Preparing content

The goal of this process is to produce material that you are happy with, and is also appropriate to your audience. This takes time, and some discussion at times over what is relevant, important, and accurate – you will need to engage in the process and provide feedback. Let us know if you will be travelling or unavailable for significant time in the upcoming period.

The steps are:

1) Prepare a summary of the work for the communicator you will be working with (maximum 1 page) and send to them in advance. Consider the broader context of the work, and its long-term goals and potential to influence the field and broader society.

2) Contact the school communicator (Dr Phil Dooley, who will help you decide which channels the story is appropriate for, and help pitch it.

3) Choose who will be featured in the story, and quoted. Quoting one or two is good, three at a maximum. More than that can be mentioned, and their part acknowledged.

Do we need to feature collaborators from outside ANU? Will they want to do a joint or synchronised release? Do their quotes need approval (particularly onerous for government bodies)?

4) Start thinking about and sourcing imagery. We like to feature the scientists involved in the work in the images, preferably with any apparatus that is appropriate (but not group shots of more than three). In some cases artworks explaining the science. Graphs and diagrams are rarely useful.

The physics website can only accommodate one image, but we can include more with the social media posts.

5) Interview: for a written piece a chat of around one hour, in person or via video. One to two interviewees is best. We will cover exactly what has been done, and why it matters. This will be recorded for reference purposes. Supply proofs of the paper, or powerpoint files.

6) Writing. It can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks to produce a written piece, depending on the current workload, and complexity of the piece. The writer may request clarification of details via email, or if you feel you have omitted anything don‘t hesitate to contact us. In some cases a follow up interview may be conducted.

7) Drafts. A draft is sent to your email (unless you specify otherwise), for comments. Please don’t re-write the words, but explain any errors so the writer can re-word the piece. If in doubt, discuss verbally.

If possible, return it in a couple of days, but of course sometimes this is not possible. For the media office, who generally operate on shorter timescales, within 24 hours is good.

8) The final is approved by the scientists and the writer, and is posted on the Physics website news section. This post is then shared to the social media channels. You’ll be sent a link when this is live.

Please like, share, comment on these posts, as it helps promote them in the platform’s algorithm. Linking to stories from other webpages also helps with google search algorithm.


Resposible officer