Good comms: an accelerator for R&D?
How often do you see otherwise innovative technology fall by the wayside during its development due to the creators’ struggle to explain it in a way that gains supporters?
Your development may have the potential to save lives, protect national security or simply make our lives one heck of a lot more convenient. But to get it into the hands of the end user, it needs to be championed. Whether that be by a funding body, investor, company board or collaborator, someone else needs to understand what you’re trying to achieve and believe in it.
When you are pushing the boundaries of current understanding, it’s no surprise that support is going to be harder to achieve. But I find it disheartening to see ground-breaking tech getting stuck in the early stages of development because creators didn't explain the full potential of their technology.
So how can you avoid this?
Understand your audience. Get to know your different audiences’ perspectives and motivations so you can tailor your messages to them. If you haven’t directly experienced their environment, find someone to help you who has.
Consider how you are presenting it. You don’t have to lose the technical information but consider if it would be more digestible as a diagram. An intangible concept could be brought to life in graphics, demos, real world examples or videos. Above all, keep it human – how will it benefit the end user?
Prepare your audience. Using PR campaigns can help to influence key stakeholders and create a more accepting environment in which to introduce your technology. Most emerging and disruptive technologies have ethical considerations. Look to consider these implications and dispel fear through your campaigns.
Getting technology into the hands of the user is not without its complexities; let’s not allow misunderstanding to be one of them. Effective communications throughout the R&D stages could instead be an accelerator in getting your technology to market.