It’s All About Integrity: National Cancer Institute’s Tips on Communicating About Science

At our 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle, National Cancer Institute (NCI) communications experts Sona Thakkar and Carmen Phillips provided sage advice on how to tell your cancer center’s research stories without losing credibility. Some takeaways:

The fundamentals:

  • The integrity of the science is the core principle
  • Information should be timely and accurate
  • Be a consistent and credible source of cancer research news

Press release must-dos:

  • Make sure your science is accurate; be an honest broker
  • Put your news in context
  • Adapt to smart phone technology and consider SEO
  • Avoid overstatement of findings; don’t let “organizational ego” overwhelm the science
  • Let the experts speak for the science
  • Avoid terms like “magic bullet” or “breakthrough”
  • Don’t extrapolate findings from a single study into sweeping statements about impact
  • Acknowledge how preliminary or limited the scope of the study or its findings are
  • Acknowledge study conflicts and limitations
  • Balance the promise and hope of the findings with reality of what the research means and where it is headed
  • Be ahead of the curve; anticipate areas where advances are likely, and align them with NCI priorities

Become a Member Institution

As a PAMN member institution, your employees benefit from an extensive network of communications and marketing professionals employed at academic cancer centers.

Already a member? Login