Marketing for Scientists

Bringing the Media to You: A Marketing Tip from the National Speakers Association Meeting

This week I’m writing to you from the National Speakers Association annual meeting, a great place to learn new marketing tricks.  I’m going to share with you a tip I just learned from journalist Geeta Nadkarni. It’s an idea that sounds simple and obvious–and I bet you haven’t tried it yet.

First, let me introduce Geeta.  Her dress is covered with glass beads that sparkle furiously at me. She gives me a hug even though she’s never met me before. She is not afraid of being seen and making new connections!  (The National Speakers Association is full of extroverts.) You can learn more about Geeta via her regular column in the Huffington Post, or click around her website, which is full of useful marketing advice.

So here is the trick. Whenever you have a media appearances say television or radio interview or newspaper, grab a small version of that media outlet’s logo (like the ones on the right) and paste it into your own webpage. That communicates to journalists that you are an interesting person to talk to. As Geeta pointed out, the media loves people who are in the media. Fame begets fame, and posting these logos on your own webpage helps you stay part of that cycle.

Guess what? Scientists are already using this trick. Take a look at the website of physicist Michio Kaku. You can’t miss the media logos everywhere: MSNBC, Fox News, CBS, Wall Street Journal and more. Astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s webpage is a bit more subtle, but still has mini logos for the New York Times and Natural History magazine.

Dang it! I should’ve thought of this myself.  Because my colleagues in the music business never hesitate to cover their websites with logos of their clients. For example, here’s the website of a music producer friend, Gary Earl, showing off the logos of some of his clients. It’s not the landing page of his website; it’s s separate page.  But it’s not hard to find.

But I never thought of using this approach as a scientist.  It seemed to me a little bit unbecoming of a scientist. It might give the impression that I was more interested in self-promotion than in research.

So here’s my suggestion. If you have the guts for it (and you already have tenure), do like Michio Kaku does and put the logos right up front on your website. Or if you’re nervous about what your colleagues will think, do like my musician friend Gary Earl, and add a separate page to your website that shows off your media credits, and all the logos. It will help you stay in the public eye, bring your message to the people who need to hear it, and heal the world through science.

And when you have a chance, try to drop by a National Speakers Association meeting! They are good fun, even if you’re not an extrovert.