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Kathryn Grim Fermilab Office of Communication July 28, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Kathryn Grim Fermilab Office of Communication July 28, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kathryn Grim Fermilab Office of Communication July 28, 2009

2 To 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 the 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

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

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6 From remote observatories on the Tibetan plateau to a cave in a Shanghai suburb, Chinese researchers are poised to conduct an audacious once-in-a-century experiment. The plan is to test a controversial theory: the possibility that gravity drops slightly during a total eclipse.

7 A team of Yale University researchers has discovered a "repulsive" light force that can be used to control components on silicon microchips, meaning future nanodevices could be controlled by light rather than electricity.

8 IMPACT IMMEDIACY PROXIMITY PROMINENCE NOVELTY CONFLICT EMOTIONS

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

10 Need to target story appropriately General-interest newspaper, national TV Local newspaper, radio, TV Documentary Specialized publications

11 To be accurate and fair To know why your work matters Animated, enthusiastic interviewees Clear, concise answers No jargon Analogies, anecdotes Sound bites/quotes

12 [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). The second shortcoming is that the family symmetry does not permit masses for the quarks and leptons, yet these particles do have mass.

13 [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). The second shortcoming is that the family symmetry does not permit masses for the quarks and leptons, yet these particles do have mass.

14 Antimatter is made up of particles with equal but opposite characteristics of everyday particles of matter. Consider this analogy: 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.

15 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.

16 Develop key messages Anticipate questions, especially the hard ones Gather statistics, facts If possible, provide reporter with written summary of information Research journalist and outlet Ask questions

17 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 is this important?

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

19 We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress. – Richard Feynman The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein

20 Critical for particle physics Think them through!

21 For example, imagine having four phone numbers, including one for a friend, but not knowing which number belonged to that friend. You would typically have to try two to three numbers before you dialed the right one. A quantum processor, on the other hand, can find the right number in only one try. Instead of having to place a phone call to one number, then another number, you use quantum mechanics to speed up the process, Schoelkopf said. Its like being able to place one phone call that simultaneously tests all four numbers, but only goes through to the right one.

22 What ground are we covering? What kind of clip/message are they looking for? How will it be used? With what other material? Will you interview others? Who? Live or pre-recorded? How long? Where and how will it take place?

23 Most important information first, background second Keep responses brief but long enough to help reporter find quotes Stick to your key messages, repeat points if necessary Mention your subject by name several times during interview Dont overestimate a reporters knowledge of your subject – if reporter bases questions on incorrect information, set the record straight; offer background Identify facts vs. opinions

24 If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification If you dont know the answer, say youll get back to the reporter with the answer; dont invent Dont argue Let them interrupt Its their job to fill the space, not yours Make your final point clear and concise; if you feel you failed to get the message out, state it at the end Be enthusiastic!

25 Dont get hooked by negative language Always answer in the positive Never repeat a negative, even to deny it

26 POMPANO BEACH, Fla.– In response to rumors circulating the internet on sites such as FoxNews.com, FastCompany.com and CNET News about a flesh eating robot project, Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets:CYPW) and Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) would like to set the record straight: This robot is strictly vegetarian. Cyclone Power Technologies Inc.Robotic Technology Inc.

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

29 Arrive early Think of it as a social chat Keep it short Pause between sentences, speak slowly No signposting (first, second, third) or as I said before Feel free to ask to try again (pre-recorded) On radio, talk with your hands

30 Check your appearance. Dress quietly. No bold patterns, 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, not the camera, and use normal body language If youre not sure where to look, ask

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

33 What are you doing? Why are you doing this? Why should we care? What are you looking for? What if you don't find it? How dangerous is this? When will you get results? What will be the spin-offs from this? Couldn't the money be better spent on a cure for cancer?

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

35 Make sure they know your title/position, how to spell your name Ask for a copy of the final product Ask for feedback Thanks!

36 Interviewing is a skill like any other Work on your key messages; try them out on non-physicists 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 Kathryn Grim Fermilab Office of Communication


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