For more than five decades, the Alfred Heineken Fondsen has honored a group of renowned researchers and outstanding young scientists every two years. But does the public know who these high-flyers are and why it is so important that their scientific research is honored? The KNAW and the administration office of the Heineken family asked to support the team in raising awareness of the laureates through publicity. Given our experience in the field, including PR for the science prizes of New Scientist and Ammodo. A job that we are naturally immediately enthusiastic about.
Approach: connection with current events In the Netherlands, there is increasing attention for science and there are also more awards that honor scientists. If we want to strengthen contact with the general public and show that it is not ‘one of the awards’, we need to give the laureates a face and make the story personal and relevant. Fortunately, we feel at home in scientific matters and we have always gone further than just approaching science journalists. We look for connections with current affairs so that scientific news also becomes relevant for media that are consulted by the general public. Our challenge is therefore to translate scientific content (with an eye for the scientist) into content that is relevant for the general public: what is the impact of their work on our daily life?
Result: a broad audience The stories of the laureates have resulted in publications in a varied group of media: from newspaper to magazine and from national to regional and in the professional media. This resulted in beautiful scientific articles, such as in the NRCand the Volkskrant. But also think of a more personal approach in a regional medium such as the Leidsch Dagblad and a niche player such as Filosofie Magazine. Besides, a very nice score was the publication on nu.nl, as a result of which we immediately reached a large and young audience.
Jill Bakker, PR adviser “My work can of course not be compared to that of the winners of the Heineken Prizes. But the fact that through publicity we can make more people aware of the impact of their work, gives me that extra energy to run an extra mile for it. Moreover, extra valuable because this visibility ensures more knowledge and understanding in society to keep investing in science.”