iHub Research Learnings: Develop Strategies for Engaging with Media

AO: As mentioned inĀ another exhibit artifact, this research project looking at mobile phone usage at the base of the pyramid in Kenya was taken up widely by local and global media. As a result, I ended up spending a lot of time fielding media interviews and quickly realized that it was very difficult to have the complexity of the research translate into quick media bytes. I was frustrated on numerous occasions by the over-simplification of our work and sometimes the gross misinformation that became amplified by media. This is something I emphasized to the interviewer from VOA and I think that is why she was also careful to include many of my direct quotes. However, this experience grappling with media coverage of the BoP research was nothing compared to the public facing engagement that was needed with our Umati project which looked at online social media discussions in the run up to the 2013 Kenyan elections. As a result of these two experiences (and others), iHub Research developed a much more explicit and intentional strategy for engaging with media. We worked to be more proactive in engaging media by developing a press-kit and hosting press events so that we could take advantage of media attention and leveraging it to share nuanced research findings and spur discussions. I think you can see this strategy paying off in our subsequent projects such as 3Vs and later phases of Umati.


Analytic (Question)





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