Complex environmental decisions are made every day by governments, land managers and business people – both at the policy level and on the ground.
The Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) aims to support these decisions by solving environmental management problems and evaluating the outcomes of environmental actions.
CEED is an Australian Research Council (ARC) partnership between universities and other research institutions. Based at The University of Queensland, it has nodes at Australian National University, RMIT, The University of Melbourne and The University of Western Australia, as well as collaborating with CSIRO and international partners.
We work closely with CEED’s world class researchers across the five nodes and with the UQ-based communications team. Key activities include planning and program management, stakeholder engagement activity, content development, collateral production, events support, media relations and digital outreach.
Filling the role of Communications Coordinator, Currie provides hands on-support to the centre and its researchers and also manages its digital channels (Twitter/Facebook/website), attracting influential followers and increasing the Klout score by 35 points in just a few weeks.
Importantly we are assisting researchers to tell their own stories – from frog fungus to marine spatial planning, and everything in between.
The two biggest media stories of 2015 were “Major shortfalls identified in marine conservation” and “World failing to protect its migratory birds” both of which generated over 100 articles online as well as print, radio and television coverage. In 2015, CEED posted over 70 stories to its website.
At the 2015 CEED conference, Currie trained over 30 early career researchers in media relations, helping them to refine their message and eliminate technical jargon. We have also coached several early career researchers to engage effectively with the media.
“They [the ABC] said I was surprisingly clear and calm for someone who hadn’t done TV before, and that they thought any media training I’d done had paid off,” reported one young researcher recently from the University of Melbourne.
Strategic communications priorities for CEED are enhancing the reputation of researchers and the centre though publicising research results, supporting their management and policy impact, creating effective products and building a strong internal culture and identity.
Image: CEED researcher Sugeng Budiharta counting orchids in the Wilis Mountain, East Java (courtesy of CEED).