I am an editorial crash test dummy

  • 11 February 2020
  • Prue Scott

Photo by Wolfgang Mennel on Unsplash

I am an editorial crash test dummy

Working with academic researchers has given me a dangerously small amount of knowledge about a lot of things.

I can talk about the long tail of literacy and the needs of diverse learners at school. How Virtual Reality can help people recover from neurological damage. The benefits of western science and Matauranga Māori joining forces. A sensor for people with bladder damage. Nutrigenomics and epigenetics. An innovative exo-skeleton for wrist fractures.

Our objective was to show how academic research could benefit individuals, companies, cities and the New Zealand economy. The benefits are painted across a large canvas – commercialisation, improving competitiveness and profitability, changing peoples’ lives. The audiences are similarly diverse – a nurse, teacher, CEO, angel investor, future academic researcher.

I had to make that research relevant to the end-user. If I didn’t understand it, then they wouldn’t. Crash test dummy.

In each assignment, I discovered something interesting. The moment I asked about the benefits of their work, each researcher could explain them in terms I understood. These 100 or so academics may have been from the ivory tower, but they were firmly focused on delivering research that could benefit you and me.

The result was marketing collateral that could explain often difficult topics, articulate the benefits, and reinforce the value of research. Take a minute or so and have a quick read of these examples from the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence.

            When your new hip joint arrives in a briefcase

            Relearning yourself after a traumatic brain injury

            Using AI to help eye patients

How easy was that? Complex information made simple. Now, apply this to your organisation: Where’s your crash test dummy for marketing, reporting and web content?


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