Catchy headlines, avoiding clickbait and more – newsletter June 2019

Catchy headlines, avoiding clickbait and more – newsletter June 2019

The media and communications landscape has changed dramatically since 2005 when I co-founded COSMOS Magazine. I created STEM Matters to respond to those changes.


Welcome to our e-newsletter which we have developed to provide resources and ideas for organisations seeking to increase engagement and profile.

The media and communications landscape has changed dramatically since 2005 when I co-founded COSMOS Magazine. I created STEM Matters to respond to those changes.

We work with universities, government and corporates to make sure their important stories are told, and shared as widely as possible, with the aim of either building profile, audience, funding, philanthropy, student numbers or collaborations.

We are growing as a company and are excited to share some of our recent projects, partnerships and learnings in the world of STEM and research engagement, communication and strategy.

You can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Our services

We’ve worked with universities, research institutes, corporates and government departments covering topics spanning science, technology, arts, business and economics – to help shape the way they tell their stories and build engagement with their key audiences.

We have written hundreds of feature, profile, discovery and impact stories; crafted dozens of ARC impact and engagement case studies; produced videos, podcasts and publications; trained researchers in media, messaging and engagement; and run media campaigns for international conferences and high-profile scientific publications.

We’re here to help. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and how STEM Matters can assist with building your audience, engagement and profile.

CASE STUDY – QBI Brain Series

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) is one of the top brain research institutes globally, attracting internationally renowned researchers and regularly publishing in the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

With an ambitious research agenda, QBI was seeking to dramatically grow its philanthropic base and, in order to achieve this, needed to build awareness and engagement with the broader, non-academic community globally.

Here’s how a content strategy helped them establish partnerships with over 25 sporting associations and contributed to reaching their fundraising goal for dedicated concussion and dementia research.

Read the full case study

Why universities need to tell better stories

To make the public care about science research, the universities that employ the scientists must improve the methods they use to communicate their achievements, says Kylie Ahern.

Many universities still use mainly old-fashioned methods of communication their research.

As a science publisher, I hear amazing stories of science every day: brain research, superbugs, robots, gravitational waves, weird and wonderful animals, dinosaur digs, and human migration and evolution. We have thousands of extraordinary scientists with fascinating stories, whose work impacts all aspects of our lives.

And yet, when research funding is cut, there is never a huge outcry from the Australians whose lives are impacted by the very research being put at risk.

Read the full story

How to avoid the clickbait trap – but still be noticed

At a time when there’s more online content than ever and a constant battle for eyeballs, clickbait is a fact of life.

But between all the BuzzFeed hate and the alarming phenomenon that is fake news, an important distinction has been lost: not everything that compels you to click on it is clickbait.

The problem is that ‘clickbait’ has become a catch-all term for anything that’s working hard for your attention. In our rush to condemn anything with ‘top 10 tips’ in the headline, we’re forgetting that the media has been crafting clever headlines since day dot.

And here’s the thing – the fact that a headline is clever does not mean it’s dishonest. The best headlines are those that wow, shock, or intrigue you, and then actually deliver a story that’s worthy of all the fuss.

Read the full story

Our top 10 tips for writing explainers

At STEM Matters, one of the most important types of content we produce are explainers.

Not only are they proven to drive website traffic and social media engagement, but they are a crucial part of communicating an organisation’s expertise and profile within a certain area, whether it’s as broad as artificial intelligence, or as niche as Bayesian networks.

Cleverly written explainers help you ‘own’ key topics online and position your organisation as the go-to destination for information, education, and expertise in that area.

Read the full story.

Online video training

STEM Matters now offers online video training to help everyone in your team capture and share their stories.

Participants only need a smart phone and 60 minutes to get started.

You will be surprised how easy and fun it is to make your own shareable social media content.

It is time to say goodbye to stock footage and images!

Testimonial – Sue Keay, Australian Centre for Robotic Vision

“STEM Matters developed a strategy and compelling stories about the amazing and inspiring work of our Centre and researchers.

Our advisory board declared that our ‘invisibility’ problem was solved within four months.

STEM Matters were easy to work with, professional, flexible and results-oriented. They work with dense, scientific content and make it come alive”