This section provides general advice for communicating with your Network members and publicising the Network. For advice on Network Outputs please see our Network Dissemination Page. The contents for this section are:
In terms of communication, there are various categories of message, such as formal, informal and unofficial. It is worth remembering this with a Network that has award-giving powers and responsibilities. As such, messages relating to funding opportunities within the Network should be fair and consistent and equitably disseminated, essentially auditable if necessary at a later date. Therefore, for formal Network messages these should be sent out via a formal announcement channel, or as a minimum such messages should be clearly labelled. Other informal messages could be differently marked. Messages amongst members should be encouraged but may need to be moderated to avoid spamming.
It may be worth considering separate channels for dissemination messages from the centre to the members, and a separate channel for communication amongst the community. However, this is not essential.
In terms of messages there are different categories of message (from whatever the source) such as invitations to compete for funding calls, announcements of events, accomplishments from Network members (projects completed, awards etc. general news. In general the most welcome messages are announcements of funding opportunities, either from within the Network, or external when tuned to the Network members’ interests.
Publicity is key to running a successful Network. Ideally you want multiple dissemination channels to widen your audience and maximise your reach.
Social media is a great avenue for publicity, Twitter seems particularly useful for Networks, but LinkedIn is gaining traction. Having your own Twitter handle is a great way to publicise your Network and its events in short snappy tweets. Twitter is particularly useful for reaching people who might be interested in your Network as you can make use of public hashtags. In addition to your posts being visible to all of your followers, you can use relevant hashtags (e.g. #AI) and anyone following those hashtags will see your posts. Further, you can check how popular different hashtags are and ensure that you use them in your tweets. LinkedIn facilitates setting up interest groups and your own company pages which can be repurposed to be Network pages, allowing you to build up a further presence.
Mailing Lists are also a useful way to advertise your Network, particularly if you can find relevant lists where the participants fall in your main subject area. Additionally, attending other conferences and networking to advertise your Network in person also goes a long way.
Images/Flyers to advertise your Network and events are very effective as people are more likely to notice an image rather than just flat text.