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Marketing your Crucible

You should treat promoting your Crucible programme as a core activity for you to lead as it will succeed or fail based on the quality of participants. If you cannot attract the right participants then all your efforts after this are wasted so do take this part of the process very seriously.

Website

The provision of a website relating to the Crucible programme you are running will potentially provide the biggest source of information for both participants and those supporting their work and development.

Each individual institution/organisation participating in the Crucible programme has the opportunity to advertise it to their researcher population directly and provide links to the specific Crucible programme website. For previous Crucible programmes this has been done by staff development teams (or their equivalent) and through web-based development programme information available to researchers at institutions.

As highlighted in the Creating a Crucible website section, the Scottish Crucible provided a downloadable PDF of an A4 poster summarising key information that could act as a prompt displayed on relevant notice boards, a summary that a senior academic could provide to a more junior colleague or flyers that could be sent to relevant individuals within an institution/organisation. Additionally, this format could be used as advertising copy in magazine publications provided to researchers by institutions.

You should note that the website will act as a source of information for those who have already heard of the programme but you will need to consider how you create traffic to your website through other means.

Viral communication

We have found that viral email marketing is the best route to reach researchers. This can be through departmental heads or direct to researchers or research groups themselves. We suggest you use whatever channels are open to you and try and create as much email traffic as possible – even at the risk of duplication. As well as direct emails to your target audience it is worth sending to heads of departments and heads of research groups to ask them to pass onto their groups. The sense of interest and approval that receiving an email from your boss will give to some researchers may spur on some to apply. Conversely, for those whose bosses may not have such an open attitude to such an event, it is worth trying to target researchers directly also. All other forms of social networking (Facebook, Twitter etc.) are worth considering, and as this area is still changing fast, by the time you read this there are likely to be new forms of communication that you should also consider.