• Photo of Maria Patey

    Maria Patey

    Managing Partner

The UK is at the heart of a thriving and vibrant bioscience research ecosystem, attracting entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors from all over the world, and stimulating ground-breaking discoveries and new technologies.  

One aspect that is sometimes overlooked is the ability to effectively communicate the significance of these advancements to the public and other stakeholders. In this article, we explore the critical role of media communication for leaders in the bioscience sector.  

The challenge of speaking to the media 

For many leaders in the world of discovery, and research and development (R&D), engaging with the media is a task they never imagined themselves having to do, let alone training for. After all, how difficult can it be? The science you’re dealing with in the lab is far more complex than conveying its importance to the outside world. Or is it? Effective media communication is an art that requires practice and strategy. 

Preparing for media engagement 

Success in the realm of media communication is not as straightforward as you might think. To ensure your stakeholders are not only aware of your work, but also engaged with it, you must demonstrate value. Here are some essential tips for leaders preparing to meet with the media: 

Get prepared 
  • Understand your story: define your key messages and refine how you deliver them. 
  • Know your audience: understand which publication you are speaking to, the demographics of its readership, and its reach. 
  • Research the journalist: familiarise yourself with their background, writing style, and previous articles. 
  • Define your purpose: be clear on why you are engaging with the media, or why they should be interested in speaking with you. 
  • Be accessible: responsiveness is key – never ignore calls or emails from the media. 
Rocking the Interview 
  • Think soundbites: keep your responses clear, concise, and to the point. 
  • Start with the end in mind: focus on conveying why your work matters, who it affects, and how it works. 
  • Avoid jargon: steer clear of technical language that might confuse your audience. 
  • Use numbers: facts supported by statistics often grab headlines. 
  • Provide context: offer anecdotes and examples to help the journalist and audience understand complex concepts. 
  • Honesty is key: avoid “No comment” and “Off the record.” Be true to your word and don’t overpromise. 
  • Address challenges gracefully: if faced with a difficult question, acknowledge it rather than dismissing it. 
  • Maintain a positive demeanour: avoid appearing judgmental or defensive. 
  • Body language matters: remember, your nonverbal cues can convey as much as your words. 
The power of PR 

In closing, leaders should never underestimate the power of public relations.  

Effective media communication is not only about conveying facts; it’s also about shaping perceptions and building trust. By mastering the art of speaking to the media, bioscience leaders can amplify the impact of their ground-breaking work and drive positive change on a global scale. Embrace the opportunity to tell your story and watch as your organisation’s influence and reach expand beyond your expectations. 

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