Trading Consequences &
EDINA Social Media Officer
• Two Year (Jan 2012 – March 2014)
“Digging Into Data” project on economic
and environmental history through
nineteenth century trading records.
• Project partners: University of Edinburgh
School of Informatics, York University
Canada, St Andrews University, EDINA
and, latterly, University of Saskatchewan.
• Significant responsibility to communicate
and raise awareness of the project in
• Justify substantial investment
• Ensure academic partners saw real
impact for their work
• Build interest in the project before
launching deliverables: search,
visualisation tools and white paper.
• Ensure sustained interest as historic
academic work continues into
Summer 2014, publications beyond
Communications Channels During Project
@digtrade / #digtrade
Individual accounts used, gathered via Storify as were
other materials: videos, guest posts elsewhere etc.
Tools used throughout project to
tailor blog content, gauge interest,
identify key interested parties
Requirements for Launch
• Project outputs to be launched:
– White Paper on Trading Consequences
– Online visualisation tools (x 2)
– Online database search tools (x 2)
– Additional deliverable: GitHub resources for the
project including the TC Lexicon.
• Communications plan required by Jisc, submitted for
approval with draft White Paper
• Additional need to track post-launch conferences,
activity, blog posts for managing interest and
• Maximum impact and press coverage desired by funders
• Website updated with support information, visualisation and search tools updated
to ensure correct partner organisations, help information and links consistent
• Branding checked across presences, URLs checked, all partners asked to check own
details, organisation names & branding, project publications etc. via checklist.
• Researchers, all project partners, engaged in press release drafting and approval
process, including identification of key stories/possible top lines.
• Press release drafted by Press Office with EDINA, final version agreed by partners
and press offices at all partner organisations.
• All data providers and funders contacted to inform them of launch date, kept
posted on press release, sent preview of tools and sent approved release with
permissions to reshare.
• Final press release pushed out through UoE/Press Association
• Press releases launched in parallel through each partner, and some data providers.
• Launch blog post drafted for launch. Additional blog posts and activities planned as
follow up to launch.
• Hashtag publicised, all partners encouraged to tweet. Jisc prepped to retweeted
• The Conversation approached, researchers co-authored piece for just after launch.
• Press: The Times; Metro*; Evening
• Blogs/reviews: Chronicle of Higher
• Arranged pieces: The Conversation;
EDINA News; Yfile; St Andrews HCI
blog; Informatics News.
• Approaches from: BBC Reporting
Scotland (feature); Edinburgh
Evening News (feature)
• Presentation invited by data provider
• Extensive twitter activity, particularly
from academic historians and
*Not as helpful as could have been – project name not included!
How to take this forward for other projects…
• Build awareness and momentum ahead of launch.
• Launch plans help focus activity, create clear timelines, specify
responsibilities – TC plan can be shared as example if useful.
• Ask for help. Andrew Bevan, Nicola Osborne and UoE Press Office
can all help with planning press releases and social media.
• Be proactive identifying and approaching key channels: specialist
press, The Conversation, blogs that have covered the project
already, opinion leaders on Twitter.
• Keep branding and hashtags clear and consistent.
• Stash images, key stories, successes, etc. for use in
launch/publicity. Have a clear idea of what you want to
communicate about your project and to whom.
• Ensure project partners, funders, data providers, collaborators all
involved and engaged in launch – they are your best cheer leaders.
• Ensure some follow up activity planned to capitalise on interest.
• Track and monitor impact of activities – for you and your funders.