Fast track skills training boosted the knowledge and expertise of Bradford’s media team.

University of Bradford

With its motto ‘Making Knowledge Work’, the University of Bradford is rightly proud of its research strengths and its position as the “technology university of the north”. Bradford’s media team asked Campus PR to deliver press officer training that would help staff broadcast those strengths to a wide audience.

The brief

The University’s media team has two talented and ambitious press officers, both keen to raise the profile of the University’s research strengths. Both had extensive media experience, but wanted to fast- track their skills and knowledge in higher education PR – in particular in dealing with peer-reviewed research papers.


What we did

We tailored our Research PR training course to the press officers’ particular requirements, splitting it into three distinct sessions, to fit around their work commitments. Our aim was to demystify peer-reviewed research and build confidence in their ability to apply their skills to promoting research stories.

We looked at the structure and language of research papers and the peer-review process itself. To truly bring the training to life, we organised to collectively interview a Bradford Professor about a forthcoming paper.


We discussed and practised news release structure and deliberated on approaches to generating publicity across different media outlets, including adiscussion of the thorny topic of embargoes. We also covered the approvals process and best practice in liaising with partners, collaborators and funders.

Outcomes

We’ll let the testimonials speak for themselves:

“Although I have plenty of experience of media work, I hadn’t realised quite how different research PR was. Fortunately, Campus PR has vast experience of working with many institutions to achieve the best coverage for their research and this experience shone through with our one-to-one training sessions.

“Campus PR’s relaxed approach was reassuring but at the same time the sessions were comprehensive and thorough without ever getting lost in detail. I felt engaged immediately and could feel my confidence growing as each session developed. The training succeeded in demystifying what appeared a complex task and by the end I was eager to get out and put my new-found skills to the test! I would definitely recommend them to anyone wanting to develop a specialism in research PR.”

Mark Thompson, Media Relations Manager, University of Bradford

“As I’m new to research PR and without a scientific background, I had doubts in my ability to interpret complex research papers. Through one-to-one mentoring with Campus PR, I was able to draw on their experiences and knowledge to equip myself with the necessary tools to construct and execute research news releases, as well as gain confidence in handling academic and media relationships.

“Being able to spend time with individuals who have so much experience and success in higher education communications is a great opportunity for anyone starting out in the sector and I would thoroughly recommend they take up the opportunity.”

Jenny Watkinson, Media Relations Officer, University of Bradford