It takes a community (to publish engaging research)

Recently, #MDC Network worked with Dr. Peter Samuelson, Director of Research and Evaluation at Thrive Foundation for Youth, to develop the communications products for his research on nine principles of effective youth services organizations.

We produced a report for researchers and evaluation and an executive summary slideshow for youth program administrators and workers. The slideshow is enjoying some of the foundation's highest engagement.

We were reminded of three points for communicators around publishing and promoting research:

1) Design, design and more design! Our results underlines the importance of high design values, especially including good quality non-stock photos. Developing research into a accessible and beautiful presentation in a video or slideshow is the best way to draw a larger audience.

2) Work with the researcher from the beginning.  We collaborated to identify the audiences for the research and to plan the type of products before the researcher began his writing. This avoided later detours and rewrites. It also helped the author think clearly about his content.

3) Make your digital strategy/media release clear. Like any digital initiative, preparation and partnership is critical to success–engaging the researcher from the beginning helps them understand how to approach the writing and expect realistic results. The same holds true for media–clarifying targets and strategy best prepares the researcher and organization in evaluating priorities and tactics i.e. social media channels vs. media pitching.