Communications strategies at LUMCON focus on innovation. One of our highest priorities is experimenting with how our scientists and our brand interact with the public and our peers, rather than just following the status quo. We primarily use digital platforms to reach others, with a heavy investment in social media.
DOTCOMM events are product-driven meetings for doing science communication, like a storytelling sprint. Participants don’t give a talk or lead a workshop; instead they are tasked with using the hosting institution’s resources to find and tell a story related to the theme of the event. LUMCON wants to push the field of science communication forward by offering a new generation of science communication opportunities that embrace the rapidly-changing digital media landscape and the potential roles of scientific individuals and institutions within it. A key component of this initiative is OCEANDOTCOMM.
The first-ever DOTCOMM event was OCEANDOTCOMM, held in Cocodrie, LA in March 2018 and hosted by LUMCON (hear more about Executive Director Craig McClain’s motivation for putting on the event in this blog postand in these podcasts). OCEANDOTCOMM 2018 was a pilot project showing that the DOTCOMM model successfully generates unique science communication products in a variety of media, encourages participants to expand their science communication knowledge and resources, and creates a tightly-knit science communication community.
FOR THE PUBLIC
FOR SCIENTISTS AND EDUCATORS
LUMCON’s Science Media Officer is available for guest lectures, communications and career-advancement training, or to be embedded in your lab or field excursions to document your science.
FOR THE MEDIA
If you are looking for marine experts to interview, facilities that would make your story memorable, or LUMCON-related imagery, then our Science Media Officer can work with you to get you what you need.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM
LUMCON’s Social Media Program is the digital version of LUMCON, which connects people, enriches communities, and transforms understanding of coasts and oceans. The Program catalyzes change through innovation.
Marine science (including coastal, nearshore, and offshore science) should be accessible to everyone. LUMCON’s Education and Outreach Program enables the next generation of marine scientist and ocean literate citizen. LUMCON’s Social Media Program contributes to this mission by eliminating distance and socioeconomic barriers so that anyone can connect with LUMCON. The Social Media Program strives to embed others in the unique landscape of coastal Louisiana, with its rich culture, unique and dynamic ecosystems, and inescapable ties to the ocean.
1. Integrity and inclusion are non-negotiable. LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center genuinely welcomes all visitors into the marine science community. LUMCON’s social media strategy is this ideal made digital. LUMCON’s Social Media Program will never judge, heckle, insult, or otherwise degrade others online and will always strive to listen, consider opposing views, and engage with anyone who is genuinely interested in having a conversation.
2. LUMCON is a Consortium. The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium is more than the group of people working at the DeFelice Marine Center. The Consortium includes marine scientists and marine science research throughout the state. Therefore, LUMCON’s social media streams promote, highlight, and engage with Louisiana citizens involved in marine science.
3. Social media is meaningful and worth investment. Social media has recently and radically changed the landscape for both scientific inreach and outreach. 18% of U.S. adults follow a science-related social media account, 23% say social media is an important source of science news for them, and 30% say they see science news on social media that they wouldn’t encounter elsewhere. LUMCON’s Social Media Program uses social media thoughtfully and deliberately as a meaningful tool to reach specific goals by: reaching diverse audiences, facilitating two-way interactions, and promoting meaningful engagement.
4. Leadership through innovation. Several elements of LUMCON give the Social Media Program unique opportunities to advance science communication: 1) the commitment to take risks publicly in order to advance social media innovation, 2) the significant investment of resources into the Program, 3) the unwavering attitude among the organization’s leadership that social media is an effective tool, 4) the expectation that faculty and staff at the DeFelice Marine Center will work with the Program to achieve mutual goals. This rare combination of conditions gives the Program the opportunity to distinguish itself through innovation.
5. Innovation through experimentation. Success through evaluation. The Social Media Program takes a scientific approach to innovation, performing experiments based on hypotheses. All social media activity and experiments are quantitatively evaluated. Analytics are used to assess and evaluate success and to learn and improve.
6. LUMCON online is LUMCON in real life. Without a dedicated team of people in diverse roles, science and education cannot happen at the DeFelice Marine Center. The Social Media Program tells stories about everyone who plays a part in making the Marine Center successful. The digital LUMCON personality is multifaceted and strives to openly and honestly convey a wide range of emotions, including passion, enthusiasm, concern, and curiosity. Science is knowledge obtained through a process that is both rewarding and challenging. LUMCON’s social media streams will reflect that.
7. Science communication leadership includes collaboration. Diverse voices have diverse perspectives, ideas, and skills; so more can be achieved through collaboration than isolation when working toward shared goals. LUMCON’s Social Media Program seeks out relevant opportunities to create and tell stories with individuals and institutions. The Program is willing to create and participate in new collaborative forums to explore how scientific institutions, scientists, and science communicators can advance the field of science communication.
8. Science communication leadership includes dissemination. Using social media as a tool will not meet individual or institutional goals unless social media is used well. LUMCON’s Social Media Program is committed to creating a new model of transparency and dissemination for institutional social media programs. The Program will share experience-based knowledge and provide evidence-based training on best practices for using social media. The Program also welcomes feedback and open discussion of its practices, which may then be refined based on such input.