SCC 2012 Working with journals: rolling publication and media relations (Clare Ryan)
Working with journals: the impact of rollingpublication on media relationsBSA Science Communication Conference14 May 2012Clare Ryan, Media Relations ManagerUCL (University College London)
UCL Media Relations – some context• UCL scientists published nearly8,500 papers in high impact journalsin 2011 (Thompson Reuters)• Our main criteria are strength ofthe story and the impact factor ofthe journal• Happy to press releasepapers in less well known journals
The ideal scenario• Publicity of peer-reviewed papers linked to online publication• Press office receives notification from journal at least a week prior to online publication with embargo details• Press release drafted in advance and sent to journalists under embargo• Lots of coverage!
A few less-than-ideal scenarios• Uncorrected proofs appear in an online archive (usually www.arxiv.com)• Uncorrected proofs appear on a journal website without warning• Journal cannot tell you when the final paper will appear online and there are no embargo details
Contact the journal first!• Search online for editorial or publicity contacts for the journal• Sometimes they will be able to hold back online publication, or work with you to estimate a date for embargo purposes
What to do (Part 1)Assess the inherent news value of the story.Think about:1. Whether the story has been picked up anywhere2. Whether the story is easily to explain and news-worthy enough to be sent out for immediate release3. Can you peg publicity to print publication
What to do (Part 2)What if the research is not easily explained, but it’s a strong story and you’re worried a press release that is ‘immediate release’ getting lost?• Pitch the story to one journalist• Think “outside the box” for Sunday publications• Follow up the media story with a press release to maximise coverage
What not to do• Don’t create an artificial embargo• Try not to email out a weak story for immediate release – try other channels (twitter, facebook, online, internal newsletters etc)
Other tips• Get to know your researchers• Stress that you need to know about research ideally at the acceptance stage• Be clear about embargoes• Put details about how your press office works online
Curveballs…Can we make a stand?Introduce a university-wide policy to never write press releases without an embargo or if the journal isn’t open access?Club together to persuade journals to make their embargo policies more explicit?
ThanksPlease do get in touch if you have other ideas!Clare Ryanclare.email@example.com 3108 3846@uclnews, @msclareryan