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US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications October 16, 2009.

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US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications October 16, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications October 16, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications October 16, 2009

2 Training objectives Increase your understanding of how to effectively communicate through the media By the end of the session, you will: Have a general overview of how media works Understand importance of preparing for media interactions Be able to define key messages, analogies and sound bites Know what to do before, during and after an interview Understand where to go for assistance in dealing with media

3 Schedule Introduction How the media works How to work with the media –Jargon –Key messages Break –Sound bites and analogies Preparing for and giving interviews Conclusion and Feedback

4 How the media works

5 What media want Media want To sell papers/magazines To attract listeners/viewers So stories must Appeal to their readers/viewers/listeners Be entertaining, interesting, newsworthy

6 Whats newsworthy?

7 Why is this newsworthy? About 80 percent of the mass in our Universe is invisible to us. It is thought to be made of a mysterious substance called dark matter. Scientists here hope to find more clues about it when the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, restarts in late November after nearly a year-long shutdown due to mechanical problems.

8 What makes a story interesting? Impact Immediacy Proximity Prominence Novelty Conflict Emotions End of world LHC restart Local LHC researcher Tom Hanks Baguette shuts down LHC Race for the Higgs End of world

9 Journalists Want to be accurate and fair Arent (usually) out to get you Will take cues from you Are liked by their audience

10 Publication process Journalist writes Editors edit Headline written More editing to fit space Final product is published (or not!) You will rarely get to see the product before publication

11 How to work with the media 1.Get on TV/radio, in print –Be interested, interesting and available 2.Get your message across –Develop key messages and stick to them

12 What makes you interesting? You are animated and enthusiastic You can –Describe how your work matters –Give clear and concise answers –Use analogies and anecdotes –Use sound bites –Avoid jargon

13 Jargon [The Standard Model] foresaw four long-range force particlesreferred to as gauge bosons whereas nature has but one: the photon. The other three have a short range, less than about 10–17 meters, less than 1 percent of the protons radius. According to Heisenbergs uncertainty principle, this limited range implies that the force particles must have a mass approaching 100 billion electron volts (GeV). - from Scientific American

14 Jargon [The Standard Model] foresaw four long-range force particlesreferred to as gauge bosons whereas nature has but one: the photon. The other three have a short range, less than about 10–17 meters, less than 1 percent of the protons radius. According to Heisenbergs uncertainty principle, this limited range implies that the force particles must have a mass approaching 100 billion electron volts (GeV). - from Scientific American

15 Jargon strategy 1: Avoid it The diameter of an atom ranges from about 0.1 to 0.5 nanometers. Atoms are so small 20,000,000 just span a pinhead. An atom is a million times smaller than the thickest human hair. Think supermarket checkout person

16 Jargon strategy 2: Explain it Quarks are fundamental building blocks of matter. The Standard Model is the best theory that physicists currently have to describe the building blocks of the universe. NAMES are not jargon!

17 Getting your message across Prepare key messages And stick to them!

18 Key message 1-2 key ideas Start with main point Simple language Short sentences seconds to say Positive message

19 Key message example With the LHC, we will embark on a new era of discovery. It will change our view of the universe. We know that we live in a universe in which just four percent of the matter and energy is what we have so far thought of as ordinary. The rest is extraordinary, in the form of dark matter and energy. With the LHC we will begin our exploration of this extraordinary 96 percent.

20 Exercise – Key Messages Read your answer to the journalists question Identify one key message, write it down (60-90 words) 10 minutes When developing your key message, consider: Whats the one idea you want to convey? How do you want to portray yourself, your experiment or your institute? If the message were repeated, what would you want to hear? Could anyone interpret this negatively? Think of the big picture. WHY?

21 BREAK

22

23 Sound bites Reporters use direct quotes only when they are specific, vivid, descriptive or a way to show personality 1-2 (short) sentences Easily remembered 10 seconds to say

24 Sound bite examples The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. – Niels Bohr The bird escaped unharmed but lost its bread – CERN

25 Analogy Critical for particle physics Think them through!

26 Analogy example: antimatter Dig a hole, and make a hill with the earth you've excavated. Hole and hill have equal but opposite characteristics the volume of the earth in the hill, and that of the hole where the earth was removed. For particles, properties like electrical charge are opposite to their antiparticlesone positive, one negative. Also, antimatter will annihilate its matter counterpart in a burst of energy, just like the hill will fill the hole, leaving neither.

