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Though it may be obvious, it’s still worth making the point that successful translation and communication of your research starts with reasonable and specific goals. Similar to the research process, you can’t select the best data or methods or interpret the results if you don’t have a reasonable hypothesis. For this blog, you can’t craft the best stories from your work or for your work if you don’t know why you are telling them.

In my experience, communication goals can have two levels. The first group focuses on how we understand the impact that oral, written and visual messages have on people. When you tell people about your research, you can try to:

  • Entertain
  • Inform
  • Educate or instruct
  • Persuade
  • Motivate to action
  • Evoke emotion

The second group of goals relates to why you try to meet the previous goals. You tell stories about your research that educate, persuade, etc. so that you can:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and expertise
  • Win arguments
  • Earn grants
  • Satisfy grant dissemination requirements
  • Help policymakers, the public and others make decisions
  • Contribute to knowledge development in your field
  • Earn tenure or promotions
  • Build a following

In sum, stating storytelling or communication goals for your research is the first step in successfully developing and executing a successful plan.

How did I do? Have a I missed goals for these two groups? If so, please share them below or via social media.

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