnerships
- Influence public policy or opinion in your field
- Improve the visibility of your research paper - Research papers covered in the media are downloaded and cited twice more than other papers
When is the best time to plan research promotion?
Good planning is needed for the most effective and strategic media outreach. Researchers are encouraged to get in touch with the Barts Health press office as soon as possible to plan research promotion.
The most important moment for research promotion, from a media perspective, is the publication of research results in a peer-reviewed journal or presentation of results at a major conference. These can easily lead to wide global publicity if planned well. However, informing the press office on the day of publication or in the days leading up to it is normally too late to make the most of the opportunity.
The best time to get in touch with the press office is as soon as a paper gets accepted in a journal. For journals which have a policy of immediately publishing an early version of the paper on acceptance, please instead inform the press office as soon as you think it may eventually get accepted in that journal.
Feel free to get in touch even earlier, for example, when you’re at the stage of submitting manuscripts, as we’d be happy to start early discussions. We can also look into early promotion before you’ve had any results, for example, for the start of a clinical trial or when funding is announced.
Working with the Barts Health press office
The Barts Health communications team has a wide range of expertise and knowledge in publicising research in the media. The team includes former journalists and research communications professionals who have worked across academia and academic publishing. They can provide helpful advice on how to get the best possible media coverage for your research news.
The comms team also maintains good relationships with many of the national, local and specialist health journalists, and have several hundred journalists on our press list and access to other global media databases to help you target your media outreach.
Any communications about your research will be carefully planned with your team, and you will get the chance to review, edit and sign off anything before it goes out. While we aim for wide media coverage, accuracy is key and we prioritise ensuring that we’re getting the right messages across.
The comms team can also advise on how certain topics and messages might get portrayed by the media and will be able to help plan a strategic approach to get the best chance of accurate and positive coverage.
We work with funder and partner press offices when needed to ensure appropriate inclusion of other organisations in media work, and will liaise with the Science Media Centre when required to work towards balanced media coverage.
If you are approached for interviews, we can advise on which ones might be beneficial to take part in, and the team can also help with media training and give practice interviews if required.
Not all research projects are suitable for wide press releases, and some aren’t suitable for media coverage at all. However, we would encourage all Barts Health researchers to let the comms team know about their projects so they can talk through the options that might be available to them. If media promotion is not suitable or desired by the research team, we can suggest alternative communications channels.
If you have a research project to promote or would like further information, please contact the Barts Health press office at email@example.com or call 020 7709 6509.