- How Science Works
- Sources and Experts: Where to Find Them and How to Vet Them
- Making Sense of Science Stats
- Editing for Story
- Editing Controversial Science
- Holding Science to Account
- Covering Health Care
- Climate and the Environment
- Fact-Checking Science Journalism: How to Make Sure Your Stories Are True
Illustrating Complex Science Stories
- The Role of Visuals in Science Journalism
- The Process of Building Science-Centric Graphics
- Strategies for Using Visuals to Put Breaking Science in Context
- Special Considerations for Data Visualization
- Uncertainty and Misinformation
- Editorial Illustration, Photography, and Moving Images
- Additional Reading and Resources
- About the Author
- Social Media and Reader Engagement
- About This Handbook
Figuring Out What Works for You
By Katie Fleeman / 2 minute read
In a perfect world, you would have the staffing, the time, and the funds to excel in every audience channel — or, at least, to tailor every piece of content for the ones you choose to invest in.
I doubt anyone reading this believes they live in that world. The reality is there will be trade-offs. Your Twitter hashtags will get repurposed for Instagram; the images you created for Facebook will end up on LinkedIn.
My hope is that this is inspiring, not intimidating. These ideas should encourage you to test, experiment, and learn. Yes, an overwhelming volume of options and opportunities is out there, and yes, being on the front lines of online discourse — with all of its vitriol, fragmentation, algorithm changes, and misinformation — can be an exhausting endeavor.
Our initial goal with engagement was just building up an audience at all. But now that we have a good-sized audience and it’s growing nicely on its own, we’re trying to focus more on engaging — letting them engage more deeply, hopefully, with our site, our content, our journalism, and our brand.Thomas Lin, editor in chief, Quanta Magazine
But getting strong, well-reported, fact-based science journalism out to the public is a critical service, especially as science has become an even more immediate part of everyday lives in the form of a global pandemic and climate change.
And it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. Sharing science on social media can also be a joy — sharing the promise of a new breakthrough, the quirkiness of a charismatic fauna, and the wonder of the world we live in.
I hope this leaves you eager to try a new idea or further refine a well-used skill. And also a bit of “belonging.” For me, the greatest thing about talking with other science-engagement editors is that “Yes! Someone gets me!” sensation about the ups and downs of the job.
At the end of the day, “audience development” for a science publication looks like that for any other media outlet. Know your audience, constantly learn, and lead with unique, compelling, and accurate content.
(And make sure you have a version that’s under 280 characters.)