Policy Press

Publishing with a Purpose

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Impact: what you can do as an author

In addition to what we can bring to increasing the impact of your work, there are many things that you can do as an author that will increase your work’s visibility.

Below are some key suggestions. Pick out the ones that you think will work for your book and work with us to plan the impact programme: for example, start with a panel event which will generate live and social media discussion. This can form the basis of media articles and blog posts. Copies of these, along with the book, can be sent to policy makers in the area.

This is just one combination of activities – we can work with you to establish what will work best for your book. Specific tips for authors of journal articles can be found here. Read more about our approach to impact, influence and engagement.

Tell a story

Before you start any other impact activity, write a one line ‘hook’ for your book. What is the story at the heart of your research? Why is it new? Why is it important? Having this clear at the beginning of an impact programme is essential.

Identify opportunities for impact

Explore who could potentially benefit from your work and what you could do to help make this happen. Key organisations can be a good place to start here. What are the possible benefits your work could bring to an organisation? Do they have a mailing list they could use to send information about your work to members? Can you give a talk?

Think Tanks and pressure groups are other areas to think about. How could they help your work have an impact?

Keep an eye on what’s going on in government. What reviews and legislation are currently being discussed?

Get influential endorsements

Are there key people whose support will make a difference? Would your book benefit from a high-profile foreword? Endorsements from recognised names, both from within and outside of academia, will bring your work to people’s attention.

Write articles

Write articles for specialist press in your area, or mainstream press for books with broader appeal. If you have contacts in the media, use them! We are happy to advise and help with placing articles. Make sure you let your marketing contact know if you have had articles or book reviews published already - we can use these as a basis to generate further interest.

Consider publishing an open access product

Ask your funding body or librarian whether they have funds to support Gold open access publications. We also offer discounts or waivers on our article processing charges for researchers in the developing world and other groups. There is more information on our pages about our open access options for books and our open access options for journals.

Host seminars, events and workshops

Bring people together at an event based on the research in your work. Consider online events such as tweetups and webinars. Speak to our marketing team for advice on how to make these happen. Also, attend relevant events elsewhere and talk about your work whenever and wherever you can!

Write blog posts

Blogs are a great way of reaching practitioners and policy makers. Write a short and pithy article of just a few hundred words that summarises what you found and why it matters. We can publish it on our blog, or pitch it to other relevant blogs. If you would like to write a post for us, please contact jessica.miles@bristol.ac.uk.

Engage with social media

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are currently the most effective platforms for promoting your work to enable it to be picked up by other researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Hashtags and keywords are a particularly useful means to reach out to a new audience. Find out more by reading the social media guidelines in our author toolkit.

Get attention with multi-media

Video, podcasts and infographics are excellent ways of standing out from the crowd. Having this kind of content allows your work to reach a far wider audience, and can help to convey its key messages clearly and effectively. It also makes your work more memorable which will inevitably have a positive effect on impact, especially for a non-academic audience.

Find out what support your institution can offer

Within the University of Bristol, Policy Bristol offers support to academics through impact workshops, information on policy developments, access to contacts, and written policy guidance, highlighting opportunities to engage with policy-making alongside bespoke advice to academics. Does your institution offer something similar?

Also, contact your University’s press office to see if they can issue a press release about your work.

Don’t forget the obvious wins

Add details of your publication to your email signature and update your personal website and LinkedIn profile regularly.

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