Training in communication skills

Some of our recent training projects are listed below.

Talking science with the media

Fresh Science, 1998–2018

For 20 years we have trained early-career scientists selected for the Fresh Science program in how to deal with the media.

We identify the most exciting, least exposed Australian research for presenting to the media and the public at various events during National Science Week.

Quotes from Fresh Scientists about our training:

[raw] [testimonial][tentry image=”” name=”Dr Sophie Reid” company=”Research Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute”] I appreciated the many opportunities to explain our work – especially with real journalists.[/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Richard Shepherd” company=”PhD student”] It was a real insight into how media works. [/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Ms V Garcia Hansen” company=””] Getting feedback from our interviews and presentations was the highlight for me. [/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Jo Lapidge” company=”Director, Stand Innovation”] Meeting ‘real’ media personalities and learning about their perspectives and who to contact within radio, tv and newspapers was excellent. [/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Lawrence Sant” company=”C.E.O. Molly Polly Pty Ltd”] appreciated the training and practice runs – meeting real media. [/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Dr Andrew Feitz” company=”Senior Research Fellow, University of NSW”] Hearing from all the journalists – very illuminating!  The mix of commercial and public was good.[/tentry][/testimonial] [/raw]


Media management in a crisis

CS Energy, 2006

With keytext communication, we tested CS Energy’s response to a simulated major gas leak and subsequent urgent inquiries. The exercise was staged at the Swanbank power station near Brisbane.

We had two people onsite posing as TV journalists and pressing for footage and immediate interviews from management.

We had four other people phone the power station posing as:

  • emotional family members looking for their loved ones
  • media, ministerial advisors and union representatives requesting immediate statements from head office and updates from onsite supervisors
  • neighbours and EPA staff asking for safety reports

We recorded and tested how site managers, executives, and general staff dealt with each inquiry/situation, and how they prepared sensitive information for the media while under real pressure.

The outcome: CS Energy gained practical experience in handling difficult media situations, they revised their company media procedure based on our recommendations, and they developed new guidelines for crisis management.


Managing media issues and crises

CS Energy, 2005

Quotes from CS Energy participants on what they liked about our workshop on managing media issues and crises:

[raw] [testimonial] [tentry image=”” name=”Bill Pike” company=”Site Manager, Kogan Creek”] Having professional interviewers in attendance. Good course! [/tentry] [tentry image=”” name=”Tim Loth” company=”ER Coordinator, Mica Creek”] Some realism and real life experience. Thanks! [/tentry] [/testimonial] [/raw]

Talking science with the media

Greenhouse CRC, Canberra, 2003

Quotes from Greenhouse Cooperative Research Centre staff about our workshop on talking science with the media:

The detailed analysis of presentation skills i.e. attention to detail was really helpful.” Sara Healy
“Diversity; structure; the different presenters. It was great.” Danny Siegenthaler
“Lots of opportunities to get up and talk on various topics.” Rob Waterworth
“Mix of presentation/practical elements and involvement of media professionals.” Matthew Brookhouse
“The practical aspect, contact with real journalists. We got to keep tapes of some of the work.” Susanne Thulin
“Extremely relevant course materials (to my needs).” Eddie Webber
“Competence and enthusiasm of presenters, presentation techniques, tips and tricks.” Frank Jotzo



Communicating science

CRC Cotton, Narrabri, 1995–2006

Quotes from the CRC Cotton about our workshop on communicating science:

“Variety btw information and activities. Good presenters.” Gus Macrae – CRC Cotton
“Full use of time.” Robert Ward – Australian Machinery P/L
“Techniques for preparing and meeting criteria of media.” Scott Vaessen – NSW DPI
“Gave me confidence in my ability to deal with the media and public speaking a lot better than on Monday morning!” Justin Luckel – Elders Ayr
“That I was ‘made’ to get up and do things that I didn’t want to do! It has been a while since I’ve had to do a lot of these things so it was good experience.” VJ Wigney – CRC Cotton
“The interaction within the group and activities kept the course moving.” Lyndon Mulligan – Cotton grower
“Opportunities for interaction and practising what we had learned.” John Lehane – QDPI & F
“Very interactive. Covered a good range of media.” Lis Apuli – Landmark
“Structuring of a presentation. How to use the media effectively.” Peter Hollingworth – Cotton Australia
“Everyone’s enthusiasm and participation in all the practical exercises.” Sandy Young – Aust. Cotton Exb. Centre
“Relevant information gained for our perspective.” Greg Wynne – UNE

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