Research marketing

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction plus a social media overreaction.

Bath researchers speak at TEDx

📥  Uncategorized

Five researchers from Bath have recently spoken at TEDx in Frome, sharing insights from their fields.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At the Frome event, astrophysicist Victoria Snowcroft talked about using stars to map universes, artificial intelligence expert Rob Wortham explored the deep thinking of robots, sport scientist Ioannis Costas explored the relationship between sport and youth behaviour, computer scientist Christof Lutteroth discussed replacing touch screens with 'eye gaze technology' and mathematician Kit Yates outlined how mathematical modelling explains why some cats are black and others are white...

If you'd like to read more about our researchers' talks then you can see their full talk profiles on the TEDx website, and the videos of their talks will soon all be available on the TEDx YouTube feed.

 

 

 

Stage one of the Three Minute Thesis is complete!

📥  Uncategorized

Two candidates from each of our Faculties and the School of Management have been selected following the Three Minute Thesis heats last night.

The eight candidates will compete against one another on 6 May at the Bath Festival to determine which of them will represent the University on the national stage this summer.

The candidates to go forward to the 6 May event are:

Engineering:
Parimala Shivaprasad
Katarzyna Smug

HSS:
Tamsyn Hawken
Alison Douthwaite

Management:
Rweyemamu Ndibalema
Severina Iankova

Science:
Emma Sackville
Philip Hamann

Good luck to all of you and may the best PhD student win in May!

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Early career researchers’ advice for future PhDs

📥  Uncategorized

This year’s Research Rocket was a celebration of the contributions our early career research community are making and a welcome to all those who have joined us in recent months.

The speakers, all current PhD students or post-doctoral research staff, spoke about the work they are currently involved with and also took the opportunity to share a nugget of advice with their peers about how to get the most from doing a PhD.

Today here on our blog we’re outlining some of that advice so that future potential PhD candidates reading this can also benefit from our current cohort’s experiences.

In our Department of Chemical Engineering, Marcus Johns is doing his PhD research looking at tissue engineering to create heart valves. His own genetic heart condition motivates his research, and his advice to future PhD students is to make the most of their collaborators. Marcus has worked with colleagues in Brazil and the USA and said that without these people, he wouldn’t have achieved what he has so far.

Early career researcher Dr Theresa Smith from our Department of Mathematical Science is analysing data to better understand the spread of disease. She said that doing a PhD can feel a bit like working in a maze, you can feel lost but she advises that you reflect and “enjoy the journey, you might be surprised at where you find inspiration”.

Harriet Carroll, a PhD student from our Department for Health who is looking at the impact on hydration on blood sugar control, said that you need to learn that rejection isn’t always a negative when doing a PhD. She outlined how rejection has led her to better options and to where she is today, and that by working through rejection the overall result will be better.

In our Department of Electrical Engineering, early career research Dr Despina Moschou is working to make a microchip that brings together tiny medical diagnostics tools. Her advice to anyone considering PhD research is follow their excitement and not feel limited to keep within their current discipline.

Finally, Dr Tom Curran from our Department for Health is looking at the impact of perfectionism on mental health. His advice comes directly from his own personal experiences and from his research when he says “perfection should never be a criteria in aiming for success”.

Are you currently or have you recently done a PhD? What advice would you give to potential future candidates based on your own experiences? How can you work most effectively to do good quality research, while balancing other pressures? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please do comment below!

You can read more about the content of the talks and see a video from the evening here.

 

A brave new world: Digital Marketing MBA Masterclass

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📥  Event, social

I’ve only recently joined the Research Marketing team but have been at the University for a couple of years now. One of the advantages I’ve found from working here is having a wealth of academic knowledge in such close proximity, and easily accessible. So when I heard that the School of Management was running a free MBA Masterclass in Digital Marketing how could I say no?

After work on Tuesday I made my way over to the Executive Development Suite in The Edge (very nice, I recommend you take a peek) to see ‘Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing’ by Don Lancaster, Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Researcher.

I’ve pulled out some highlights and my favourite facts from Don’s talk below, and you can watch the recording of the Masterclass in full at the end of the post.

Current marketing landscape

Don started his talk by laying out the landscape: 50% of all advertising budget worldwide is spent on Digital, and the biggest growth sector is mobile. Spending on mobile marketing has gone up 44% in the last year alone.

