George Burgess may not be the typical academic, a minor celebrity who regularly appears on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. At a moment’s notice the University of Florida shark expert is jetted to some of the world’s best beach locales to address shark attacks.
Burgess’ rise to international prominence has everything to do with his research, but his ability to communicate across multiple mediums has also propelled his career.
It matters enough that graduate schools are now requiring students in the sciences to take media-relations courses.
It also matters to Glenn Morris, director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new report last fall that re-evaluated a decade of food-borne disease projections, the New York Times interviewed Morris first, placing his quotes and expertise about the issue prominently in the article. Why? The journalist had cultivated a prior working relationship with the EPI director and knew to call Morris when his expertise was needed.
How do reporters trust you as an expert source? How does an infectious disease specialist get a public health message across when media outlets have smaller budgets and fewer bureaus? And, how do you accomplish this when the current news environment is perpetually transformed via technology? Learn how the coordination of scientific research, grants, publications and media relations is part of the UF public public service mission and why media matters to the director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute and to the Office of Research.