What is your goal?

The first step in good communication is having an objective or a goal. What do you want to achieve with your communication?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but it is a common mistake not to consider it at all. The risk of not knowing your objective is that you might lose track of why you are doing this, and eventually lose your motivation – especially if you are a researcher with science and research as your core task and not science communication.

Ask yourself why

The first thing you should do is to figure out your reasons for doing this. The correct answer sheet to this has not been invented yet, but there are some questions to guide you on the way. The list is of course no exhaustive, but it should serve as a help to make you aware why you are about to invest time and resources into this.

  • Do you want to attract more students?
  • Do you want to attract the attention of a certain grant foundation?
  • Do you want to create public awareness on a certain field in science?
  • Do you want to establish yourself as a subject matter expert in the public media?

Formulate a clear objective for yourself and write it down. You will need it later when you have to prioritize your tasks. The tasks that satisfies your objective should always come first.

Measure your success

When your objective is in place, it is time to find out how you will measure your success. This might sound like a luxury task (“Please do not disturb. I am measuring my success.”), but it actually serves also as a measurement of which activities to close down.

Your measurable parameters of success of course depends on your goal. If you want to attract students, then how many are enough for your project to be a success? Or if of you want to strengthen your profile in the public media, then how many interviews are required in which amount of time?

Write it down and evaluate after a period of time (3, 6, 12 months). If your success requirements have not been met, then it might be time to re-think your project.

Success is only an option, when you have defined failure.