Introducing editorial themes – EMBL Communications

EMBL Communications

Informing, inspiring, and engaging society with EMBL’s research, services and training

Introducing editorial themes

Editorial themes are something that we have used to tie the EMBLetc magazine together in recent editions. Themes spark intrigue, provide focus and allow us to capture great stories from the most unexpected places. We are now planning to expand this concept to inspire stories and other content across EMBL’s diverse range of communication channels.

Connect, reflect, explore

Recently, we invited members of the Strategy and Communications team to develop and pitch ideas for editorial themes that could connect a diverse range of scientific and ‘other’ story ideas from the EMBL community. We particularly wanted concepts that could connect with our audiences, reflect the various aspects of EMBL’s strategy and mission, and allow us to explore a single topic from multiple perspectives.

It was fascinating to see the diversity of creative thinking within the team, inspired by the work happening here at EMBL. Some of the ideas pitched were beautifully graphic such as ‘black and white’. Others sparked shadowy intrigue such as ‘codemaking and codebreaking’. Others still drew from topical issues affecting the day-to-day lives of researchers, including ‘truth’ and ‘censorship’.

Ultimately, the theme ideas that we chose are as follows. They will run for the 12 months from October 2017 to September 2018:

Curiosity (October – December)
Origins (January – March)
Translation (April – June)
Doppelgänger (July – September)

These ideas have tremendous potential to bring out some of the best happenings at EMBL and showcase them within and beyond the EMBL community.

Each theme will be coordinated by a ‘theme owner’ from the Strategy and Communications team, who will host monthly editorial meetings to explore and develop ideas for cross-channel content relating to the theme.

There are always important, interesting and topical stories that we need to cover beyond a specific theme, but we envisage that themes will eventually help to direct and focus around 25% of our content – forming a body of content with a longer shelf life.

We need your ideas!

We will begin in October, with ‘Curiosity’ – something that is surely close to the heart of everyone in the EMBL community. We want to involve as many people as possible and invite you to put forth ideas for articles, videos, social media posts, photos, and more related to the theme, here.  For more, read this blog post from my colleague Oana Stroe, who developed the curiosity theme and will now drive it forward as theme owner. Exciting times ahead!