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Press Officers & Other Animals

Detail Summary
Date 22 March 2018
Time 12:00 -13:00
Eleanor Spring
Eleanor Spring

What actually is a press office? What's an embargo? What happens if you (accidentally or not) break an embargo? What's a PIO? How do press offices manage international science teams and a medley of language and cultural barriers? And why do we actually need press officers and how can you locate one if you do?

We're all aware of science communication, but maybe not of the logistical ins and outs of how a press office actually works. Until I worked in ESO's outreach department, I had virtually no idea of the process of how scientific discoveries actually get relayed to the public, and I spent a good chunk of my first month there trying to work out the answers to these questions on the fly. I was working there during the build up to the Proxima b paper release - including the leak to Der Spiegel 2 weeks prior to the press conference. I got a (not always inspiring) insight into what it takes to get a paper good press coverage and the difficulties of keeping both scientists and journalists happy. If you're interested in science communication, the press, getting your work into the press, or just a medley of anecdotes and the occasional cartoon then you mind find something to interest you.