We have been having editorial meetings every Monday since April. These involve audience stakeholders (our colleagues from the Office of Resource Development, for instance, who work with potential donors to EMBL) and content producers within our team. The idea is that everyone can pitch stories and then we figure out how best to handle them.
These meetings are a good start, but they could be a lot better. Some of the things that aren’t going so well include:
- Unclear story commissioning
- Poor feedback on production
- Poorly defined audiences
- Ad hoc formats
- Editorial cycle dominated by EMBLetc. production
- Structural and role changes in Strategy and Communications
To help address some of these issues we’re going to split the editorial meetings in to 3 distinct meetings: Continue reading “Refining our editorial processes”
On 1st September Twitter granted EMBL the use of the @embl Twitter account. This account had been registered by an individual a long time ago and had remained dormant, which meant that EMBL was using the @EMBLorg handle. This was causing confusion, with many people naturally mentioning @embl, and many potential conversations being cut short.
Acquiring the @embl handle was a process that began in February. Big thanks to our colleagues in legal services, notably Amaranta Amador Bernal, who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes, including acquiring trademark protections for EMBL’s name in terms that are easily recognised by US-based companies such as Twitter.
The timing of the name transfer couldn’t have been better: on 1 September Laura Howes (@L_Howes) joined the Strategy and Communications team from the Science in School team as EMBL’s new Social Media Manager. Watch this space for how she goes on to develop EMBL’s social media strategy. Priorities for now are:
- increase the frequency of social media posts; and
- engage with people who ask EMBL questions via our social media channels.
In April 2016, EMBL’s Director-General, Iain Mattaj, announced a restructuring of the organisation’s communications functions. Separate units that were previously quite independent – namely the Office of Information and Public Affairs (OIPA), Strategy and Analysis and the External Relations team at EMBL-EBI – would be brought together into a single team called Strategy and Communications. The tasks this new team was set were:
- be more proactive in communicating on EMBL’s behalf;
- engage more effectively with stakeholders;
- coordinate EMBL’s communications to ensure that our voice and messaging are consistent.
The ambition we were set was to raise EMBL’s profile: to ensure that people across the world had heard of this unique organisation and the amazing science that is led from here.
Since Iain’s announcement, an awful lot of work has gone on behind the scenes. We want to share that work with you and open a dialogue on the development EMBL’s communications. That is why we have opened this blog.
I think that we need to be open with what we are doing not merely to trumpet how great we are (there are no doubt many things that we will get wrong as we go forwards and I want to be open about mistakes too), but because I firmly believe that we can only deliver great communications for EMBL by being open about how we are approaching our work and involving everyone (yes, everyone!) in it. We need to collect the best ideas, and we need feedback – especially when it’s critical. I hope you will occasionally take the time to give this precious feedback to us, whether in person, by email, social channels or by leaving a comment on this blog.