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You Don't Have to be a Star to Shed New Light

A Guide for Telling the Addiction Research Story to the Public

"Just Do It"

Getting Started really don’t have to be a star to shed light on the important work of addiction research.
Suppose you decide to accept the challenge to tell your research story to the public. Who would watch or listen? How would you go about being invited?

It isn’t necessary to get on prime time network television to have an impact. Most individuals who develop into spokespersons on behalf of their professional activities start at the local level. Perhaps they are asked to give a talk to their child’s school group. Maybe a friend asks them to describe their work to a business group. Here are some examples of “entry level” opportunities to tell the world about addiction research. These are just a few of the opportunities to deliver your message:

´ Professional, business, and fraternal groups
´ Local print media
´ Local access television
´ Newsletters
´ Youth science programs
´ Radio and television interview shows
´ Web pages
´ Clinician gatherings
´ Lay language publications such as books, booklets, pamphlets

This booklet contains guidelines on how to connect with these prospects and how to be successful when you do. Try it; you’ll be pleased with the results. (Note: If your institution has a media relations office be sure to learn their policies and seek their support.)

The public learns about what’s happening in the scientific world though print and broadcast media. The program chairpersons, producers, and editors who fill the meeting rooms, radio time, TV screens, and print publication pages are hungry for new and interesting information and stories. With a bit of preparation and effort on your part you can fill some of that information space with the story of your work. This is your opportunity to tell why it’s important and in need of public understanding and to stress that you really don’t have to be a star to shed light on the important work of addiction research.

Organizing a Talk

Public Speaking

It’s as simple as 1-2-3...

1. Get their attention.

2. Tell your story.

3. Reinforce your message.

Some of the most accomplished, in–demand speakers made their first public presentation to their child’s third grade class, a local Girl Scout troop, or a dozen friends at the local library. The easiest way to get started as a science communicator is to speak at local, non-threatening gatherings. It is almost axiomatic that as your skill and comfort level grows so will the size and importance of your audiences.


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