Whether it’s the latest scientific breakthrough or results from a simple survey, there are numerous reasons for being able to effectively communicate your research – from helping legitimize your brand to inspiring discussion with your audience.
Here, Ian Santo Domingo, Principal and Managing Director at Vault Consulting, L.L.C., and presenter at this year’s American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) meeting, presents his top tips on how to effectively communicate research, increasing its long-term effectiveness and longevity.
- Take a team approach. Form a team consisting of representatives from different departments within your organization. Making sure all relevant departments are involved in the creation, planning and communication phases can lead to greater research relevance and a longer life span.
- Monitor interest levels. Rather than communicating a message and presuming the right audience has seen it, monitor interest levels for each piece of research. Doing this can help keep communication lines open by helping you understand what should and shouldn’t be investigated further.
- Use multiple formats. Too often companies make the mistake of presenting their research in a single format, not taking advantage of the multiple ways in which they can communicate their work. Instead, embrace the many different types of media and communication channels, even when communicating a single message. Social media is a perfect example – each channel has its own audience which uses it because of its particular approach. Taking advantage of each platform’s unique features can help your information retain its freshness for much longer, as well as reach a wider audience.
- Be visual. Imagery is an extremely powerful tool in communicating research. Although media such as infographics or videos will never communicate the depth and detail of a full report, they will stimulate interest and drive people to the full research report.
- Customize your message. Each research initiative undertaken by a patient advocacy group is important, yet the value of that research drops drastically if it isn’t properly communicated. Customizing and harmonizing research with products specific to particular audiences can help ensure your message is reaching the right people.
- Do not become complacent! Conducting research regularly can help generate a great deal of data – but continuing on the same track will never lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Instead, remain curious and don’t be afraid to use new channels when the opportunities present themselves.
Although effectively communicating research is a common challenge for many patient advocacy groups, following the above tips should help you and your organization deliver your messages in a better and longer-lasting fashion.