Keep quick stats on hand to explain the value of university research

A challenge many chief research officers (CROs) face today is explaining the value of their university's research enterprise to external stakeholders like board members, legislators, and the general public. It's easier for CROs and their staff to do this if they have compelling content on hand that they can share via social media or website content.

Recognizing this, Louisiana State University (LSU) has developed a library of one-page fact sheets that explain the value of LSU's research.

Strategic communications staff at LSU worked in teams to gather the necessary information and statistics for these fact sheets. Then, they plugged the stats into a premade template, which reduced workloads and ensured consistent branding.

For example, the fact sheet to the right focuses on coastal wetlands loss (Note: click the image to open a larger version in a new tab). The very first sentence uses a relatable metric: football fields. The middle section explains the problem and identifies its implications for the local community. The final section provides an overview of LSU research related to the problem and a statistic on public engagement with the topic, which is particularly compelling for a lawmaker audience.

By clearly and concisely articulating a problem and LSU’s contribution to its solution in a relatable way, LSU can better engage key stakeholders in the value of its research.

See 12 more tactics for communicating the value of research

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