Many ATE community members are aware of the importance of disseminating information and findings, but how can you effectively reach your audience when promoting your project or center’s work? Here are four new outreach tools that you could incorporate into your existing outreach program.
See where your website shines
We access hundreds of websites a day but usually only briefly. According to Klipfolio Metrics, the average time on a website is just 52 seconds. Your website has less than a minute to make an impact. Knowing this, Hotjar is a free online tool that creates a heatmap of your site. It shows where most users linger or scroll on. Users of Hotjar can see what is of most interest to website visitors, what buttons they click, and also what they ignore. Using Hotjar allows you to spot problem areas and areas working well.
Make your outreach accessible
ATE Central and AccessATE are committed to creating more avenues for accessibility. One way ATE grantees can do this is by making their outreach materials accessible. Whether your outreach plan involves disseminating information through blog posts or social media, there are ways to build accessibility. Accessible Social is a resource hub for anyone who wants to learn how to make their content inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities. With all free resources, Accessible Social aims to centralize information, resources, and best practices for creating accessible social media content. Most of their resources are intended for social media use. Still, they have options for creating accessible content with PDFs, Word documents, and Powerpoints. Users can implement their resources easily into everyday outreach activities.
Create unlimited connections
Social media offers many options to share links to events, resources, articles, and other exciting information. LinkTree is a free tool (check the pricing page for the free version!) that uses a single link— think how your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook usually only allow one permanent link on your profile— to reveal all you want to share in one place. You can use this to add personalized URLs to your bio on any social media platform, in your email signatures, on business cards, and anywhere else. LinkTree also has an app to facilitate easy linking on a mobile device.
Track topics and create buzz
One of the most complex parts of outreach is getting others to notice your work. An excellent way to do this is by getting involved with the conversations others in your field are having, especially through social media. However, as a busy PI or faculty member, there may be more important things to your to-do list than staying on top of trending Twitter topics. You might be interested in all that information tracked and delivered to you, though! BuzzSumo is a platform that will track topics and hashtags, showing the most engaged issues and articles so you can also weigh in. BuzzSumo has many components, but the tracking and monitoring features would be most effective for busy ATE grantees. The platform has a free plan where you can search for trending topics ten times a month.
As technology advances, so do outreach opportunities. However, remember these tools are all suggestions. If your outreach works well, don’t feel pressured to change anything. We’d love to hear about your best outreach tools and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.