The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is a major highlight in the press office’s calendar and the team looks forward to working on it each year.
To attract the interest of newspapers, online news sites, TV and radio a series of press releases promoting the Exhibition and individual exhibits will be issued by the Royal Society in the run-up to the opening.
The Royal Society press office will identify between three and five exhibits which we will lead on promoting. In addition to these, Exhibitors are encouraged to work with their press offices to promote their own individual exhibits. The Royal Society press team is equipped to provide any support you may need to promote your exhibit. Exhibitors will be notified of the exhibits chosen for press work shortly after the planning day.
Please do not be discouraged if your exhibit has not been selected as one of those to be promoted by the press office - we only limit the number due to resources. Our press office will try to predict which exhibits will be of most interest to the media but it has happened in past years that some of the exhibits that have attracted the most media attention have been those who have conducted their own media work with the help of their institution press offices. For this reason, if you are not one of selected exhibits, we still strongly encourage you to work with your institution press office. The Royal Society press office will provide a template press release to help you write your own.
We will promote the selected exhibits in a number of different ways including press releases, pitching an exclusive piece to a Sunday newspaper and by targeting specific publications which may be interested in certain topics. The press releases produced by the Royal Society will be drafted in consultation with the exhibitors / their press contacts, and will be issued under embargo in the weeks leading up to the Exhibition. These releases are designed to attract publicity before the event and when it opens.
In addition, we may approach a few more exhibits where we think there are particular angles we can pitch to particular contacts e.g. photo galleries for BBC Slideshows or medical stories for the health correspondents. A member of the Royal Society press team will be in touch with you individually if we think we can pitch a specific story based on your exhibit.
Press materials for the exhibits that the Royal Society distributes are usually under embargo until 17:00 BST on the day the Exhibition opens. The Royal Society will confirm the exact embargo time closer to the opening date. The embargo enables journalists to write and prepare their stories in advance but not print or broadcast them until the date and time specified on the release.
All other exhibitors are free to issue press materials at any time in the run-up to and during the Exhibition.
Royal Society Sign-Off for Press Materials
Should you be working with your own press office to prepare a release, we ask that you share them with the Royal Society in advance of issue so that we can sign-off on any details related to the Summer Science Exhibition. Please also keep us informed of your plans and the dates on which you intend to issue press materials.
We will be in touch with your institution press office to make sure they are aware of this and it would be helpful if you could forward them this information as well.
To help attract broadcasters to the exhibition, we often hold a press preview to give journalists an opportunity to play with the exhibits and talk to / interview the exhibitors before the wider public arrive. More details to be confirmed, though it usually takes place on the first day of the exhibition.
As you will realise, some school groups will also be visiting the Exhibition during this time. Staff from the Royal Society press team will be on hand to help manage press and make sure that this does not interfere with attending to schools visitors. Some journalists may wish to stay on after the press preview finishes - the Royal Society’s press team will manage them as needs be and discuss with exhibitors where necessary.
Support from the Royal Society press office
During the exhibition week, the Royal Society press team will be on hand to manage the media so you can concentrate on staffing your exhibits. Obviously if there is media interest in your research, the press team will aim to minimise disruption to you by arranging interview logistics.
Colleagues from the press office at your institution are all very welcome to attend the press preview and provide support during the Exhibition should you wish them to be there. If your press office plans to promote your exhibit, the Royal Society press team are happy to provide interview spaces, accompany you to studios or help arrange filming.
For any queries before the event – please just call 0207 451 2514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any queries during the week – contact a member of staff at the registration desk and they will get hold of a member of the Royal Society press team.
Example media coverage from previous Summer Science Exhibitions
ITV News, The Sunday Times, The Guardian Science Weekly Podcast, The Independent and i, London Live, Time Out London, The Times