Promoting your work

Working with the Libin Communications Department

The goal of the communications department at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute is to promote your work widely. There are numerous platforms for sharing your research, including the Libin Buzz newsletter, social media channels, Libin Life magazine and the Libin website. We also have connections with the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services’s communications departments, and can often leverage their larger audience base. For example, your work may be shared on their social media channels, in newsletters and in Utoday. The Institute also works with these organizations to facilitate media coverage.

In order to access these platforms, any written content must comply with the University of Calgary brand guidelines. There are some unique aspects to this style guide. For example, all content must be written in Canadian Press style. This style in general uses active voice and tends to be written for the general public. One unique aspect of Canadian Press style is the use of last names only after first reference, so the “Dr.” and first name are dropped in subsequent references. Some find this odd, but it is the accepted practice.

Other unique features include:

  • Numbers below 10 are spelled out
  • Percent is spelled using two words: per cent
  • Canadian spelling is used
  • Medical and scientific jargon is discouraged
  • Written in a simple, non-academic style
  • Employs storytelling – communicators and journalists are always looking for a human angle, so be prepared for them to ask if there is a patient they can speak to, or some other narrative to tell
  • Using imagery – please be prepared to supply or be available for an image or video

A communicator’s role is to ensure any content shared is accurate and accessible to a lay audience, including patients, donors and the general public. This involves avoiding the use of complex medical and scientific terms while promoting your work. However, all sources for a story will have the opportunity to provide suggested feedback before publication.

That isn’t all we can do for you. Coaching on how to talk to the media, how to use social media platforms to promote your work, marketing ideas, and how best to get your message across is available by reaching out to Dawn Smith, Libin Cardiovascular Institute communications coordinator, at dawn.smith@ucalgary.ca

The communications department is here to tell the stories of the Institute. By doing so, we are promoting a healthy lifestyle, increasing public awareness of the Institute and the important work underway. But we can’t do it alone. Please let Dawn Smith know if you, a colleague, or trainee has won an award, been published, made a discovery, are working on a new program or initiative, or have another interesting story to share. We also appreciate feedback and ideas about how better to tell your stories.