Should you use a science PR and communications agency?

23 September 2019

A specialist science communication and PR agency can achieve much more than just tell people about your subject or organisation, it can help to position you, your message or brand in the global landscape as a thought leader.

As a scientist, or a body with scientific clients, needing professional help you may be looking to use a specialist science communication and PR agency.

Is your business ready to use a science communication and PR agency to build brand awareness among your target audiences? Have you reached a point where specialist expertise is needed to promulgate your company message to a precise audience?

In fact, assuming you are ready to make an investment in consultancy, hiring a science communications and PR agency could be a smart move.

Timing and Storytelling

Translating complex science into compelling stories is just one approach that has worked successfully for specialist science communications agency, Matter PR over the years. While there are many successful methods of science communication, creative storytelling campaigns inspire the public, government, and businesses all around the world.

Although a great story can have a huge impact for the science or discovery, good timing is essential.

Earlier this year Matter PR created a campaign for one of our clients about a Strawberry Picking Robot. To ensure the best possible impact Matter PR chose the week of the Wimbledon Tennis tournament to release the story.

The idea that soon a handful of robots would pick and package all the perfect red, ripe strawberries for the entire tournament caught the attention of the media surrounding the event.

Good timing in tandem with a quality story can make a campaign gain the attention of top titles and millions of readers and can ensure your message is heard by exactly the right audience.

Matter PR launched the OCTINION Strawberry Picking Robot story during the Wimbledon tournament.
Matter PR launched the OCTINION Strawberry Picking Robot story during the Wimbledon tournament.
Local and National Impact

While a story may have a strong message, if executed well with accurate timing it can highlight very worthy causes for the benefit of a society.

Good science communication can have a huge impact on engaging communities at a local level, spurring on scientific competition on a peer level, or persuading governments or large funding bodies to take notice of a cause at a national level.

Our science communication for raising awareness of global invasive species for example caught the attention of national policy makers. On behalf of our client we organised a sold-out event in the House of Lords to brief parliamentarians on the growing global impact of invasive species.

Matter PR hosted an all parliamentary briefing on the threat of invasive species.
Matter PR hosted an all parliamentary briefing on the threat of invasive species.

Working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development, Matter PR hosted a briefing highlighting the threat Fall Armyworm and other global invasive species pose towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a result of our campaign, broadcast across every major platform including Reuters Sky, BBC, the attention gathered across the world to deliver an international emergency UN meeting in Harare to tackle the outbreak of crop-eating "armyworm" caterpillars advancing across several African countries.

Communicating science shouldn’t always be the job of the scientist.
Communicating science shouldn’t always be the job of the scientist.
Not a Scientist’s Job?

A specialist science communications agency like Matter PR can make all the difference to generating successful engagement. While there may be exceptional scientists who are excellent communicators and brilliant at engaging the non-expert into with their respective fields, we believe it isn’t necessarily the scientist’s job.

Scientists often speak a different language to the lay person. While researchers are highly intelligent and skilled in their unique and often cutting-edge fields, science communication to a non-expert audience is a specialised skill in itself.

Science communication should never ‘dumb down’ but find a relatable path to present the complex in simple but intriguing way.

We are often faced with the sentiment within the science industry that actual science will speak for itself, that how science is communicated does not matter. Communicating highly complicated ideas to the non-science public however is a specialised skill.

A specialist science, technology and engineering communications agency like Matter PR for example, with a network and team of writers who are all scientists with strong science backgrounds, will have expertise in acting as a bridge between the non-expert, the media and the scientific researcher.

Good science communication should present the complex in simple but intriguing way.
Good science communication should present the complex in simple but intriguing way.
Media Campaigns

The media is a powerful tool and it can do much more than just raise your profile. Focused media campaigns can help you achieve your corporate objectives, change people’s perceptions and provoke genuine change.

Earlier this year Matter PR created thought leadership campaigns where three Nobel Prize Winners put their weight behind calls to make the European Commission recognise photonics as a vital research area in Horizon Europe, the €100bn research and innovation programme running from 2021 to 2027.

A specialist communications agency can help secure coverage in national and regional media.
A specialist communications agency can help secure coverage in national and regional media.

Additionally, in a bid to tackle the under representation of women in science, Matter PR delivered a campaign for a client to highlight thousands of young women and girls were getting the chance to explore the world of science, engineering, and light technologies.

Whether it’s a one off launch event or a sustained media campaign, we can help you secure a high level of coverage in the national, specialist, and regional media.

Furthermore, we can act as a complete press office for you or support your in-house team in delivering Media Strategies & Campaigns, International Media Relations, Press Releases, Launch Events, Thought Leadership, Raising the Profile of Senior Executives, Media Training and Coaching.

Stakeholders

Our clients’ needs always come first. We find a great place to start effective science communication is with the most important stakeholders.

Effective Stakeholder engagement isn’t just about identifying who they are. Indeed, it’s about understanding what they think, how they interact with you, and being focused on what you want to achieve.

You might want to raise awareness of what you do, change perceptions, or generate advocacy for a policy initiative. For example, how well you understand your stakeholders often determines how successful you will be.

At Matter PR, we believe that stakeholder research should be at the heart of all communications activities. We can help you map your stakeholder landscape, understand what they think, and work with you to build lasting relationships.

For instance, we can help you devise innovative projects that inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, or activities aimed at engaging the public in a specific issue or debate.

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