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US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications February 9, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications February 9, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 US LHC Media Training Katie Yurkewicz US LHC Communications February 9, 2009

2 Training Objectives Increase your understanding of how to effectively communicate through the media By the end of the session, you will: Receive a general overview of how media works Understand importance of preparing for media interactions Define key messages, analogies and sound bites, and their use in interactions with media Gain exposure to interviewing methods and strategies Understand where to go for assistance in dealing with media

3 Schedule Introduction How the media works How to work with the media –Exercise: Key messages Break Preparing for and giving interviews –Exercise: 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 Appeal to their audience Need to target story appropriately –General-interest newspaper –Science magazine –Local newspaper, radio, TV –TV News –Documentary –Specialized publications

7 Whats newsworthy? Black Holes Setbacks (and overcoming them) Discoveries Scientific advances that will change my life Celebrities Biggest, fastest, strongest

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

9 Those headlines Publication process –Journalist writes article –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

10 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.

11 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

12 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

13 Get your message across Prepare key messages And stick to them!

14 Sound bites 1-2 (short) sentences Easily remembered 10 seconds to say

15 Analogy Critical for particle physics Think them through!

16 Exercise – Key Messages Read your story 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?

17 No jargon Average reader/viewer = 10 th grade Whats jargon? –Accelerator –Percent –Scientific notation –Nanoseconds –1 part in 100 billion –Mass (!!!)

18 So you have an interview Research journalist and outlet Ask your own questions Prepare Do the interview Follow up

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

20 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

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

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

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

24 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

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

26 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!

27 Exercise: Interviews

28 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

29 More information Contacts (70988 / (73432 / Information –This presentation: – - For CERN –Book: How to master the media by George Merlis –Steven Colbert interviews with scientists (

30 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

31 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?

32 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

33 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

34 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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