“If you think those academics doing media work right now are rubbish, then – as we used to say when I was growing up – come and have a go. Maybe you’ll discover it’s harder than it looks. Or maybe you’ll be great. Whatever, enjoy it. It will be fun.”
Let’s return to Professor Philip Cowley’s academic paper reflecting on his 25 years engaging with the media. If you haven’t yet, do have a read here:
Last week I quoted his reasons why it’s worth engaging with the media. This week some of his tips on how to do it well. He expands on all these points in the paper:
1. Be willing to start small.
2. Make sure your work is accessible.
(“Make sure that you have a free-to-view, easily understandable, summary of your work online.”)
3. Be proactive. Don’t just sit and wait for journalists to come to you.
4. Be responsive.
5. Build up relationships.
6. Don’t worry – it won’t be a re-run of Frost-Nixon.
(“Unless your subject is controversial – or you are being very provocative in how you are presenting it – you are unlikely to have a journalist try to kick lumps out of you.”)
7. Be clear about what you want to say.
8. Don’t underestimate journalists.
9. Always remember that for the most part they’re interested in what you know, not what you think.