I am halfway through a two-year term on the Executive Committee of Stempra – a network for science, technology, engineering and mathematics PR and communications professionals. Over the course of this year, we’ve hosted a series of engaging events ranging from debates on embargoes to blogging workshops.
One of the most important events we host every year is our Press Officer’s Training Day, to an audience of over 100 people. Whether you’re new to the world of science press and media, or working in STEM PR and communications and want a refresher of best practice, the day works for all. At AprilSix Proof we follow the same ethos with a lot of our training – our ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions are attended by our Managing Director all the way down to our Junior team. After all, whatever level you are at, the work we undertake for our clients comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Whether it is through preparing experts for a media appearance, or protecting and promoting an organisation’s reputation, the communications we execute should challenge, inspire and fascinate.
Stempra was set up in 1993 to support professionals dealing with these responsibilities and in 2009 Stempra published its first guide to for STEM media officers. This year’s Press Officer’s Training Day was a particularly proud one for the Committee as we also launched the refreshed 2017 ‘Guide to being a media officer’ – updated to reflect the changing nature of our jobs and the new challenges that we all face in the STEM communications sector.
The guide is the work of Committee members past and present and reflects our combined expertise – from media officers to directors of communication working for a variety of organisations including universities, learned societies, and research councils, as well as freelancers and consultants at agencies like myself. In fact, agency expertise is also a specific section within the Guide and our Operations Director, Joe Meaney, is featured talking about how at AprilSix Proof we go about building a meaningful and lasting relationship with our clients.