How to score a PR win with your dusty old reports

first_imgIssueLab recently told me this was possible. I said, “really? Prove it with a guest post.” And here’s what they have to say:Does your organization have a stale list of publications on your web site or a shelf full of research you produced years ago? Are you looking for a way to hook into a hot news topic or online discussion but you don’t have the resources to produce new research? Nonprofits often think their older work isn’t newsworthy anymore – but we know from IssueLab’s user behavior that people are looking for research on relevant topics, no matter how old it is. In the same way that lessons from very local issues can be applied regionally or nationally, or extrapolated data can provide important indicators for a bigger picture, older research can and does inform and support current debates. Research reports provide ‘milestones’ that can serve as benchmarks, historical records, examples of successes and failures, a resource for further information (through citations and references), a method for identifying gaps in the sector, and as indicators of change over time. How would we know whether policy shaped action, or action led to policy change – without older research? The point is, research can always be relevant for someone, somewhere. Nonprofits shouldn’t shy away from archival work just because of its publication date. Constituents are looking for your work! As an example, in IssueLab, the three most requested reports published before 1990 were viewed almost 600 times in 2009 alone. That’s almost 20 years after they were first published!We think it’s vital that the collective body of research remains large enough to reflect the importance of an issue at any given time. So, dust off that report, digitize it if necessary, and start sharing it as a “backgrounder” on your web site, in the comments section of blogs where there is debate and conversation about an issue related to your work, twitter it as a “resource”, add it to IssueLab’s forum for nonprofit research, or even include it in your next e-newsletter as a testament to how far your issue has come or evidence of the fact that things haven’t changed enough!To add your research to IssueLab, create a free account today and list as much research as you’d like – just go here – we take care of the rest.last_img

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