When we set up Media Engagement Services, not only was there a need to show researchers how to communicate their research stories, we had to develop techniques and approaches specifically designed for researchers to use in and around their busy research day.
Many of these techniques were new, unique to MES and largely untested.
So, when we have a chance to catch up with people who have completed the MES workshops and see how they are going, these are valuable opportunities to find out if our approaches work in the real world.
Recently I had such an opportunity to have coffee with MES Alumnus Anthony Reid from the Geological Survey of South Australia. Anthony was part of the very first set of workshops we ran back in October last year and we’ve been keeping a keen eye on his communication efforts ever since.
Anthony’s social media network consists of Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. While he’s been on LinkedIn for some time, he’s really only been taking social media seriously since doing the MES workshops.
He says he finds it easy in his working day to snap pictures using his phone and post them to Instagram. He finds using the Instagram filters can change any shot into something spectacular and eye-catching as the basis for an Instagram post. And a recurring comment from Anthony is that it doesn’t take much time and it’s fun to do!
Instagram has given him a more general audience that follow along on his daily exploits. He can get more technical on Twitter and, as he says, if you want to get really serious then discuss it on LinkedIn.
He’s found that LinkedIn has been particularly useful for communications with people within the GSSA. He’s had comments from his superiors who have been using LinkedIn to keep up with his day-to-day work.
He’s been getting great feedback on all three platforms mainly from colleagues in geology around the world.
Recently he’s had some success in creating impact for his research through the promotion of a publication on his social media platforms. His social media activities have also helped to create awareness of the research that is done within the GSSA.
It was also pleasing to hear that Anthony’s social media activity has formed something of a role model within the GSSA and his workmates, even his boss, have been following his lead in discussing their research through social media.
Anthony has been taking full advantage of the monthly newsletters from MES and says that several of the articles have proved very useful for him in improving the quality of the images that he can now create on his phone.
For researchers new to social media, Anthony recommends taking it slowly and observe what’s going on before diving in and posting. He also says that it pays to think strategically as to what you post and where you post it.
He’d like to start thinking about producing videos for social media but is a little intimidated as to how much time and effort that is going to take.
So, in Anthony, MES has both an acolyte for our teachings and proof-of-concept that what we offer actually helps researchers to effectively communicate their research and create impact through those engagements.
We recorded our conversation in a noisy coffee shop and that is now available for you to listen to as a podcast. And, if your appetite has be whet for Anthony’s social media feeds, follow him on Twitter (@ajr_geo) and Instagram (@anthony.reid.1001)