Communications Toolkit for Academics

Calendar

Many journalists and media outlets publish stories around major national holidays, remembrances, celebrations and pop-culture dates. Below is a list of current events or special dates about which your research or expertise could relate. These dates and question prompts can be used to help you generate ideas for blog posts, social media posts, op-eds, articles for The Conversation, or to be quoted in the media. Please contact Jessi Adler at jessi.adler@cabs.msu.edu if you are interested in writing for The Conversation or being listed as an expert for one of the below topics. 

Topic Ideas

JUNE

June 06 - D-Day anniversary. As the number of WWII veterans continues to decline, how can we continue to commemorate the significance of this day to its full extent? What lessons were learned from the strategy behind Operation Overlord?

June 9 - 10th anniversary of the first iPhone. As the iPhone turns 10 and the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is held, it has been said that the company is not as innovative as it once was. Is this accusation true? How has the company’s innovative drive and vision changed since Steve Job’s passing? 

June 12 - First Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting. A year later and there is still no definitive answer to the motives of the shooting. Why do we desire to figure out the motivations of a killer? Why is this something the media fixates on? Is it a healthy desire to fulfill, or would it be better if the media didn’t acknowledge motives when they’re murky and based largely on speculation? 

Jun 12 - 30th anniversary of Reagan challenging Gorbachev to 'tear down this wall'. These historic words were almost never spoken due to national security concerns. What lessons did/can we learn from this speech regarding international relations, diplomacy and the President issuing ultimatums? Are there any correlations between Reagan and the way President Trump is currently handing international situations? 

Jun 23 - 1st anniversary of Britain voting to leave the European Union. With formal exit plans now in place, what can the UK do to ensure successful future relations with the EU? What financial implications have we already seen, or should expect to see? 

Jun 24 - Great American Backyard Campout. A one-night event for to camp out in their backyards or local parks. With climate change discussions and President Trump threatening to eliminate funding for national parks and monuments, how important is it teach children about the great outdoors? What are other activities families can do to learn about and appreciate nature? 

JULY

July 1-23 - Tour de France begins. The 21-day race is the most viewed sport in the world between in-person, TV and online viewers making it a prime opportunity for marketing and advertising. How can sponsors and other companies connect with viewers to keep them engaged, connect with brands and bring the race stories to life? Which companies are doing the best at this?

July 1 – Canada’s 150th birthday. This date marks 150 years since the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada joined to form the Canadian Confederation. How does a country’s history impact their present identity? How did England’s colonization, as well as France’s, define Canadian identity, in the past and present? How does that differ from other previously colonized nations?

July 5 – 80th Anniversary of Spam. The canned meat product gained popularity during World War II, which brought the product to countries around the world. Today, Spam is sold in over 40 countries and on six continents, and it’s become a common part of dishes in some Asian countries. What marketing lessons can modern brands learn from the widespread success of Spam, particularly in far-flung markets?

July 11 - World Population Day. This day focuses on the urgency and importance of population issues. The huge growth in the world population over the past two centuries is largely the result of advances in modern medicines and improvements in living standards. What economic, resource efficiency and migration implications might we see in the future due to this continued increase? How can access to essential services, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, be provided as people move to and live in urban areas?

July 26 - 70th anniversary of President Truman signing the National Security Act. The NSA was a major restructuring of the United States government's military and intelligence agencies following World War II and was intended to create a process that could withstand poor personnel, by ensuring the institution of the presidency was well-served by its national security agencies and could therefore make better informed decisions. Does this model still work today? Are U.S national security blunders the result of the process or due to politics and personal misjudgments? What can we expect to see from the Trump administration regarding national security procedures?

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