With it looking increasingly likely that face to face meetings, for the next few months at least, will become a thing of the past, we have been considering how experts can continue to influence policy without ever needing to meet those making the decisions.
The relationship between policy makers and policy influencers is mutually beneficial. Policy makers want access to good quality information to ensure that their policy is the best it can be; and the influencers want their expertise to be useful and help make the world a better place. In an environment that looks increasingly set to put physical space between people, how can we ensure that the knowledge needed to create good policy is still reaching the right people?
Even before the need for a more remote approach to influencing, we have been working with universities and academics to teach them about the the power of social media in helping research have a wider and more impactful reach. Now these lessons are more important than ever.
Lodestone have run a number of in person and global webinar training sessions with academics to help give them to the tools to understand and effectively use social media as a policy influencing tool. Through our training programs, we have helped academics explore the ways they can use social media to share their research and findings with policy influencers, colleagues and the wider public. Our sessions focus on best practice strategies and methods for planning and implementing their own social media campaigns.
We know that for some social media is second nature, and for others it’s like learning another language, so we pride ourselves on the inclusive nature of our training sessions. We take time to cover everything from the basics of different social media’s functionalities, up to more advanced lessons around building an online network and designing social media strategies. This approach ensures that everyone has the opportunity to take their research online, reach new audiences and influence policy.
Taking our own advice, we also make all our sessions available remotely through video call. This allows people to engage with the workshops even when distance or health concerns prevents in person meetings. Through this strategy we have been able to teach our workshops around the world, taking and answering questions from Malaysia for example, all from our office in London.
Coronavirus looks set to cause disruption for the next few months, but it is vital that policy doesn’t suffer, particularly at a time when good policy making is more important than ever. If we cannot inform policy in person, then it is imperative that we make it accessible in new ways. Social media offers the opportunity to do just that.
We would be delighted to help your expertise and knowledge reach the right people through social media. For more information about our training sessions and our content creation offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org.