This post is by MSU Media Communications Manager/Spartan Science Storyteller Layne Cameron.
First of all, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Layne Cameron, the Spartan Science Storyteller.
My job is to help publicize the research that is being conducted at MSU. I write about your work for MSUToday, but I also pitch my stories to media outlets – from the New York Times and National Geographic to the local National Public Radio affiliate – to get reporters to cover the great science that’s happening at MSU.
I’ve worked with quite a few researchers from BEACON. The research that you do there is compelling, and your ability to translate the science for a general audience is first-rate. So, for the people I’ve helped, please keep the stories coming my way. And for those I’ve yet to meet, I looking forward to hearing from you.
MSU scientists often ask where I get my story ideas. My answer is, “From you.” I’d like to hear from you when:
- You land a large grant to fund your research
- You publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal
- Hear news coverage that’s related to your research
- When you snap a cool image that captures an aspect of your work
- When you’re being interviewed for a story
In all of those situations, I can help publicize your work and coordinate media coverage and social media strategy.
When you land a grant or publish a paper, you’re often told: “YOU CAN’T TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THIS!!” That’s true; you can’t talk the media until you have the OK from granting organization or the embargo lifts for your paper.
However, you can talk to me beforehand—I am a media relations manager NOT a reporter. I can meet with you to prepare talking points, news release, take photos, and rough out a media and social media strategy in advance of any grant or embargo. I will hold all of the work until the embargoes are lifted. (And with papers in journals such as Science, Nature and PNAS, I can even pitch the stories to a handful of trusted, national science reporters, who will then hold their stories until the appointed time.)
You don’t need to write a news release, either – that’s my job! Simply drop me an email or give me a call. Send me a copy of your grant application or paper with a layman’s description, and we’ll get started.
To give you a better idea of what I do, I’ve included a couple of links to stories that I’ve covered recently.
- Kay Holekamp, mammals and brain size. I’ve included the news release as well as a link to the NYTimes article and video – http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/larger-relative-brains-higher-iq/
- Ashlee Rowe, grasshopper mice and scorpions (be sure to check out the photos, video and the tweets) – http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/mighty-mouse-uses-scorpion-venom-as-painkiller/
- Pamela Rasmussen, new bird discovered –http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/new-species-of-bird-discovered-in-india-and-china-by-international-team-of-scientists/
- BEACON renewal – http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2015/msus-beacon-center-nets-225m-grant-to-continue-evolution-research/
I’m always open to meet with anyone to discuss the ins and outs of working with the media. If you have an idea, let’s talk. Over coffee. In your lab. Wherever.
If you’re still unsure, feel free to cyber-stalk me on Twitter. I’m at SpartnSciStorytellr or @LayneCameron1. (I’ll take all the followers I can get!)