Taking Research Center Communications to the Next Level

So many university research centers do very interesting work. However, without robust communications strategies, such centers aren’t generating the optimal impact.
Many of these centers are comprised of small staffs. There are few – or no – resources dedicated to marketing / communications. University communications staff members don’t have the capacity to provide the necessary support.

Here are 4 possible benefits of research centers engaging an external resource for marketing / communications support.

Messaging: Many research centers lack clarity on their unique value proposition and supporting messages. Or if there is clarity, often wording has too much jargon / technical language.
Here are a few questions to consider:

– Are you as clear about the the Center’s unique value proposition? If yes, is this clear to your stakeholders?

– Is there clarity around the 3-5 key messages that connect to the unique value proposition?

– Does your content / outreach connect to your answers to the above questions?

If your research center team isn’t clear about the answers to these questions, then the right external communications resource can provide support. The crystallization that comes with the right messaging is a complete game-changer. Stakeholders can clearly understand the work of the research center. Strategies can be incorporated that align to these clear messages.

Fresh Perspective: Career coaches help job seekers identify their weaknesses and exploit opportunities. Life coaches help individuals achieve personal growth and balance in ways they can’t see because “they are too close to the situation. Similarly, an external communications resource can help unearth new ideas and innovative research communication strategies that internal teams might overlook.

Efficiency: Time is a valuable resource. It is obnoxious spending time on activities that we don’t enjoy, aren’t aligned our strengths and take considerably longer than if an expert does the task. An external communications resource that helps craft the right strategies frees up time for research center teams so that they can focus on their core activities.

Improved ROI: Implementing smart and strategic communications strategies that effectively reach desired audiences can move the needle on core organizational objectives. This can play out in a variety of ways. Funders often want to see that the repetitional benefits of grants. Universities are keen to see evidence of impact. Most all research teams want to know that their work is bringing value to society. There could be a host of other such benefits. It is incumbent upon the external resource to help connect communications strategies to the research center’s overarching objectives.

If you need support in this area, we can help. Book a free consult or write kevin@experientialcommunications.com.