“Research-TV” – a unique project involving several of the UK’s leading universities was this week short listed, and in the end “Highly Commended”, in the broadcast category for the prestigious PRWeek Awards 2003.
The pilot of Research-TV earlier this year involved UK research universities, research councils and the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands. Research-TV produces video news releases about research in the UK for distribution to around 2000 international news organisations world-wide via Reuters .
The PRWeek Awards are a major landmark event for the PR industry, recognising creativity and ingenuity across the sector. The PR week award panel were impressed with the results of the evaluation of the pilot by J Walter Thompson which found that in the three month pilot Research-TV was used by broadcasters in more than 70 different countries and reached an estimated global audience of 250 million. Each story was used on average by 20 serious news networks within 24 hours of distribution.
The main thrust of Research-TV was as a way of enhancing the international reputation of Universities but the evaluation also found that the pilot had a very high take up from UK broadcasters. BBC news (TV, online and radio), ITN, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News all used stories.
The stories ranged from a study of first time voters by Nottingham Trent University, a review of UN peace operations by King's College, London, and research aiming to get a new understanding of a consumer's tolerance of risk at the University of Warwick.
The success of the pilot has encouraged a number of Universities to run an extended version of Research-TV. From January 2004, it will again be providing a service which offers two feature stories per week. A number of universities have already signed up to have programmes produced, including Kings College London, Nottingham, Birmingham and Warwick.
Note for Editors: Further information on Research-TV is available at www.research-tv.com and a web version of the programmes from the pilot can also be viewed there. Further details from: firstname.lastname@example.org.