Going Global: Securing international media coverage

31st July 2019

by Rob Dawson

Our international media event was full of top tips to help you go global.

Louisa Sampson from United For Global Mental Health gave insights into their global media campaign led by people with lived experience of mental health. Stories and experiences of mental health vary dramatically from country to country and culture to culture, so it was vital to share stories from local people in each area. To accomplish this, United For Global Mental Health worked with charities and organisation to identify real people and to nominate journalists in their region to help tell the story. This meant that the campaign message could be translated into an appropriate voice and amplified the overall reach.

Morwenna Darby highlighted the challenges of tackling UNICEF’s global stories from 190 offices around the world. Using measles vaccination coverage data as a case studies, she showed how the news team extract country data from global reports to build stories that resonate with national outlets. UNICEF’s media teams also harness the power of their global networks to take journalists to visit their work around the world first hand.

Kate Wighton, a media manager at Imperial, focussed on the importance of partnerships and international relationships. She works closely with the media professionals at collaborating institutions to help distribute research stories internationally. Imperial create template releases for partners in a bid to get their key messages mentioned around the world. Kate also said that working with journal press officers can help boost coverage internationally and attending events such as the World Conference of Science Journalists is great for networking with new journalist contacts.

Greg Jones, from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), asked the audience how many read international media. Very few did. He encouraged everyone to find out who international science and health journalists are and to read more global titles to find out more about the landscape.

BHF has had global coverage success by including country comparisons in their releases, targeting BBC World Service, and making sure they had multimedia components that worked in different countries. Greg also suggested making use of international wire and distribution services and speaking to the Foreign Commonwealth Office who like to share success from the UK research base.

With plenty of questions from the audience, more tips were revealed as the events closed, such as using an embargo time of 11:30pm  UK time for global stories (as it works for many places) and reading the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism annual report to identify new journalist targets.

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