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Communicating research for policy audiences

Guidance on framing and crafting compelling messages about your research.

Key messages and framing

Policymakers are busy people with multiple, competing priorities. An important component to being successful in policy engagement as a researcher is being able to explain your findings clearly and succinctly and articulate their relevance to policy in ways which can resonate.

There are two important aspects to doing this well: defining your key messages and policy asks (i.e., key insights, recommended changes to policy and their implications) and framing.

Key messages can help to breakdown complex or nuanced research findings into a series of clear, well-articulated points which you want your policy audience to hear. ‘Policy asks’ refer to your recommendations or calls to action.

They should address:

  • What unique contributions does or can your research make to policy?
  • How does it relate to current or emerging policy challenges or questions?
  • What are the policy recommendations or policy implications of your findings?
  • What gap does your research fill in policy and does it present evidence for new policy development?

Avoid trying to summarise your entire research project – be selective

Framing is important to ensure your messages are timely. How does your research align with current policy debates?

When communicating your research for policymakers, remember to focus on the policy context, unique findings, and implications, as opposed to the methodology you used to get there. Be mindful of who you are communicating with, what they will be most responsive to and think through what they need to take away from your interaction.

Sometimes just three clear bullet points, an infographic or animation 'explainer' might be the most effective ways to get across your message.

Learning from others

Read about Bath academics who have extensive experiences of communicating their research to policymakers:

Media and social media management


Raising the profile of your research through print or broadcast media can help to increase the chances that it is picked up by policy audiences. Media coverage, in particular national media coverage, can help to set or shape policy agendas. It can help to build your profile and extend your network.

Media can help to publicise research findings or be used around specific events. Opportunities also arise when your research topic becomes salient in the news. Contact the University’s press office ( for advice on communications, drafting press releases, and preparing for media interviews.

Social media

An important tool for communicating for policy audiences is social media. Social media platforms, in particular X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn, are not only useful for publicising your own work and findings, they are also helpful routes to follow debates, find out about events and directly connect with key policy individuals.

Contact the University’s social media team via Tom Mason ( for advice on setting up social media accounts and developing a social media strategy.


There are many opportunities to write about your research, including lay summaries and blogs, including for the IPR Blog, which covers an array of policy themes and has an audience of policymakers and academics, or The Conversation.


  • Stay up-to-date with the news agenda related to your field and use news stories as a way to build connections with relevant policy contacts and journalists.
  • Contact the University Press Office ( for help and advice on presenting policy-relevant research for media.
  • Draft and develop an ‘elevator pitch’ which you can use to explain your research and its relevance succinctly and effectively.
  • Look at ways of packaging your policy findings, including via policy briefs and evidence requests.
  • Contact Alice Morrey ( to discuss writing a blog for the IPR.
  • Contact Tom Mason ( for help and advice on developing a social media strategy, including LinkedIn training.

Further information

Learning from others

Read about Bath academics who have experiences communicating to policymakers, including via media, as part of their research:

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