One of the thing that I was pretty unprepared for when I became a university professor is learning how to deal with media attention (and, if necessary, create it!). While I like to tell people about my research, as readers of this blog know, my research tends to be relatively inaccessible.
(My hope that this blog would open up my work to new audiences has not been entirely unsuccessful.)
These days, however, when public patience with and support for academia seemingly at all time lows (whether this is really the case or not, if very difficult to determine), it feels all the more important to make my research not only relevant but also visible to a wider audience. The fact that it is a legislative year in North Dakota makes it all the more important that we connect our position in the public trust and to the work we do.
So this past week has been a bit of a crash course in media management as my North Dakota Man Camp Project has blown up (this is the locus classicus for this phrase, but it’s not rated-pg) in the (local) media. So, here’s what’s happened:
First, I wrote a press release here.
Then, the writers in the University of North Dakota’s Office for University Relations turned it into this press release.
It was also quickly picked up by the local TV; it is at the 4:00 mark of this broadcast by WDAZ.
The most in-depth coverage came from Prairie Public Radio here.
None of this is likely to change the world or even make much of an impact as hurricanes and conventions have taken center stage in the ever-churning news cycle. On the other hand, it does feel good to play a part in getting some of my research out of the cul-de-sac that is academic conversation.