by Alvin Stone
Our new media strategy following our mid-term review, which aims to reach out to stakeholders beyond academia, is already bearing fruit. And this new focus received a real boost with the release of the IPCC Working Group 1 report.
Unlike the broad media approach we took in 2013 for AR5, this time around our efforts were directed towards industry and policymakers. With this in mind, we put together a rapid response team made up of researchers, our new graphic designer, and the Knowledge Brokerage Team.
Early on, we gained media accreditation which gave us early access to key IPCC documents and allowed the rapid response team to build an Australian-focused special briefing note and prepare our researchers for multiple interviews. The results of this preparation can be found in the more than 30 interviews that followed, and multiple briefings to policymakers, ministers, industry groups and more.
This continues the realignment of our media strategy that has also seen us publicly declare a position for the development of an international supercomputer and tackle misunderstandings by MPs commenting on climate change. In the coming weeks, we will also see Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick appear at the Press Club talking about the IPCC report and climate change.
This strategy has also seen an increase in the amount of opportunistic media featuring Centre researchers. We were highly visible commentators when temperatures reached 50°C in the tiny Canadian town of Lytton, and we helped the public understand the succession of extreme events that occurred in the northern hemisphere. A highlight during this period was an article in The Conversation by Prof Michael Reeder and Prof Christian Jakob that revealed the atmospheric influences that had led to a succession of heatwaves ranging from the Mediterranean to California. It was just one of 10 separate articles in The Conversation since late April that has highlighted our research and wide-ranging expertise in climate.
We have also commenced the online CLEX-branded episodes on Climate Australia through the Cimpatico platform. To date we have produced three programs. The first focuses on our attribution and risk work, the next on communicating climate change, and the third is all about drought. You can find them here. Over the coming months, we will see episodes from the Weather and Climate Interactions, Ocean Extremes, and Modelling research programs. Once these are complete, we will be free to explore any other areas related to our research. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have ideas for future episodes.
In the coming weeks, we will also be paying some attention to helping our staff and students improve their social media footprint. Keep an eye out for a special seminar devoted to the fundamentals of social media, which should also give those who attend an insight into how the algorithms work and what you will need to do to reach specific peer networks.
Finally, I would just like to thank everybody who has contributed to the media and communications over the past four months. This has been an incredibly difficult time for many of you and I genuinely appreciate that at every level the Centre community has taken the time to be involved with the media, write blogs, and continue to alert me to communication opportunities that benefit us all.