Women working in a labWe work with Imperial academics to promote research news and we are always happy to hear about new developments. However, not everything is suited to publicity and as there are over 2,400 researchers at Imperial, we have to be selective.

We prioritise breakthroughs and innovations that are most likely to engage the interest of strategic audiences. The strategy for each new paper or innovation is decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account:

  • Time – the more advance warning we have, the more likely it is that we will be able to do something. We are unlikely to be able to prepare something for publication with less than a week’s notice. For papers, the best time to contact us is when a paper has been accepted for publication. We are used to dealing with confidential information.
  • News value – whether the national news media or general science press is likely to cover the story. Editors at those outlets will be asking ‘will our readers/viewers/listeners be interested in this?’ We look for ingredients like human interest, a potential impact on people’s lives, controversy, wow factor and topicality. Eye-catching images are great too.
  • For medical research, we look closely at what stage the research is at (e.g. has a new therapy been tested in a clinical trial, or has it only shown promise in the laboratory?) and whether a new finding could have a demonstrable impact on patients.

Find out more about the process of working with us to promote research, explore the different channels we use to tell stories and view an example of how we construct a news story. We also have advice for papers on preprint servers.