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Top 3 tips on how academics can get the most media coverage for themselves (and their school)

In the last blog the focus was on Henry Mintzberg of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and his unrivalled profile within the management academic world. But not every professor will be willing to take his fiercely critical approach. Sir Cary Cooper is a US born professor, who has adopted the UK as his home and, in doing so, has helped to dramatically raise the profile of his parent b-school at the University of Lancaster. Although he is not beyond the occasional biting of the business education hand, this is most certainly not the basis of his ubiquity in the press. So why is Sir Cary so popular with the media and what can you learn from him?

Popularise

Sir Cary has what seems to be a natural instinct for turning research and analysis into a story that will grab the attention of the averagely bright man or woman in the street. One example of this is when he said that a growing obsession with email was having a negative effect on employee productivity. A nice, simple angle that would resonate with anyone facing a ballooning inbox every morning. His remarks secured media coverage across the media spectrum from serious broadsheets to the mass market outlets. He clearly demonstrates that getting the attention of a global audience doesn’t have to mean compromising your academic and professional standards.

Use language that people understand

If you are writing for an academic journal it’s fine – perhaps even vital – to use the terminology of the subject alongside complex phrasing. However, this is not that case when it comes to other media, even those specialist publications dedicated to a particular sector or discipline. Instead, it is important to communicate in the style, using language that will immediately resonate with the reader – something Sir Cary clearly has a talent for.

Speak

Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is turning up. This certainly rings true when it comes to PR. It is important to take every opportunity to talk to the media, and Sir Cary seems to have an endless appetite to do so. The more he does it, the better he gets, and so could you.

So, in order to secure frequent media coverage it is vital to take every opportunity to produce a story, use language that is appropriate and will make it appealing to a wider audience, and finally, speak to the media as much as possible.

 

To read more about this topic, click here to view the issue of Wildfire that this blog is based on.

 

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