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Communicating your research to maximize impact

One-day training workshop

You’ve spent months diving into the data, talking to experts, and crafting just the right introduction and conclusion. The research is done and you’re rightly proud of your work. Now how are you going to make sure anyone else reads it? How researchers communicate and engage beyond their academic communities is critical to visibility and policy change. 

The rules of messaging have changed dramatically over the years and our attention spans are quickly shrinking in today’s fast-paced world of information overload. There are so many new and innovative ways to present research in what’s become known as the digital era. Social media and smart devices have become a primary source for directing people to the more traditional news outlets and stories. Register today for the one-day training workshop and get tools, advice, and opportunities to help further develop your research communication skills and grow the impact of your research work. 

The one-day workshop is hosted by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and Families USA and will take place on Tuesday, August 23rd, at the Marriott Marquis at 901 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, DC.

During the training, registrants will engage in:

  • Extensive, hands-on exercises.
  • Interactive sessions to practice messaging techniques and activities.
  • Opportunities to engage with and receive personalized feedback from invited subject matter experts and guest speakers.

Workshop Agenda

TimeAgenda Item
9-10:00 amBreakfast
10-11:00 amSession I: Effectively Identifying and Messaging Your Target Audience(s)
Sandra Wilkniss, Senior Director of Population Health for the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)
Sara Lonardo, Senior Director of Communications, Families USA
Kasey Hampton, Senior Manager of Storytelling and Engagement Communications, Families USA

Effective Messaging starts with identifying your target audience.  This session provides effective ways to identify and appropriately message your target audience(s). 

Sandra Wilkniss, Senior Director of Population Health for the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), will discuss how to craft messaging for state health officials about health-related research, while making the content relevant to current state health policy issues.
11-11:15 amBreak
11:15-12:15 pmSession II: Messaging Tactics to Advance Health Equity
Lisa Holland, Communications Manager, Families USA
Alex Edwards, Director of Communications, The Century Foundation
Michelle Webb, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, BWHI

It can be challenging to effectively communicate the value of health equity and research findings to diverse stakeholders. This session will focus on how to identify and develop effective messages for communicating about health equity. It’ll provide tips and tools to craft clear messages using language that is understandable, accurate and true to the study design.
12:15-1:30 pmLunch with Leaders in Communications:
Jessie Hellmann, Health Care Policy Reporter
Michelle Webb, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Making an impact with your research takes good strategy and communication efforts. What’s research communication without messaging that resonates with an audience? Michelle Webb, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Black Women Health Initiative (BWHI), will share useful strategies to help communicate research and clinical studies in a way that drives action and resonates with a target audience. We all know the media lives off of news pegs, trending topics and new research to tell their stories. Jessie Hellmann, who covers health care policy and Congress for CQ Roll Call, will offer tips to increase the chances of a reporter showing interest in your pitch.
1:30-2:30 pmInteractive Breakout session:
Bring your best media pitch to the table

Interactive session with workshop attendees
2:30-3:15 pmSession III: Putting Your Research to Work
Justin Charles, Digital Media Associate, Families USA
Haley Griffin, Principal, Raben Group

It often takes years for new evidence from clinical research to influence health care. Many times, these findings never reach the intended audiences who could most benefit from the information. This session explores “best practices” for clearly communicating data and research to decision-makers, advocacy-based organizations, and the general public with digital media activities, including:

• Social media strategies and tactics
• Visual and graphic design
• Creative outreach activities and storytelling components
3:15-3:30 pmBreak
3:30-4:30 pmSession IV: Planning makes Perfect-Creating an Effective Communications Plan
Chantez Bailey, Director of Communications, Families USA
Adina Marx, Communications Associate, Families USA

It’s time to put it all on paper and strategize how you will connect with the media and others who can help you spread your message. In this session, you’ll start to compile the key items you’ll need to start building an effective communications plan for your research findings.
4:30 pmHappy hour/networking session

Stipend and Travel Assistance

Stipends and travel assistance would be offered to ensure people are able to participate. Please email and use the subject title “Stipend & Travel Assistance” to request a stipend and travel assistance.

Speakers/Invited Panelists

Chantez Bailey, Director of Communications, Families USA
Chantez advises on integrated communications strategies, building effective messaging, and works closely with Families USA topic experts to identify their newsworthy content. Her interest in communications led her to pursue a journalism degree. She quickly learned that impact-driven work with strategic communication and outreach efforts was really her niche. She holds a BA in English Arts and Literature, Journalism.

