|Using the Internet
for Brain Awareness Week|
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Washington; Seattle, WA
|Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a time for neuroscientists to get out of the lab and to interact with the public. The Internet is a powerful resource that can be used to communicate with the public during BAW and to provide information related to BAW activities. This article outlines several ways that the Internet can be used to plan, coordinate and promote your BAW program.|
The SFN also has advice for dealing with the media. It is a good idea to review this information if you will be talking to TV, radio or newspaper reporters during BAW.
Some neuroscientists have trouble deciding what to do during BAW, others want to try something new each year. Web sites that contain ideas, activities and demonstrations appropriate for a variety of audiences include:
Creating a web site is not difficult. You may already have your own web site or your department or organization may be able to assist you in creating a new one. The ease with which the public can access the Internet makes the use of web sites especially valuable in promoting your BAW program. Your web site can be used to:
Posters and flyers can be located on your BAW web site for easy distribution to many people. These posters could contain information about the time, place, and title of BAW lectures. Encourage people to download the posters and to place them on bulletin boards or doors to advertise your events.
Your web site can also be used to notify people around the world about BAW activities located in other cities. By providing links to other BAW sites, you will be promoting BAW on a large scale. You can also share the URL (web site address) of your site with colleagues at other institutions. In exchange for promoting your site on their home page, you agree to link to their page on your home site. In other words,
Some people who come to your program may have other questions. It is always a good idea to include an e-mail address of a contact person on all web sites, posters, newsletters, and flyers that will be distributed to the public. With the widespread use of e-mail, many inquiries about your BAW program can be answered at your own convenience. Of course, a telephone number of a contact person should be included for those individuals without e-mail access.
Because many people may not be able to attend your BAW program and you may not be able to accommodate everyone who is interested in attending , it is still possible for you to provide these people with BAW materials that you develop. For example, you can create neuroscience-related activities, games or lesson plans for teachers who are unable to come to your events. Promotional items, such as bookmarks, with your institution?s BAW logo can be distributed via web sites. If you do not have any materials to share via the web, you can always direct people to web resources with such material. Web sites with this type of material include:
One strategy utilized by commercial web sites is a fee for posting sponsor banners or logos. Although I have never used this approach, some organizations and businesses may be more willing to contribute to your BAW activities if they know exactly what they will receive in return for their sponsorship. A fee schedule for banners of specific sizes for a specific time period may appeal to these potential sponsors. Make sure that your university or organization permits this type of "advertising" on web sites before using this method.
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