Training and facilitation
Making research accessible
Identifying key messages and communicating them clearly, simply and without unnecessary jargon is a challenge for many scientists. Through mentoring and training workshops, WRENmedia has encouraged and enabled researchers to go beyond their traditional means of communication, in order to better communicate their messages, and work more closely with the media to effectively communicate and disseminate their findings. Most recently, WRENmedia has worked with eight research projects from the International Development Research Centre's (IDRC) Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) initiative to help them engage with key audiences and share insights from their work. Communication workshops, as well as on-call guidance and support ensured that the projects continued to develop impactful messages for those that needed to hear them. In the field of rural development and science reporting, WRENmedia has also provided capacity strengthening for southern print and radio journalists, which has built up a cadre of writers and broadcasters who are enthused and motivated to report on agricultural science and related issues.
Building bridges for change
Tension, misunderstanding and a lack of respect between scientists and journalists has hampered effective and accurate reporting on science in many parts of the world, not least in sub-Saharan Africa. This has contributed to widespread mistrust of scientific solutions, which frequently pervades the higher echelons of government as well as the wider public. Through joint workshops for scientists and journalists, WRENmedia encourages the two sides to understand each other and work together to improve science communication. Such workshops have been supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and, most recently, IDRC’s CultiAF programme.
Event management and facilitation
With over two decades of working with science journalists and other communication professionals across the developing world, we have the diversity of experience to offer a comprehensive and strategic vision for communication. Since 2016, WRENmedia has been working with Global Panel to provide strategic communication expertise, including organising two meetings at London’s Houses of Parliament in collaboration with the All-Parliamentary Party Group on Agriculture and Food for Development, and an event launch for a policy brief in Nairobi. WRENmedia has also facilitated a range of workshops and event sessions, most recently for a CTA workshop delivered in a talk show format to discuss the technical topic of blockchain technology.
So, from a single session to an entire event, WRENmedia has the skills to provide communications advice on the structure of the event programme and sessions, facilitation during the event and, if required, provide an overview report to capture the main points of discussion and the way forward. This full package of support was provided for a one day workshop held with researchers and policymakers on ‘Policy & science: who defines the problem?,’ which was convened by the University of Southampton.