The results of medical research are for many media ”hot news”. This is paralleled by a growing acceptance in the German medical community that communication with the media is important. There is also a growing acceptance that professional support is needed to communicate with the media. This opens up new opportunities for journalists, specialized in science and medicine, to run media- and PR-offices of medical and scientific associations.

To do such a job requires a broad journalistic experience in different media including personal acquaintance with key editors, management experience, know-how in communications, knowledge of the changing media market and - last but not least - the power to convince and to implement professional strategies and actions.

Changing economic and journalistic conditions in the media heavily influence PR work for medical and scientific organizations. economic pressure on publishing houses, radio- and tv-stations causes a loss of inhouse competence, especially in medical and science departments. Economic pressure is the reason too, why many journalists can’t attend scientific conferences. Thus the news agencies are gaining a growing importance for the media coverage of conferences or medical news. Medical and scientific news are not longer solely the focus of a specialised editorial staff. Because science sells” - at least some parts of it - news from this field are subjects to coverage by nonspecialized journalists. This increases the demand for clear and comprehensive news releases.

Not many years ago, the press-office of a medical association had primarily to deal with a well known group of medical and science reporters. Today the clients are in most cases non-specialized journalists from local and fast media, e.g. news agencies. Young science writers seem to have no chance outside the classical departments - even though there is an urgent demand. These developments strengthen the influence of press offices on the agenda setting.

Any subject that isn’t in the focus of activities of the press office is rarely covered by the media. The tendency for short and easy-to-consume messages, shorter articles, news-bites and changes in the presentation of news create more and more problems to present complex stories. News you can use” are getting more important. TV is focusing on the personal story”, i.e. patients. This tendency is not negative per se, but offersnew chances for communication if certain rules and precautions are imbedded.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

New wine in new bottles?
Professional PR for science and medicine

Barbara Ritzert   Pro Scientia GmbH

The results of medical research are for many media ”hot news”. This is paralleled by a growing acceptance in the German medical community that communication with the media is important. There is also a growing acceptance that professional support is needed to communicate with the media. This opens up new opportunities for journalists, specialized in science and medicine, to run media- and PR-offices of medical and scientific associations.

To do such a job requires a broad journalistic experience in different media including personal acquaintance with key editors, management experience, know-how in communications, knowledge of the changing media market and - last but not least - the power to convince and to implement professional strategies and actions.

Changing economic and journalistic conditions in the media heavily influence PR work for medical and scientific organizations. economic pressure on publishing houses, radio- and tv-stations causes a loss of inhouse competence, especially in medical and science departments. Economic pressure is the reason too, why many journalists can’t attend scientific conferences. Thus the news agencies are gaining a growing importance for the media coverage of conferences or medical news. Medical and scientific news are not longer solely the focus of a specialised editorial staff. Because science sells” - at least some parts of it - news from this field are subjects to coverage by nonspecialized journalists. This increases the demand for clear and comprehensive news releases.

Not many years ago, the press-office of a medical association had primarily to deal with a well known group of medical and science reporters. Today the clients are in most cases non-specialized journalists from local and fast media, e.g. news agencies. Young science writers seem to have no chance outside the classical departments - even though there is an urgent demand. These developments strengthen the influence of press offices on the agenda setting.

Any subject that isn’t in the focus of activities of the press office is rarely covered by the media. The tendency for short and easy-to-consume messages, shorter articles, news-bites and changes in the presentation of news create more and more problems to present complex stories. News you can use” are getting more important. TV is focusing on the personal story”, i.e. patients. This tendency is not negative per se, but offersnew chances for communication if certain rules and precautions are imbedded.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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