Don’t make me learn science!

As I mentioned in a recent profile of BayBio, science is not everyone's strong suit. And that makes PR difficult for a complicated industry...

As I mentioned in a recent profile of BayBio, science is not everyone's strong suit. And that makes PR difficult for a complicated industry like biotech. Andrew Leonard tackled this very topic in Salon recently:

If scientists could more effectively communicate the rational reasons why there is nothing to fear from biotech, then there would be no resistance to the further spread of genetically modified organisms.



Leonard links to what he calls the "very first editorial in this special issue," written by Dr. Kristina Sinemus, the CEO of Genius, a German PR agency. In her piece Sinemus dissects where communicators have gone wrong when trying to assuage public concerns over GMO, and gives several ideas of ways in which they might improve:




One component could be media training for scientists, in order to support a method of communication that is scientifically correct, but also exciting – basically “living science”. Other tools, such as science events or target-oriented websites – in the best case, embedded in a strategic communication campaign – should be used to provide the highest level of transparency and openness.



Coming back to my BayBio piece, it was interesting to hear that the group changed tactics when it realized they weren't getting through. Instead of explaining the science, they began to tell real-life stories about who the science has helped. And it worked.

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