The Centres of Excellence estimated that communicating their key research results was essential for impact. By promoting the latest research information, they were able to gain more visibility for their fields of research and the produced applied research results. In addition, the CoEs’ assessments highlighted the importance of stimulating societal discussion. For this purpose, channels of impact included featured expert articles, blogs, social media and TV, radio and newspaper interviews and researchers participating as experts in open public and discussion events as well as giving presentations and lectures, webinars and making various types of visits.
At times, the CoEs found it challenging to discuss complex phenomena in a simplified way. Impact through debates on social media was also affected by the nature of the communication platform:
“It is a waste of time and energy for researchers to engage in arguments, especially on social media, where views are set in stone and people are unwilling to change their minds.”
At the same time, the CoEs stated that social media undisputedly brings added value as well. The impact stories mentioned Twitter and Facebook as well as YouTube videos as new platforms of research communication. The CoEs found that social media is a good platform for reaching teenagers and young adults in particular. In addition, the CoEs had been able to quickly share new research information with recordings shared on social media to support teachers’ work, for example.
“Social media presentations, including mobile and social journalism, have contributed to our visibility in traditional media. In addition, videos that popularise research data have generated a good amount of discussion, which hopefully will continue in the future with the videos remaining available online.”