making academic research go viral: six principles

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Making Academic Research Go Viral

Karen Lee@karenlee


We looked back on what we learned - what worked, what didnt - from writing and sharing academic storiesSix Principles from Stanford Business

While I was at the GSB, I felt intellectually on fire now that Ive graduated, the GSB keeps that flame alive by providing me with stimulating content and unique perspectives on big compelling issues.- Alumna

1. Create stories that teach and reachIf you cant explain to a six year old, you dont understand it yourself. - Albert Einstein

Fulfills a public purpose to promote education and learning

Fuels peoples desire for lifelong learning

Help people better understand the world

Inspire people (practical, aspirational)

Stanford Business objective

We help increase the reach and impact of business management research and insights to influencers who are seeking knowledge to change lives, organizations, and the world.

Our website is the anchor

Before: June 2012

Designed & organized for readers

Bigger typeJump to topic pages Emphasis on richer visualsSocial sharing Dive intoother storiesSee faculty profiles and related papers, articles

Sign-up for our e-newsletterJump to related storiesShortened linkto shareSocial sharing

Those groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist. - 1963 memo, Stanford Research Institute2. Be accountable to your stakeholders

Who are your stakeholders?

How does your organization build trust?

How do you convey your mission & goals?

When do you seek their feedback?

Editorial processTrigger

Do researchMeet with professor Brainstorm story formatDevelop story/assetsShare story with professor

Receive feedback, make edits

Get approvalGet feedback from professor

Publish on website / magazine


3. Find storytelling to fit your audience

Who is your audience?

What types of storytelling formats do you use?

How does the type of content or platform influence the way you choose to tell a story?

Story: Whos making the ethical decisions in a driverless car?

Story: A change to a tax credit could kill the nascent U.S. solar industry

Embrace criticism because its good for quashing bad ideas (heres how)

Best practices for video interview

Do your homework

Keep it conversational and light

Its all about control without making it look controlled. - Beth Rimbey

Go in with a narrow idea of what you want the end product to look like

Take your time

4. Focus on building your reach

Where is your audience?

Can you do more with less?

How unique is each channel, platform, or product? Where is there overlap?

What are the requirements to support your platform or product?

Where you can find Stanford Business stories

WebsiteMagazineEmailPartnersSocial Media

5. Think evergreen: recycle & repackage

What channels do you use to share your content and stories?

When can you recycle and peg your stories to whats happening in the news?

How do you tailor your content to specific channels?

SlideShareA Look Back at 2014

7 Business Books and Business GoalsSetting Vague Goals

Goals: Teach & build a relationship

Reach more people Create compelling content Engage with contentRead other stories Amplify story Create loyalty

6. Define and measure your success

What do you keep track of (or not)?How do your metrics measure your organizations objectives?What is your process for determining what you should continue or stop?In what ways do you encourage new ideas and experiments?

Potential experiments and tests

What angle should we use?Are people interested in reading about this particular topic?Will readers watch a video?Does story format affect social sharing?Which subject line is better? Should we be on Periscope?

TumblrLong-form story

Video story


Use Buzzsumo to find your viral stories

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7 Myths of Boards of Directors

Why Winning Could Go Wrong in a Fitbit World

Facebook Profiles: The Biggest Bank of Personality Data?

When To Bootstrap Your Startup

Facebook Profiles 28.1%, 5.2%

7 Myths of BoDs 27.0%, 7.1%Email

Follow on Periscope: @StanfordBusiness

6 Principles from Stanford Business1. Create stories that teach and reach2. Be accountable to your stakeholders3. Find storytelling to fit your audience4. Focus on building your reach5. Think evergreen: recycle & repackage6. Define and measure your success

If youre interested in a copy of my e-book on how to tweet, get in touch:

Karen you!