We all know that our websites have to be mobile friendly (bounce rates of non-mobile websites are 85 – 90%) but there is much more to mobile than just your website – text, email, apps and geo services are all key to fully utilising the Mobile channel.

Audience

With digital marketing we are now talking to ‘Digital Natives’ – Generation Connected, Gen C, the YouTube Generation. These are people who probably can't remember the 90's and will never know what it’s like to only have one hour of internet each day. Gen C are digitally savvy, constantly switching devices and multi screening throughout the day; but only have an attention span of seven seconds.

Big data

Now, being a millennial and a marketing professional I consider myself pretty clued up on the ways of the web, but this section of Don’s talk made my eyes widen.

As regular web users we all know and accept that our activity online is tracked and used to sell us stuff, but do we really know how much information is being gathered – and how many people it is being sold to?

Along with our searches and web history, they collate and connect many different sources of information including: IP address, Census data, where you work, ATMs you use, your GPS location, train stations you travel from, how long you spend in the gym, your shoe size… and that’s only the beginning.

With one search or page visit, you give away almost 600 snippets of information about yourself. But how many of us only make one search or visit one page a day? I just checked my history, and yesterday I visited around 80 sites - and that's just on my work PC. If we double that (at least!) for my phone that means yesterday I gave away around 108,000 snippets of info about myself (including the fact I like The Lion King, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and am searching for a new lunchbox).

In total across the net over 1.8 trillion pieces of information are recorded every day. In numbers that's 1,800,000,000,000.

For a sense of scale, here is what 1 trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy looks like. Double that, and you’re pretty close to the number of pieces of information that is gathered on people including you and me. Every. Single. Day.

What is digital good for?

  • Amplification – A marketing stunt that takes place in the city streets may be seen by 100 people live, but with digital that can then be broadcast to millions for free.
  • Participation – ALS ice bucket challenge anyone? Digital is a great way to get people involved in your brand activities on and offline.
  • Connection – Digital allows you to be friendly and build personal connections with your audience, but this can be a double edged sword. Consumers expect to receive a response from brands within one hour – but how many companies are able to deliver that 24/7?

The Seven Pillars

Watch the recording to see some great examples of these being implemented:

  • Social
  • Film
  • Mobile
  • Big data
  • Native advertising
  • ‘Out of home’ digital display
  • Full integration

What’s next for digital?

In today’s changing landscape Don says that companies need to think past the sell, and work out how they can play a positive and useful role in people’s daily lives. Great examples of this include the Nike Run Club and the fleet of safety drones from insurance company Direct Line.

Don predicts that in the near future there will be no distinction between Marketing and Digital Marketing, as digital becomes even more integral to our day-to-day life. As marketeers, we need to make sure we can keep up.

Watch the talk here:

panopto donal

 

Strengthening our marketing ties with Stellenbosch

📥  International, Research news

Over the past year we've done more to tell the stories behind some of the many research collaborations that have come about as a result of the University's focus on internationalisation. 

Joining us on Skype to discuss collaborative research promotion, Huba Boshoff from the Centre for Partnerships & Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University.

Joining us on Skype to discuss collaborative research promotion, Huba Boshoff from the Centre for Partnerships & Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University.

In 2016, via the new 'Worldwide' section of our website, we promoted a range of stories tied to our collaborations in South Africa and Brazil timed to coincide with important events.

Our South Africa section launched to coincide with the Going Global Conference in Cape Town in May, but was an opportunity to talk about a range of ongoing research with international partners from water irrigation systems (through the Water Innovation Research Centre) to responses to child trauma (through the Department of Psychology).

Launched in August and using the hook of the Olympics, our Brazil section drove online traffic to varied projects from recycling polymers (led by the Centre for Sustainable Technologies) to examining data behind Brazil's reforms to corporate governance (led by the School of Management).

Some of this new content has also been used by our international marketing counterparts, including those at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) who adapted features written for the South Africa section for their alumni and stakeholder newsletter, 'Matieland' (see pp 16-17).

With the International Office we'll continue to build this relationship - starting with regular catch ups on Skype - so that we can better coordinate marketing and communications when it comes to international visits and research announcements.

Watch this space for more.

