Volume 57, Number 6
Harness the Power of Your Professional Network
By Cara Quinlan, HFES Communications Associate
HFES members enjoy access to an influential group of professionals who are eager to share ideas and brainstorm ways to further the field, which can be especially useful for those who publish important HF/E research. HFES staff and our expert team at SAGE invest a great amount of time and resources to ensure that your work reaches a global audience, but it's essential for you to leverage your own professional network to help raise awareness and increase readership.
Reach Out to Your Organization's Marketing Team
Most workplaces, whether they are academic or practitioner-based settings, have a marketing or public outreach team that would be more than happy to publicize your important contributions. Ask them what they usually do to promote employee accomplishments. They may publish information in a company newsletter, post about it on social networking sites, or write and distribute a press release to the media.
Connect With Colleagues and Peers
One of the best ways to generate buzz about your work is to share it with those who have similar research interests. If you belong to professional associations besides HFES, be sure to send a message to other members via a list server or LinkedIn group. Ask the membership director whether he or she would be willing to mention your research in a blast e-mail or write an article for the association's Web site or e-newsletter.
Additionally, if you believe that a particular research group would find value in your work but you don't have any personal contacts there, send a group member a note highlighting the importance of the research and asking for it to be distributed.
Leverage Your Social Media Accounts
Social media isn't just for teenagers; in fact, its usefulness for professional networking is often underrated. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be helpful tools for spreading the word about your research. If you haven't set up an account yet, the HFES Social Networking Operations Committee has put together handy guides to get you started. To learn how to write effective posts (for example, do you know the difference between # and @ on Twitter?), a quick Google search will provide plenty of advice and tips.
A word of caution on social media: Don't use it solely to promote your work, because your followers will soon grow tired of you!
Send a Message to Members of Your E-mail List
As someone with years of experience in the field, you've probably amassed a fairly large contact list. This may include former classmates working in related areas, colleagues you have kept in touch with over the years, and college or graduate professors you admired. Feel free to send them a short personal note that includes a link to your article.
Keeping your personal and professional network apprised of your research and accomplishments will help you gain recognition while furthering the knowledge of the HF/E field.
If you have any newsworthy research to share, let us know! Contact me at email@example.com or 310/394-1811.
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