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The Science of Media: Promoting Public Health

Science doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

The discoveries JHSPH researchers make in the field or in the lab do not happen without the exchange of ideas or financial support from public and private sources. When researchers complete a research study, they want to ensure their scientific findings are accurately reported to policy makers, colleagues, potential sources of funding and the public.

    Why publicize your research?

Scientists have an ethical responsibility to share knowledge that can improve lives.

Funding agencies and private donors can learn of your research.
Research can influence government priorities and policies.
Faculty can support the Bloomberg School by helping make its contributions known to the public.

As the official voice of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of the Public Health, the Department of Marketing and Communications articulates the School’s mission of life-saving research and education in ways that are clear, consistent and compelling.

Public Affairs
Public Affairs promotes research studies accepted for publication, funding announcements, events at the School and other newsworthy topics.

A Guide to News Releases
News releases are sent to the media to pique their interest, revealing just enough pertinent information about a topic to give editors and reporters a quick understanding of a story. They can then contact us to receive copies of the study and schedule interviews. Here’s how the news release process works:

  1. When a study is accepted for publication, or when plans are finalized for an event, please let Public Affairs team know. For published studies, send us a manuscript or galley proof and the journal’s contact information.
  2. If we decide a project is newsworthy, we will meet with the study authors to discuss its details, draft the news release and send it to the authors for final approval.
  3. We then distribute the release to newspapers, magazines, online publications, television networks, etc. and post it in the News of the School website.
  4. For a few days before and after the news release’s distribution, the study authors need to be available for media interviews. A few notes:
    • We can help authors prepare for interviews with reporters.
    • We are responsible for escorting all television crews, reporters and photographers while they are on campus.
    • We ask that, during interviews, faculty specifically mention their affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  5. If study authors are contacted directly by a reporter, please let us know.

In addition to news releases, we also publish short news stories on our website, but do not send these to the media.

News Media on Campus
Johns Hopkins is a private campus. Reporters, as well as video camera crews and still photographers, and other media who are interested in coming on campus, attending events or arranging interviews must contact the Public Affairs team to arrange for an escort.

Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor
Guest-written newspaper editorials called op-eds can help inform people about public health issues like air pollution, emerging diseases, industrialized farming, disaster preparedness and so on. We encourage JHSPH faculty to submit op-eds (usually 500 to 700 words) directly to major newspapers and can offer advice on how to do this. Letters to the editor, typically just 100-150 words, address specific comments made previously in a newspaper and generally have a greater likelihood of publication.

Media Training/Crisis Communications
We can assist JHSPH faculty with media training and crisis communications in one-on-one sessions. Advanced seminars with professional trainers can be arranged for a fee. In crises situations, we can assist faculty efforts and coordinate with the dean’s office, if necessary.

Faculty Experts
Our faculty members are available to speak as experts to the media, researchers and other institutions and prospective students. The School's Faculty Directory is searchable by keyword, and links to faculty members' webpages. Please contact Stephanie Desmon at sdesmon1@jhu.edu to help connect you with a faculty member.

Faculty Webpages
Faculty webpages keep the public health community informed about research at the School. Keywords from these pages drive the “Find an Expert” feature on the School website. We encourage all faculty to update their key words regularly.

Faculty can also create or update faculty webpages from links on the Office of Communications and Public Affairs webpage.

Faculty Media Reports
The Office of Public Affairs tracks media placements from newspaper, TV and radio interviews, as well as webpage publications and online Q&As. Each month, we publish an online report that calculates the number of articles we are placed in and breaks down the type of medium and circulation size. JHSPH faculty are also able to review a collection of their individual media placements and search for actual media clips online. For more information, contact Stephanie Desmon at sdesmon1@jhu.edu.

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Contact
To request help with public affairs and media relations, please contact

Stephanie Desmon
Director, Media and Public Relations
410-955-7619 |
sdesmon1@jhu.edu

The Office of Communication and Public Affairs' main office may be reached at 410-955-6878 (paffairs@jhsph.edu).

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