Justin Charles, Digital Media Associate, Families USA
Justin manages all of Families USA’s social media accounts, produces and edits video content, serves as Families USA’s website manager, and analyzes ongoing metrics and trends to make strategic recommendations. A graduate of Howard University, he has over 10 years of experience in the editing, broadcasting, and production of television, radio, social and web-based media.

Alex Edwards, Director of Communications, The Century Foundation (TCF)
Alex spearheads TCF’s work to shape public opinion, strengthen advocacy networks, and elevate the organization’s impact and ideas in the media, among policymakers, and with key stakeholders. During his tenure, TCF’s profile has grown significantly across channels—media, digital and web, Capitol Hill, state and local legislatures, and more—contributing to the 100-year-old organization more than doubling in size in the last five years.

Haley Griffin, Principal, Raben Group
With fifteen years of lobbying experience, Haley Griffin has worked with a wide range of nonprofit, foundation, and corporate clients at both the state and federal levels. But her passion — and much of her client work — is focused on social justice. In addition to her policy work, Haley manages the firm’s strategic planning division. Haley earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Tulane University and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.  

Kasey Hampton, Senior Manager, Storytelling and Engagement Communications, Families USA
Kasey joined Families USA after serving as Press Secretary to Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), one of the Senate’s leading health care champions. Kasey holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Bucknell University.

Jessie Hellmann, CQ Roll Call Reporter
Jessie covers health care policy and Congress for CQ Roll Call. She has reported on health care in Washington D.C. since 2017 with stints at Modern Healthcare and The Hill, where she covered the GOP’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She is originally from Indiana and has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois.

How do you catch a reporter’s eye? “Read their recent stories [before you pitch].  Don’t send them ideas off of their beat and tell them something they don’t know, especially if it can create news or point to a larger trend.” – Hellmann 

Lisa Holland, Senior Communications Manager, Families USA
Lisa is responsible for helping to shape the Families USA strategic media and communications strategy and working across departments to raise its profile among the media and key stakeholders. Her expertise includes writing, media relations, digital marketing and social media. She holds a BA in English from the University of Delaware, a public relations certificate from the George Washington University School of Professional Development and digital marketing certificates from the American Marketing Association.

Sara Lonardo, Senior Director of Communications, Families USA
In her role, Sara advances and promotes Families USA’s policy initiatives to ensure families have access to affordable, high-quality health and health care. She holds a BA in Public Policy with a focus in welfare and poverty studies from Wheaton College in Norton, MA.

Adina Marx, Communications Associate, Families USA
Adina works on communications strategy and coordination and acts as a backup to her whole team. In her role, she has assisted in the planning of events, designed systems to keep the communications team informed and working cohesively, and recommended consumers to share their stories with Capitol Hill and to media. She holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism and International Studies from American University.

Michelle Webb, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, BWHI
Michelle is a successful media, marketing, and communications industry leader, entrepreneur, producer, and writer. A former Verizon Communications, Disney/ABC and Viacom CBS executive, Michelle is now the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the National Black Women’s Health Imperative.

Michelle joined the leadership team at the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) in November 2021. No national organization has been as impactful on Black women’s health or their lived experiences narrative as BWHI.

Over the past 8 years, BWHI has invested more than $15M in communities across the US, touched over 20,000 Black women and families with chronic disease prevention programs, created an international diabetes prevention training unit and, established a $20M rare disease diversity council. All with the goal of ending health inequities and empowering Black women to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families.

Sandra Wilkniss, Senior Program Director of Population and Public Health, NASHP
Sandra directs programs focused on public health, health system performance and health reform; vulnerable populations and equity; social determinants of health; care coordination; quality of care; and performance measurement. Sandra is a clinical psychologist by training, held faculty appointments at Dartmouth Medical College, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Weil Cornell Medical Center, and was the director of Thresholds Institute, the research and training arm of Thresholds, Chicago’s largest psychosocial rehabilitation organization.

Register for the PCORI Communications Workshop

Families USA is currently accepting registrations for this one-day, in-person training on August 23, 2022. Stipends and travel assistance will be available to those who meet the requirements. Fill out the form below to register. Registration is now closed.