Founded in 1989, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is the first institution in the world dedicated to research and teaching in the field of tropical medicine. As a registered charity, LSTM works across the globe, often in very difficult circumstances, to fulfill their mission: reducing the burden of sickness and mortality in disease endemic countries. They do this through the delivery of effective interventions which improve human health and are relevant to the poorest communities.
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Senior Media Officer at LSTM, Clare Bebb explained one of her main goals is to create media exposure by promoting research to aid positioning the school as the world leader it is. To do so, Clare has to work closely with researchers, a relationship which has taken time to establish. "LSTM researchers used to be a little wary of handing over their research to the comms team. I understand why - it's likely they have worked tirelessly on their project for years and leaving this in the hands of someone else to translate for a wider audience can be daunting. Translating the research into a story that a non-scientific audience can make sense of is very important, and crucial to landing media exposure and improve ROI of media outreach."
"We have a diverse portfolio of research and interventions, from basic science to intervention and policy change; from making birth safer, to looking for new antibiotics and research into infectious diseases and vectors that carry them." However, "targeting journalists who will find the research content of interest was made more challenging due to the diverse range of research we publish". An up to date journalist database was needed to successfully target specific messages and avoid a 'spray and pray' approach. It's impossible to know every mention of your company or industry taking place through manual searches, that's why many communication professionals use a media monitoring tool. "The media monitoring tool we used before Meltwater missed a lot of global mentions. The nature of our business means that the chance of us receiving global coverage is higher than local press mentions, and so we needed a tool with a large global source base to ensure we capture it all."
"I use Meltwaters Influencer Contact Database to find journalists who regularly discuss the field of research I'm promoting and then send them very targeted and personalised pitches. After using the influencer database to pinpoint who I should engage with, I then use Meltwater's media monitoring tool to track the coverage of the research and spot potential international audiences using the heat map widget (which indicates where media exposure is highest). Since using Meltwater, we've seen a boost of engagement internally. Circulating a newsletter highlighting key press coverage shows researchers that their work is in capable hands. As a result, more and more are willing to work with us to profile and promote their work."
Clare Bebb, Senior Media Officer
"I use Meltwater's Influencer Contact Database to find journalists who regularly discuss the field of research I'm promoting, and then send them very targeted and personalized pitches. "Fortunately, Meltwater's influencer database looks beyond traditional topic beats. Instead, users have the option of searching for influencers based on the articles they have previously written. This helps the quality of targeting as we know that they have covered a similar theme, and so they're likely to be interested in what we have to say."
"After using Meltwater's influencer database to pinpoint who I should engage with, I then use Meltwater's media monitoring tool to track the coverage of the research." Clare uses the data collected within our media intelligence tool to:
1) Discover where the research is gaining traction across the globe. For example, if Clare notices lots of hits in North America, this indicates further opportunities for coverage and audience development.
2) To boost internal engagement. Media monitoring allows Clare to prove her expertise to researchers by reporting external research promotion ROI. Researchers are then more likely to come forward with their content for Clare and her team to promote. "Since using Meltwater, we've seen a boost in engagement internally. Circulating a newsletter highlighting key press coverage received also helps to builds trust, as researchers can see their work is in capable hands. As a result, more and more are willing to work with us to profile and promote their research."
"I can now find journalists who are likely to be interested in the research that I'm in the process of promoting. For example, I can search for journalists who are discussing particular antibiotics within their articles, and create lists of contacts for each particular field. I then create a bespoke pitch for each journalist."
"The insights provided by Meltwater are displayed in a very simple and visual dashboard that we customize with different widgets to drill down deeper into the data in order to spot hidden opportunities through insights. This helps researchers understand how their findings have been received online and that it was valuable working with my department to help promote it. I usually publish this data in our internal newsletters to encourage others within the organization to work with us too."
"As well as finding suitable journalists, we also hunt for influencers and bloggers discussing topics related to our research.We find Meltwater is a great foundation for creating networks. I'll use the influencer contact database to hunt for bloggers discussing childbirth, or journalists discussing our areas of our research with the aim of developing relationships with them. In turn, this gives me access to their networks of contacts, and expanding the opportunities to promote our work. "
— Clare Bebb, Senior Media Officer