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Develop your message

Learn how to refine your message for each audience, write a lay summary to convey the essence of your research to a non-specialist audience, and craft tailored messages that reflect the interests and needs of different groups.

Write a plain-English summary of your research

Use this guide to describe your research in plain-English, so that non-specialists can understand why you've done the research, what methods you used, what the results were, and what might happen next. See more >

Tailor your message

Having prioritised your audiences according to how important they are to your research, and how much influence they have over its dissemination and impact, you should adapt your message accordingly. To continue the example from the Identify your audience section, let's look at a longitudinal study of primary school children’s lives:

Audience Key message
Primary audience: policymakers, academics 

The quality and uniqueness of the data/methodologies; the usefulness of the outputs (new datasets, case studies, new qualitative findings).

Secondary audience: education community (professional/sectoral groups, civil service)

Key findings and highlights. Communicate findings to draw this group in and sustain interest in the next stages of the project or to encourage engagement with and championing of the research.

Tertiary audience: parents, general public

The value of the research now and for future generations. Communication might encourage support for funding of future studies and uptake of this research by the primary and secondary audiences.

 Will you want to communicate different things in different phases of the project? If so, consider refining your messages through the project lifecycle. 

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