Communications Toolkit for Academics

Calendar

Many journalists and media outlets publish stories around major national holidays, remembrances, celebrations and pop-culture dates. Below is a list of current events or special dates about which your research or expertise could relate. These dates and question prompts can be used to help you generate ideas for blog posts, social media posts, op-eds, articles for The Conversation, or to be quoted in the media. Please contact Jessi Adler at jessi.adler@cabs.msu.edu if you are interested in writing for The Conversation or being listed as an expert for one of the below topics. 

Topic Ideas

FEBRUARY

  • African American History Month
  • National Eating Disorder Awareness Week -  Feb. 26 - March 4
  • Feb. 11 - International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • Feb. 12Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday Celebrated
  • Feb. 20President’s Day
  • Feb. 28 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras

MARCH

March 1 - Anniversary of Breitbart’s death. Five years ago, Andrew Breitbart, who worked for conservative news site The Drudge Report and founded the right-wing news site Breitbart.com, died at 43 of heart failure. Have conservative news outlets—and especially those constructing fake news—really had a significant impact on U.S. elections? Now that sites like Breitbart.com and others are setting up shop in France and Germany ahead of elections, will we see similar outcomes there?

March 2 - Read Across America Day. Celebrated on the anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birthday, Read Across America Day encourages children, families, educators, librarians, public officials and more to participate in events centered around reading. With reading proficiency by third grade the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success, what more can we do to ensure all children are meeting this milestone? 19 governors have made grade-level reading a priority, should all 51 states have this mandate? How important is it to encourage parental engagement with teaching reading skills?

March 9 - 100 Best Companies to Work For. Fortune Magazine reveals its annual ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in the U.S.  In 2016, Google was the top company. What makes a company the best? Does the definition differ across the different generations (Gen X, Millennial, etc.)? How can smaller companies compete to attract employees? 

March 10 - Stress in America survey released. Today, the American Psychological Association will release their survey detailing how stressed Americans were in 2016, and what they were stressed about. What is the best way to destress when Americans are dealing with not just large-scale stressors but also day-to-day worries? What is some advice for finding a way to relax? 

March 12-18. Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week promotes a dialogue on the importance of open government and freedom of information. In a tumultuous time where fake news and alternative facts are hot topics, what are journalists doing to ensure their sources, and ultimately their reporting, is trustworthy and accurate?

March 22 - World Water Day. Celebrated annually to raise awareness about the world’s water crisis. Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015, with the goal of ensuring safe water access to everyone by 2030. With 663 million people currently living without a safe water supply close to home, is this goal achievable? Wastewater is the theme in 2017. What are ways we can reduce or reuse our wastewater to prevent it from polluting the environment?

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