Lawyer ≠ reporter Professionals, such as attorneys, architects or economists, often need help explaining complex ideas to the public.
Example: Ocean physicist Richard Camilli wrote a paper describing subsurface oil plumes from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. His conclusions, published inScience Express, contributed to the understanding of the oil dispersal.
Reporters on deadline missed the point. Because some of his numbers varied from earlier studies, his piece quickly (and incorrectly) was described as critical of them.
Camilli later wrote politely in the Columbia Journalism Review, “Science has remained largely unchanged in its pace of discourse, but journalism is straining to adapt to a more rapid and democratic sourcing of information.”
He meant that while science prefers slow and deep, journalism prefers fast and shallow.
Camilli urged reporters to dig deeper for the “nuance of complex issues.” He concluded: “Eschew the Scientific Sound Bite.”
Media attention, however, comes through the world of sound bites. A hit on the 6 o’clock news or a few inches of newspaper space can be priceless if handled carefully.
At Executive Media, we don’t believe in fearing sound bites. We believe in making sound bites work for you. Sure, reporters should dig for truth. In reality, they need help. We can translate complex arguments into your intended loud, clear message.