This is a new world of communications and the old ways of doing things simply won’t cut it.
Before the rise of social media, communications of research were largely restricted to putting out a press release through your media unit in advance of the publication of your latest paper. Very little thought went in to how you were going to tell your story to the world.
Now you have the opportunity to talk to the world every minute of every day. This potential for story telling on social media must be put to good use!
You should develop a communication strategy for each of your research projects and that strategy should encompass the whole lifespan of the project. This is Cradle to Grave Communication and it offers completely different ways of telling stories.
You can send out regular tweets or posts to Instagram (or both!) about how the project is progressing. Some labs do this on a daily basis but you do not have to be that keen! There should be a regularity to the frequency of your posts and one or two a week is about right. Each post may not say much by itself but, overtime, you will amass an amazing chronicle of your research. And, if those posts have associated pics or short videos attached to them (as they ought to!) you will also build up a useful library of images and material for other communications.
Perhaps on a less frequent basis, you might want to post a more detailed article onto Facebook. You can certainly produce the occasional blog, podcast or video talking about what you’re up to and how it’s going.
None of these have to be very big. A two minute video is optimal and a progress blog of less than a thousand words is fine. Once again, each of these contributions from you will not tell the whole story but they will build into a fantastic and detailed picture of your research.
So start communicating your research to the world from the day that you start a project … and you don’t have to stop when the project concludes! You can keep talking about what you have done for as long as you want, reporting on updates and reviews after the project has concluded.