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Brainstorming Tips

As important as our school’s work is, it can seem routine to those of us on the inside. Sometimes we don’t recognize the stories that are right in front of us. Here are ways to help you think creatively about your department’s activities.

Timeliness

Can you connect your work to:

  • current events: Has a public figure recently been diagnosed with a disease you are researching?
  • ongoing media stories: Does your work relate to current issues?
  • a conversation taking place on social networking sites, blogs and other online sites?
  • a campus event: Does your research relate to an upcoming lecture?
  • pertinent topics outside oral medicine: Is there an interesting correlation between your work and the economy, green concerns, etc.?

Significance

Stories can be significant if they:

  • involve many people
  • affect people over a long period of time
  • have an impact on quality of life, even if for just a few individuals
  • are worthy of superlatives: Is your work the first of its kind, the largest study to date, fastest procedure, most cost-effective treatment or most efficient method?

Proximity

People care about what’s close to home.

Local issues are the clearest way to demonstrate proximity.

Have you helped solve a problem that affects our community?

Does your work directly or indirectly promote economic development, employment or corporate partnerships?

Expert Opinion

Scientists and health care professionals are often averse to controversy.

Yet as an expert in your area, you can add constructive thoughts and opinions to subjects that are being discussed in public forums.

If you have an opportunity, consider contributing thoughtfully to a debate. By doing so, you can bring positive news coverage to your work and to our school.

Human Interest

Do you have a story that would engage readers’ emotions and have a far-reaching impact?

For example: You’ve not only helped introduce a new health care procedure, but you’ve also helped underprivileged people in urban neighborhoods access this care as well.