The Seven Heavenly Virtues

by David Harris on October 20, 2011

We don’t want to be all doom and gloom by only mentioning the deadly sins, so here are my top heavenly virtues to counteract the previous list. They are all topics I’ve written about before so click through to read more.

1. Send journalists to your competitors
2. Drink with journalists
3. Shut up and listen
4. Understand the new role of PIOs
5. Be your audience’s representative
6. Confront challenges by taking risks
7. Use press releases sparingly and wisely

And don’t forget all these topics and more are covered in The Enlightened PIO book!

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Science PIOs

by David Harris on October 19, 2011

We had an interesting session at ScienceWriters2011 talking about the Seven Deadly Sins of science PIOs on Saturday. As promised at the session, we have the results of the survey we conducted.

You can download a Word document here: Seven Deadly Sins

My own list of the sins is as follows:
1. Too many crappy press releases
2. Controlling access to your researchers
3. Letting your ego get in the way
4. Competition without collaboration
5. Exaggeration or misrepresentation
6. Unclear communication
7. Failing to be a voice for stakeholders

I’ll explain these more over time but you can probably guess the meaning of most of them pretty easily!

I was also happy to launch a conference edition of The Enlightened PIO book at the meeting and sold quite a few copies there. I still have some left at $15 incl. shipping if you want to get hold of one. Just contact me at physicsdavid (at) gmail.



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Ignite! talks at Science Writers meeting

September 19, 2011

Enlighten us–but make it quick. That’s the motto of Ignite!, a speaking competition that’s coming to NASW in 2011. Registered NASW meeting attendees can enter to be one of the limited number of speakers who’ll share what they’re most passionate about in science writing. The twist? Every talk is limited to 5 minutes of speaking […]

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Win the EPIO book with the Seven Deadly Sins

September 15, 2011

Next month I’ll be on a panel at the ScienceWriters2011 conference talking about the Seven Deadly Sins of PIOs. I have my list picked out and I’ll reveal them here after the talk but what are your deadly sins of PIO work? Or can you guess mine from what I’ve written on the blog so […]

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The Enlightened PIO to become a book

September 8, 2011

Thanks to interest in this blog from so many of you, I’m pleased to say that The Enlightened PIO is going to become a book. But for that to happen most successfully, I’d love a little more of your help. What topics have been your favorites on the blog and what topics haven’t I covered […]

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Be different

August 29, 2011

The activities of most communications offices look much the same. That’s reasonable as they are doing similar things, but just because your activities are the same doesn’t mean your approach much be the same. Too many communications office products fail to enthuse their intended audiences because they are just more of the same. Remember that […]

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A journalist’s pet peeves about press releases

August 26, 2011

This is a guest post by Charles Day from Physics Today. Rest assured, PIOs! This is a short piece. As a science writer and editor, I have little to complain about your work and much to praise. Still, as a consumer of one of your principal products, the press release, I thought you might appreciate […]

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Thank your editor

August 24, 2011

All writers know that their lives would be much easier without two things: readers and editors. When you’re writing something remember that editors have a similar feeling: their lives would be easier without writers and publishers. I strongly believe that a good writer/editor team will do a much more effective job than either alone or […]

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Go to the stakeholders

August 22, 2011

When you converse or meet the stakeholders for your institution, where do you do it? If it’s always at your institution you are missing out on a key element of forming deeper relationships. People naturally feel more comfortable in their own home base and tend to reveal much more about what they are thinking and […]

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Learn to say no

August 19, 2011

Communication offices have a tendency to say yes to everything asked of them. I’m yet to meet an effective communications office staff that isn’t trying to do more than it can comfortably cope with. A very common pattern in top communications offices is that they fall out of strategic mode by proving they are so […]

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