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Four characteristics of fresh research that gets media traction

You might not even realise it, but a lot of what gets featured in the news and media is centred around new research. In a world of fake news and cancel culture, objective and credible insights are valued in mainstream media.

Our research is regularly featured in the media, and we are very intentional about what we research, how it is presented to media and the value we add to the story.

Here are four tips on how to conduct fresh research that gets media traction.

1. It is sound and credible

The first part of getting media cut through with fresh research is to ensure the methodology is robust, reliable and accurate. The media may not need to know every detail, but they want to be reassured that the research is credible if they are to report on it.

2. It has a hook

Timing is very important for mainstream media, so researching something that is relevant and has a hook to current affairs or topics is an important part of the process. This should happen in the first stage of deciding what topic or content to explore, as well as the analysis stage when you find the angles that will be of most interest to the media, and the timing of when you release the research. If you can pre-frame your research with a hook to something current, the media are more likely to show interest in your research.

3. It is relevant and succinct

Journalists are among some the busiest people, always chasing the latest story and wanting to be first to report on it. Therefore, if your research is presented in complex ways with too much detail, it is unlikely that they will take the time to engage with it. Therefore, try and make your research as distilled, clear and easy to understand as possible. Do as much work for the journalist as you can.

4. It has the four I’s: interest, instruct, involve, inspire

Lastly, the media is looking for more than just standalone statistics. They are looking for a story. Our McCrindle Speakers regularly give comment to the media about our research, and they are always conscious of the characteristics of a great story: that it creates interest among the audience, and that it instructs, involves, and inspires them. If you can talk about the implications of the research (succinctly!) then you have a better chance at getting media cut through for your research.

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