Marketing Saiful Islam's Ri Christmas Lectures

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📥  Event, Research news, social

Hopefully in between mince pies and merriment you caught this year's Royal Institution (Ri) CHRISTMAS LECTURES broadcast on BBC FOUR over three nights during the festive period and delivered by our very own Professor Saiful Islam.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer. (Photo Credit - Paul Wilkinson).

In the time between Saiful being announced as the Ri's Christmas Lecturer for its 80th Anniversary year last August, through to broadcast over Christmas, we worked closely with him and the team at the Ri to ensure we made the most of the event from a marketing perspective - both in terms of Saiful's own research and expertise, as well as for the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, the Department of Chemistry and the University more generally.

'Supercharged: Fuelling the future'

From our end this included a range of marketing outputs: a new online feature on Saiful's journey; an extensive social media campaign across all channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) which included video teasers for the lectures and competition to win tickets for filming; new printed materials to promote the lectures to our students; mail-shots out to our alumni; and of course use of the Digital screens around campus to highlight his involvement.

 

In addition to all the preparations for filming, at the Ri our colleagues created a dedicated CHRISTMAS LECTURE section of the website; arranged photoshoots; created new printed collateral; and mailed their many thousands of subscribers about Saiful's involvement.

We also worked very closely with the Ri on media exposure too. Of the 150 pieces of national and international coverage across print and broadcast media particular highlights included features in the Observer 'You need more than one electric eel to light a Christmas tree'; an interview for Radio 4's Start The Week with Andrew Marr; as well as coverage across other national print media and, crucially, in the Christmas Radio Times!

All combined, with online traffic to the various marketing initiatives and press coverage, this helped capture an audience in the 100,000s in advance of broadcast. Viewing figures for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES - now available to watch again via the Ri Channel – suggest these were watched by over 1.7 million.

Follow on engagements

Fresh from his Christmas appearances, once back on campus in early January my colleague Chris arranged for Saiful to take part in Reddit AMA looking back at the lectures and focusing in on Saiful's own research. This has had an online reach of 7.5 million (for more on our AMAs see this other blog post).

In late January we then publicised new research from Saiful on developing faster, recharging lithium batteries which has already received significant national and international coverage.

The Ri held a Family Fun Day in early February in which Saiful gave mini-lectures (with bangs) and PhD students from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies presented a hands-on exhibit on green energy.

We're now eagerly awaiting Bath Taps into Science, where Saiful's family talk on Wednesday night has already sold out, and looking further ahead to Saiful's involvement in our 6 May University of Bath Festival.

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Each year tickets to watch filming of the Ri's CHRISTMAS LECTURES are allocated by a ballot in September. This is open to Ri Members and UK schools; you can find out more about supporting the charity by becoming a member here http://www.rigb.org/globals/join-support/become-an-ri-member.

 

Reddit's Ask Me Anything

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📥  Sector news, social

Just before Christmas I blogged on our use of Facebook Live to engage our social media followers in a new way about our research and expertise. This time it's the turn of another social media tool: Reddit's 'Ask Me Anything' (AMAs). 

Since the start of the year, we've promoted two AMAs - first with Saiful Islam, fresh from the Royal Society's CHRISTMAS LECTURES, and just recently with Joanna Bryson on Artificial Intelligence - both of which attracted huge online audience and engagement.

Fresh from the Ri CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Professor Saiful Islam's Reddit AMA attracted an audience of 10,000.

Fresh from the Ri CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Professor Saiful Islam's Reddit AMA attracted an audience of 10,000.

A brief history of AMAs

AMAs were created by the Reddit community as an opportunity for interesting individuals to field questions about anything and everything. Over the past few years, high profile AMAs with Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough and Elon Musk have generated lots of interest in Reddit and AMAs in particular.

In an effort to bring science education to the masses, Reddit's Science community (known as /r/Science) has used this model to create an independent, science-focused AMA Series – the Science AMA Series. Its goal is to encourage discussion and facilitate outreach while helping to bridge the gap between practising scientists and the general public. This is something that is open to any research scientist, or group of
scientists, that wants to have a candid conversation with the large, diverse and normally very well informed Reddit Science community.

