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Oral: Fieldside Manner: Serving Plant Pathology's Stakeholders


Have I told you about the time...: Communicating "Plant Pathology" to diverse audiences in academia.
J. BRADEEN (1), D. VanBoxtel (2) (1) University of Minnesota, U.S.A.; (2) University of Minnesota, U.S.A.

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Communicating the essence, relevance, and impact of “plant pathology” within our academic institutions requires (1) consistency and clarity of message, (2) flexibility in aligning our message with the diverse and sometimes conflicting interests of students, faculty, college and university administrators, and alumni and donors and (3) creativity in message delivery. At the University of Minnesota, promoting the Department of Plant Pathology has been a significant priority in recent years. Our goals include helping students discover plant pathology as a potential career path, raising functional understanding of our science among college administrators, promoting the impact of our Department at the college and university level, and keeping alumni and friends informed about the great work of our students, staff, and faculty. In this presentation, we will explore some of the challenges and successes we’ve had in defining and implementing a communications and marketing strategy for the Department. We will discuss how each audience requires a different strategy and different delivery mechanism(s). We will also explore the potential of applying analytical approaches to inform and refine communications strategy.