Kudos Pro: helping you accelerate impact through research mobilization

December 9 2019 / By Charlie Rapple

In a previous posting, we explored the concept of research mobilization and the four steps that can help you maximize the impact potential of your work. As we noted there, the question of how to develop and accelerate the impact of your research has no single, simple answer. But it is a question that has been widely considered, and with Kudos Pro we’re working to build  “big data” set that will provide the necessary insight to support evidence-based decisions, for example, about the channels and activities most correlated to impact of certain types or in particular target audiences.

RECAI no border

In the meantime, we have distilled down the four steps that will help you mobilize your research to maximize its impact potential, and Kudos Pro already provides the structure and guidance you need to put these into practice. In this post, we’ll walk through just some of the ways that Kudos Pro will help you create and manage a research mobilization plan, to ensure your target audiences discover, connect with, understand, apply and advocate for your research.

Actions vs impact

Note that it is the outcomes from these actions, rather than the actions themselves, that constitutes impact. Of course, it has tended to be easier to track and measure actions than to identify and evaluate outcomes. This is one of the reasons why we have developed Kudos Pro. By using Kudos Pro to plan and manage the mobilization of your research, you can:

  • Understand which actions are most effectively reaching and engaging your target audiences
  • And therefore: Make more informed decisions about how you invest future engagement and impact budget
  • Infer from your reach / engagement data where change is most likely to have happened, and thus where impact potential is greatest
  • And therefore: Focus your impact tracking and reporting on those areas, reducing the time, expenditure and skills associated with identifying impact

1. REACH

Communication of knowledge is key to impact. You need to reach the audiences that can best build on or benefit from your work.

Why? Your findings will not be able to deliver any kind of change if no-one knows about them.

How? Common activities and channels for beginning to build awareness of your work include project websites or profile pages, blog postings, “work-in-progress” videos, podcasts or interviews, infographics, visual summaries or even research cartoons. You can help your audiences discover these by posting them to popular sites with ready-made audiences (such as Medium, YouTube, Figshare) and by posting multiple copies in multiple places (e.g. both YouTube and Vimeo).

How can Kudos Pro help?

Single entry point to all your research:
Kudos Pro project profiles help you provide a single “entry point” to  any other materials you create, however many different sites you use to host them. In this way, you can “reach your audience where they already are” (one of the most common things communications experts will tell you to do), while also bringing everything together in one place. Kudos Pro also enables you to create a quick and easy project website, to which you can point people when you communicate directly with your own network. Take a look at this example from one of our current Kudos Pro customers:
https://www.growkudos.com/projects/physical-activity-for-everyone

Profile + outputs-1
Quick and easy research project web pages:

It takes about 10 minutes to set up your Kudos Pro project profile pages It’s a web-based, form-led process that requires no technical expertise or support. You can add links to any types of research object or output, and its super easy to update to the page so you can showcase new work as the project evolves. You can include as many members as you like in your Kudos Pro “group”, so you can also delegate this or other tasks to other members of your project team or department.


Create profile

2. ENGAGE


You need to interact with your audiences to ensure that your work is relevant, and that you are presenting and explaining it in ways that people find easy to assimilate into their own work or behaviour.

Why? Your findings will not be able to deliver any kind of change if they are not relevant to potential stakeholders or beneficiaries, or if they cannot understand how to ‘use’ them.

How? Common activities and channels for two-way engagement with your work include events (for example, stakeholder workshops or science fairs), consultation (with stakeholders such as industrial scientists or healthcare policy makers), and social media (beneficial for connecting with other academics as well as the general public and “influencers” or key opinion leaders).

How can Kudos Pro help?

Central place to track all your communications:
sharing

Kudos Pro will provide you with trackable links for your project profile page and any related web pages or materials. You can use these in the “more information” sections of both digital materials (such as slides or social media postings) and printed event materials (such as handouts and posters). These trackable links give you a simple, consistent way to measure and compare the effectiveness of each of your different activities for engaging your target audiences.

Detailed capture of audience engagement:
You can also return to each activity after the event to capture more information that will help you report on and evaluate the level of engagement achieved.

action_log 

3. CHANGE

We hope you will have been thinking from early in the research process about the kind of change you want to create – for example, behavioural, attitudinal, awareness, processes, policy, product specifications and so on.

Why? Impact must be more than an academic concept for it to be truly valued by the real world, and thus by research funders and institutions.

How? Putting your research into practice may be a case of changes to products (applying your findings to improve quality or safety, for example), processes (using your recommendations to create efficiencies), policy (updating government guidelines to reflect your findings) or many other possibilities.

How can Kudos Pro help?

Tracking your pathway to impact:
Kudos Pro helps you plan and track communications with different stakeholders and audiences. Whether you are liaising with industrial partners, briefing policy makers, partnering with educators, approaching healthcare practitioners or patients, engaging with the media – Kudos Pro will help you log all these conversations, measure the responsiveness of your different audiences, and provide you with clear indicators of where change is most likely to be happening. Kudos Pro will also help you store notes about your progress towards change, and store evidence of change as it occurs, providing you to track and report on your impact in due course.

evidence_log

4. AMPLIFY

How will any change you can bring about scale such that its effect is as significant, widespread and lasting as possible? For example, how can a benefit to the local community be translated to national or even international impact?

Why? Amplification is pivotal to maximizing the impact potential of your work, and the return on the investment that you and your institution or funder have made.

How? Common approaches to amplification within broader audiences include media engagement, and the development of training materials or publications (particularly those for audiences beyond academia).

How can Kudos Pro help?

Showcasing your work to specific target audiences:
Kudos Pro’s showcases will provide readymade audiences (such as the media, policy makers or industry) to help amplify your work. Our “wizard” templates will help you build tailored briefings that will address the needs and interests of each target audience.

briefing

FROM MOBILIZATION TO IMPACT

Remember: none of the steps above is, by itself, impact. It is the outcomes from these actions, rather than the actions themselves, that would constitute impact. Of course, it is easier, right now, to track and measure actions than to identify and evaluate outcomes. This is one of the reasons why we have developed Kudos Pro.

By using Kudos Pro to plan and manage the mobilization of your research, you can:

  • Understand which actions are most effectively reaching and engaging your target audiences
  • And therefore: Make more informed decisions about how you invest future engagement and impact budget
  • Infer from your reach / engagement data where change is most likely to have happened, and thus where impact potential is greatest
  • And therefore: Focus your impact tracking and reporting on those areas, reducing the time, expenditure and skills associated with identifying impact

Want to learn more about how Kudos Pro can help you save time and money while accelerating and broadening your impact?

Schedule your Kudos Pro demo

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