Engaging Media Communications for Academics

With an increasing focus on your research having an impact beyond academia it is important for researchers to have the skills and to feel comfortable talking to the media. This online workshop, delivered by experienced BBC producers and journalists Claire Bolderson and Caroline Finnegan, will enable you to find the story in your work and to prepare for an interview.

Finding the story in your work

  • Being clear about your “top line” (key message) and clear in the language you use for non-experts. We’ll use audio of good and poor practice as examples.
  • A short exercise in writing a top line (elevator pitch) about your research including whole-group discussion and feedback
  • Where and how to connect to interested media (the importance of a good online presence and use of social media).

Preparing for interview

  • The questions you need to ask before you’re interviewed. What’s the subject? What’s the format? How long will it be? Who else is taking part? And, crucially, how and when to say No to an interview request.
  • How to get the best out of your performance during the interview. From what to wear to staying in control of the conversation and remaining relaxed. There will be a particular emphasis on interviews done via online platforms such as Skype or Zoom from the home/office environment. 

Please Note

Spaces are limited. Please only book a place if you are sure you can attend. If you find you are unable to attend, please cancel your place as soon as you are able.  


Book now!

The Trainers

Claire Bolderson is a news journalist and documentary maker with more than 25 years’ experience at the BBC. She was presenter of Newshour on the World Service and The World Tonight on Radio 4. Claire began her broadcasting career in Indonesia as correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times. She went on to be BBC correspondent in Washington in the mid-1990s. Since then she has returned repeatedly to the US to report while also broadcasting from Africa, Europe and Asia. Claire continues to make documentaries for the BBC. She is a regular guest commentator on the Weekend programme on BBC World Service while also writing and blogging, mostly on UK politics and social affairs.

Caroline Finnegan is media training consultant with over 20 years’ experience as a programme maker and producer at the BBC, formerly working in BBC World Newsgathering where she covered breaking global news, developed story ideas into features and documentaries and worked on a number of radio series for BBC World Service Radio. She specialized in conflict zones such as Pakistan and Afghanistan but also travelled widely in the Middle East, America, Africa, Europe, China, India and other parts of Asia.