How it works and why it's beneficial

Reddit describes its AMA Series as 'a unique format' in that it allows scientists to speak about their work in a manner that is not possible within the confines of traditional short-form journalism. Via AMAs,
questions can be explained individually and follow-up points fielded so that the readers have a clearer understanding of the field and research being discussed.

AMAs are particularly useful for researchers looking to clarify their findings and expand upon their results in situations where the mainstream press releases were too limited to accurately convey their work. In this way AMAs are often referred to as an 'open source interview'.

Reddit's Science community extends to more than 13 million so it's a huge opportunity to get research and expertise in front of an engaged audience. All you need to take part is a few free hours and a computer.

How our AMAs fared

To date, Saiful's AMA had a total reach of 7.5 million, with 5,080 votes and nearly 10,000 users clicking through read his answers. Joanna's had a total reach of 19.54 million, with over 14,002 votes and over 41,000 users clicking through to read her answer to AI-related questions. Both generated lots of social media engagement, which also fed through to media coverage. Joanna's AMA was picked up by Tech Crunch - a channel which is followed by over 8,000,000 on Twitter.

If you'd be interested in being put forward for an AMA please let us know and we'll look for opportunities.

Engaging our followers through Facebook Live

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📥  Event

Promoting our research and expertise using social media is not a new thing, but over this past year we’ve done much more to think about the ways in which we’re using our main social channels to grow our audiences and better engage people with our stories.  

For the University’s Twitter and Facebook, we’ve seen a significant jump in numbers for our followers and much more engagement (retweets / likes) to boot. More than 50,000 people now follow @uniofbath on Twitter and our Facebook page (/uniofbath) has over 55,000 likes.

That’s a huge audience of students past and present, parents, important stakeholders from different sectors, international partners, media contacts; not to mention staff and members of the local community, each getting updates on our activities on a daily basis.

With better planning of more engaging content (videos, photos, GIFs) we’ve grown our audience and we’re getting more interaction (leading to increased web traffic on our site) as a result.

Going live

For the last two months we’ve also trialled Facebook Live events. This format grew in prominence in 2016 having been adopted by certain media organisations and high profile individuals.

Facebook Live is a free service enabling Facebook users to film content on their iPhones or tablets to broadcast to their followers. As it goes out, followers pose questions, comment on discussions, and others can watch again after the event if they missed it live the first time.

Facebook Live in our Department of Poltitics, Languages & International Studies

Facebook Live in our Department of Poltitics, Languages & International Studies

We’ve used this twice, both times with the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, drawing on the expertise of their researchers to comment on the big issues of the day: Trump and Brexit in November (with Professor Charlie Lees) and Europe at a crossroads in December (with Professor Anna Bull and Dr Aurelien Mondon - see our videos below).

These are broadcasts of between 20-30 minutes, filmed in 1W on an iPhone, and timed to coincide with people’s lunch breaks (they went out at 12.30PM). With just two examples they’ve shown the potential in using this format to tell other research stories from right across the University in 2017. Upcoming events could include demonstrating research live, going into labs and conducting interviews out and about on campus; we're working on plans.

Our November Live event drew a crowd of nearly 2,000 and our December Live event, filmed on Wednesday 21 December, has already significantly surpassed that (and will continue to grow in reach). Both elicited interesting questions and discussion points from far and wide.

Watch again

Europe at a crossroads in 2017

  • John Evans is joined by Aurelien Mondon and Anna Bull - 21 December 2016
  • Watch again 

From Trump to Brexit

  • Andy Dunne and Charlie Lees discuss a tumultuous year in UK politics and the election of President Trump in the US - 10 November
  • Watch again 

My thanks to Sophie in our marketing team who has been leading much of this work and was on hand to film both. From January onwards we’ll be running more of these, so stay tuned and Merry Christmas / Happy New Year in the meantime!

Glistening research stories decorate campus

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📥  50th anniversary, Research news

You may have spotted our brand new series of research posters springing up around campus over the past few weeks to coincide with the start of the new academic year.

Recently installed across 13 locations from the East Building to the entrance of 10W, these new window vinyls reflect some of the latest research successes across each of the Faculties, the School of Management and our Institutes.

Glistening in gold in the autumn sun they’ve been designed as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and its ‘look further’ campaign.

Over the course of the academic year, we’ll be telling the individual stories behind each of them in a number of different ways. But, for the time being, here’s an overview of the research behind the posters:

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