Rebecca Davis, CEO of Ovington, is a marketing professional with a particular focus on the area of public engagement with science. Rebecca spoke at the February 3, 2016, session of the Public Engagement with Science at Societies (PES@S) working group.
With Rebecca’s marketing overview and then discussion guidance, the working group focused on these guiding principles and pro tips for public engagement:
- Marketing is about markets.
- Are there enough people who see the value of your information to give their time and attention to it?
- Is the market sufficiently unified that one presentation of my information will work for it? (default answer: no)
- Understand your audience. The process is iterative.
- Adapt to audience interests and needs.
- Identify target audiences. For PES, the (broad) target audiences may be institutions, other scientists, and the public.
- Experiment with 3 options for audience targeting:
- Market assessment: How is the market changing; how can I expand the market?
- Market segmentation: How do we differentiate market sub-sets? Who gets our focus?
- Market strategy: How best can we use limited resources? What can measure success?
- Market or audience growth is a perennial goal.
- Quality – Deepening existing relationships is a worthwhile form of growth.
- Quantity – Keep reaching to that second tier of potential participants.
- Create personas to hone growth strategies.
- Prepare just 3-4 personas at first; experience will dictate updates.
- Develop a “patient zero” model for each persona.
- Build from quantitative data. Shape with qualitative input.
- Create a word cloud of each one’s common questions, statements or buzz words.
- Engage with detractors, too.
- Provide quantitative information – with limited jargon or ‘talking down.’
- Uncomplicated visuals and infographics really can help.
- Acknowledge, define and address different voices and views.
- Expect to convert a few naysayers. How can they become powerful for your cause?
- Diligent naysayers require a communication strategy, a skill set which differs from marketing.
- Have a simple, direct exit strategy.
- In social media, take significant action only if the discussion jumps to a different media or highly influential voices pick it up.
See more about Rebecca Davis here.
The PES@S session was hosted by AAAS as part of their Center for Public Engagement http://www.aaas.org/pes program.
Significant input from Elana Kimbrell of AAAS was instrumental in creating this blog post.