"TELL YOUR STORY:" The MARC Media-Training Project
When the MARC opened in 2006, methamphetamine labs and other meth-related crime and social issues made regular headlines in our community and throughout Oregon.
The interest that greeted the founding of our center made it clear that the public wanted to hear about how neuroscience could help solve problems of substance abuse!
However, we realized early on that, as scientists, we had a lot to learn about bridging the gap between our research parlance and the language that worked well for the mass media and their lay audiences.
To that end, the MARC consulted with a local media veteran and anti-drug-abuse advocate to create an interview-training program for our investigators. Communications expert Pete Schulberg started sitting down with our scientists and a video camera to practice the skills that make for a great interview or public presentation.
A few sessions in to the project, we realized that Pete's advice could be of use to other NIDA- and NIH-funded investigators. Thus began the MARC media handbook project, now titled "Tell Your Story: Media and Communications Guide for NIH Investigators."
Pete's approach posits that biomedical researchers have a story to tell -- a story that will enthrall the general public if we can just get it across using media-savvy techniques. Developing those techniques is the subject of the handbook and video clips included with this guide.
We encourage you to explore the guide (online, with downloadable text) and try out some tips before your next media interaction. Also check out some of the program alumni on our "Meet the Scientists" page. Let us know if it helps you feel like a more relaxed, prepared, and effective communicator!