Help us promote your stories of discovery

Help us promote your stories of discovery

I’m a news junkie, and I love stories, especially those about science. You may not realize it, but every day as part of the NINDS research community, you are generating incredible news. There is so much amazing science being done in your labs, whether you are using state-of-the-art technology to image people’s brains or teasing apart the nervous system of a zebrafish. And although that may be routine for you, to the public that work is often fascinating. NINDS wants to help you share these stories.

You can help us do this by notifying your program directors of upcoming papers. NINDS’ Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) has a team of science writers who have backgrounds in neuroscience and are skilled in translating technical findings into accurate, plain language stories for the public in the form of press releases. To maximize the news impact and reach of your study, press releases should go out just before the study becomes available online. To make this happen, it is helpful to receive manuscripts as early as possible, ideally just after submission. The OCPL team has extensive experience coordinating with journals and understands the importance of adhering to their confidentiality rules.

NINDS news releases are picked up by the general media, and health and science reporters who adapt the scientific findings into articles for their unique audiences. In 2017, NINDS covered several stories that also appeared in popular outlets, including The New York Times, BBC World Service, NPR,  Reuters, The Atlantic, and Scientific American.

Many of you have media offices at your institutions, so you may already be somewhat familiar with this process. But, by including NINDS, we can help your exciting research findings reach an even larger audience. In this time of an ever-shifting digital landscape, news travels fast through a variety of channels and it can be hard to keep up. At NINDS, we use many strategies to get the word out about your research. We post the NINDS releases on our and the NIH website, which receives an average of 1.5 million page views per month. Information about NINDS-funded studies also gets posted to our Twitter accounts, which have thousands of followers, and to our Facebook pages as well as the Grantees in the News section of our website. And, sometimes, Dr. Collins, the NIH Director, includes them in his blog posts. By using a combination of traditional outreach strategies and current technology, while coordinating with your institution’s media office, we can get the news about your research in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

The public—the taxpayers who make NIH-funded research possible—want to know what their dollars are paying for. When thinking about topics with broad interest, I don’t know of anything with more universal appeal than the brain. Our healthy brains enable us to do extraordinary things and make us who we are as individuals. How it does that is the mystery that makes the brain so fascinating—and newsworthy.

So, help us to get the neuroscience conversation going — not just among your colleagues, but for everyone. Please remember to send recently submitted or accepted manuscripts to me, your program director or to the NINDS Press Team.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018