Media relations guidelines

press-ing (Ingressbilde)

The IPY-OSC is an excellent opportunity to attract media attention to your research and your institution - and reach out to the wider public. But it doesn't happen by itself. You need to be prepared to approach the press.


Your story is likely to be more interesting to the public than you think yourself. But it may often be the research questions and what you did in the field to collect data that attracts interest, rather than or as much as your findings.
What you need to satisfy a journalist:
- Your results presented in plain language or good graphics.
- Any information that can help non-specialists to contextualise your research, understand the relevance and wider implications.
- Any photos or video footage that you have, showing how you did obtain your data or carried out your research, will go a long way with most media.

First of all you need to wrap up your scientific efforts and results in a language and a formate that makes them accessible for non-specialists. Good formates are:
- Popular science summaries. No more 2 pages A4. It helps getting your message trough if your summary is illustrated with photo, tables or graphs showing how you did it and your key findings.
- Press releases. A press release is text based, and should contain the information needed to create interest for your science, the main points needed to write up a story and the contact details, web addresses and the like - any information that can help a journalist that are intersted to find out more. Printable graphs or photos can be issued as attachments.

Secondly it is always a good idea to make sure your normal press contacts get to know that you are going to present your science during IPY-OSC. That way they will expect your press release in their mailboxes, which again makes it more likely that they pick up something from it. Remember to bring along your personal press contact lists.

It is even better, of course, if you can invite your journalist contacts to join you. Press representatives are eligible for waived registration fee. Eligibility for press registration must be substantiated through submission of the Press Registration Form with the required documentation (see Press Room).

Please contact your institution's press officer to get get advice on how to prepare yourself for the IPY-OSC. These are the services provided onsite:

The Press Centre

A press centre will operate throughout the meeting and you are strongly encouraged to use the facility to promote and communicate your  IPY research outcomes.  The conference Press Centre is located half way down the "polar street". Please refer all requests to the reception desk downstairs. The service staff will help you to get in touch with the right person to address your request.

Press releases

Individual participants, projects, institutions or session conveners can take the opportunity to issue press releases based on content that have or are to be presented. Press releases should be prepared in the standard format, available for download on the conference website.

The press centre is staffed with skilled science journalists and press officers who will be more than happy to advice you on the choice of language and give your message a final touch-up. Please bring your press release document along on a memory stick.

You are of course free to issue your press release any way you want - and you should at any rate make sure that your personal media contacts at home can pick up the press release from their email Inbox. The conference press centre can help you with a wider distribution.

We ask that you approach the press centre as early as possible to allow us to get your material out while your presentation in the conference is still "news". The press release can be published ahead of the presentation - with an embargo.

Partnership with Alpha Galileo

AlphaGalileo is Europe's leading online service for the best of news releases and other information from science, health, technology, the arts, humanities, social sciences and, recently, business. The news service is moderated. AG act as bridge between the research community and the media, receiving science news from scientific organisations and disseminate it on their behalf to the world's media.

The IPY Oslo Science Conference has arranged for a micro-site on Alpha Galileo for all press releases related to or issued from this conference.

The press centre can help you get your material published on Alpha Galileo. If you already are contributors to AG, you can upload your own press releases. All material with references to the IPY Oslo Science Conference can be shared and appear under your institutions own headline, as well as on the IPY-OSC microsite. The AlphaGalileo News Team will allocate the press release to the IPY-OSC site.

If an organisation does not have an AlphaGalileo account, they should register as a contributor. The organisation will then get a 2 month free trial. In order to arrange for contributor status, please go through normal procedures as they are laid out on the website. See

Press briefings / marketing of sessions and events to the press

Press briefings each morning will prepare journalists for the days programme at provide some guidance towards some highlights.

The press centre will help organise additional, short press briefings on a selection of themes. Such briefings will be held in the press lounge on 1st floor and have to be arranged with the press room staff the day before. Such briefings should be no longer than 15 minutes in total and held during lunches and immediately after the afternoon sessions. The press will be invited to the briefing via the billboard and handouts during morning briefings.

Reasonable amounts of printed material can be made available for the press at the press centre. Remember to attach or include your contact details. Leave your material with the reception desk staff.

Last updated: 25.05.2010