27 The interview Research journalist and outlet Ask your own questions Prepare key messages, analogies, sound bites, facts, statistics Anticipate questions, especially hard ones Do the interview Follow up

28 Questions to ask What ground are we covering? What kind of clip/message do you want? How will it be used? With what other material? Will you interview others? Who? Where and how will it take place? Live or pre-recorded? How long?

29 Answering their questions Stick to your key messages Be enthusiastic! Dont invent Dont argue Let them interrupt Pay attention to repeated questions Its their job to fill the space, not yours

30 Tough questions Think of them in advance and prepare Answer the question you want to answer Always come back with a positive message

31 TV/Radio top tips Keep it short Think of it as a social chat Pause between sentences Maintain your eyeline Sit/stand still and lean forward Pre-recorded interviews: No signposting (first, second, third) or as I said before Can always ask to try again

32 Phone interview tips If youre cold-called –Say youre busy and need to call back –Determine their deadline –Do as much research as you can During interview, imagine your supervisor standing behind you

33 Always remember Reporters are human tape recorders. Never say anything you dont want to see on air or in print Expect editing

34 Its over Give them your card/paper (your name, position, institution, key points) Ask for a copy of the final product Ask for feedback Thanks!

35 Exercise: Interviews

36 Practice! Interviewing is a skill like any other Work on your key messages Note good analogies, sound bites Listen/read about things you dont know anything about. What interests you? What do you remember? Ask your (non-physicist) friends/family to interview you

37 Media at CERN How do media find scientists? –Through CERN Press Office –Through US LHC media contacts –Through US institutions media contacts –On their own Types of media interactions –Visits to CERN –Phone interviews (most common for U.S.) –In-person interviews in U.S.

38 Visits to CERN Through the press office –Press office arranges schedule, access, takes care of follow-up –Mix of tours and in-office interviews –Mix of U.S. and international scientists –Length, details media-dependent Arranged outside press office –Schedule, access arranged by scientist –Please notify

39 More information Contacts (70988 / / (630) ) (73432 / Information –This presentation: –Communicating Science from AAAS: –www.cern.ch/press - For CERN Peoplewww.cern.ch/press –How to master the media by George Merlis

40 TV tips Arrive early Check your appearance! Dress quietly. No bold patterns, red, dangly earrings. Wear summer-weight clothing (lights are hot) Avoid tinted lenses If someone offers to change your clothes or makeup, trust them. Sit forward, never lean back. Dont cross or splay legs Look at interviewer and use normal body language Hold interviewers gaze the whole time. (Uncomfortable, but necessary!) Slow down and sit/stand still

41 Questions to prepare for Why are you doing this - what's it all about ? Why should we care? What should we know? What are you looking for? What if you don't find it? What about the green issues? How dangerous is this? When will you get results? What will the spin-offs be from this? Couldn't the money be better spent on a cure for cancer? So it's all gone wrong hasn't it? You're going to create millions of black holes which will suck everything into them? What is a Higgs Boson? Whats the project all about? Why is it so big? Are you going to rewrite the laws of physics? What if there is an explosion? What about the risk of radiation? Can you guarantee that you will make cutting edge discoveries? Can you guarantee that this hugely ambitious project will not be a waste of time/money? What is a God Particle? Are you looking for it? How do you feel about being part of this project?

42 Things you might want to say Searching for the answers to the mysteries of the Universe Recreating the conditions just after the birth of the Universe Let me tell you /explain why I am so committed to this project This experiment is completely safe. Let me assure/reassure you... This is excellent value for money Were asking vital questions about the nature of reality Were looking for the underlying design/patterns of Nature Were searching for the key to unlock the ultimate mysteries of Nature Peer at the workings/fabric of the universe Journey continuing the path that started with Newton and Galileo...' New insights into what everything is made of.' Truly amazing discoveries What I'd like to emphasise at this point is...' Analogies: early map-makers; no manual to drive this - not an off- the-shelf machine; Christopher Columbus; not like a rocket, you light it and off it goes; particle physics is a foundation stone for all research; were looking for the missing piece of the puzzle; were trying to connect up all the dots

43 US key messages The human imperative to discover the nature of the physical universe is a fundamental part of American identity, and every American has a stake in the outcome The LHC will launch a new era of discovery in the physical sciences The LHC brings together men and women of science of all nationalities and cultures in the largest scientific collaboration in history The LHC and worldwide particle physics create technology for the future The LHC plays an important role in scientific and technical education

44 CERN key messages CERN is the worlds leading centre for fundamental research, seeking answers to questions about the Universe. CERN brings nations together. Over 9000 scientists of over 100 nationalities work here. CERN advances the frontiers of technology and engineering. CERN trains the young scientists and engineers who will be the experts of tomorrow.


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