We’ve posted a few times this month about what public sociology means in practice. If we agree that it’s a worthwhile thing then how should we set about doing it? One obvious way to do this is to try and get opinion pieces published in the media. There’s some great tips on Get a Life PhD about how to go about doing this:
It can be hard for an academic to respond with lightning speed to the daily news and formulate a well-crafted 800-word article in less than 24 hours. I know. Luckily, you don’t have to.
The other strategy is to predict the future. Think about an OpEd you would like to write. Write it. Then, wait for something to happen in the news that relates directly to your OpEd.
For example, if you work on immigration policy, write an OpEd now. Then, wait for Congress to debate the next big bill. Or, if you work on climate change, write your OpEd and wait for an international forum to happen to submit the OpEd. In many cases, you can write an OpEd which can have many possible ledes.
The good thing about this strategy is that you can recycle your OpEd if it is not accepted. If the New York Times doesn’t publish it, you can revise it, wait for the next major event to happen and send it to the Washington Post.
Over the past few years, I have realized that I am not alone among academics who want to reach a broader audience. As I have had some success in this area, I have realized that strategy can be crucial for success here. Thus, I share these tips with you.
Categories: Higher Education