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Welcome to EurekAlert!’s #SciComm Blog

How do I write an attention-grabbing headline? What are some tips to avoid “hyping” a scientific study? Why does EurekAlert! have a “90-day rule”? How do I make sure my researcher nails her Reddit AMA? Is it worth promoting a preprint paper if it hasn’t been peer reviewed yet?

These are just a few questions that you, as public information officers (a.k.a. PIOs), probably find familiar. You may even have some good answers, but no one place that covers the many facets of being a PIO working in science communication. That’s where we come in with EurekAlert!’s #SciComm Blog!

The EurekAlert! #SciComm Blog – what is it and why did we start it?

The initial idea to start a blog came from wanting to improve and increase engagement with the large and diverse PIO community that uses EurekAlert!. That motivation, along with a desire to create a repository for articles that go in-depth about EurekAlert! policies and features, led us to plan our first-ever foray into blogging. Now, with the EurekAlert! #SciComm Blog, we’ve created a space where we can share news and tips about EurekAlert!, and also to raise important issues for the wider science communication community by drawing on the experience of PIOs directly. Find out how to contribute by pitching a blog post!

In conjunction with this blog, we’ve set up a EurekAlert! PIO Forum on Trellis. The forum is a dedicated “safe space” for PIOs to network, share advice, ask questions, and learn from each other. The EurekAlert! PIO Forum is also where you can continue the conversation about any of the articles posted on the #SciComm Blog. By that same token, discussions in the PIO Forum will inspire blog posts here. Please note, you must be a EurekAlert! PIO-registrant to receive an invitation to join the PIO Forum (PIO registration is free).

As always, we are open to your feedback. Send comments, concerns, or questions by email to pio@eurekalert.org.

The pathway to news coverage has widened — have your pitches?

For public information officers, pitching newsworthy STEM stories to the media is an important part of the job. While the traditional definition of newsworthiness remains, there’s a new pathway to earning coverage in some of the most respected media outlets: going viral. Evolution of news Traditionally, a newsworthy story might feature recently published peer-reviewed research, …
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Featuring female scientists in science communication

Cultivating gender diversity in science communication isn’t an easy task. But because media underrepresentation of women in STEM can have negative consequences in both the classroom and the lab, it’s one that we as PIOs should try to tackle. So we turned to experts for advice on featuring more female scientists in our publications and …
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Embargoes on EurekAlert!

If you’re a press officer promoting science at your organization, you’ve almost certainly worked with the embargo system. Agreement of an embargo among journal publishers, press offices, and news outlets offers extra time for reporters to research and prepare news stories and encourage fair and equal access to scientific research among journalists around the world. …
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“The 90-Day Rule”: Considerations behind EurekAlert!’s Timeliness Guideline

As a nonprofit science news service and consortium of research institutions, EurekAlert! has always striven to facilitate dissemination of the latest scientific breakthroughs to reporters and the public. Since our launch in 1996, scientific publishing and science communication have adapted to the introduction of open access, advanced or early online publication, and other practices where papers …
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A Guide to B-roll for PIOs

Why submit B-roll to the Science Press Package?  The Science Press Package (or “SciPak”) team has talked with reporters at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, STAT, The Economist and other outlets, and we have learned that these reporters greatly value video; having it can make the difference in whether they cover a piece of new research. Thus, the …
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China’s Scientific Community Works to Improve Science Communications

EurekAlert! will continue to hold workshops and training sessions for media professionals in China to help them enhance their communications skills, hone their ability to promote science by offering participants the “tools and confidence needed to help their scientists communicate openly the value and challenges of science.”