Media Challenge


Catch the attention of journalists on your research project

To help research work stand out in the public arena, communications departments of research or academic institutions often resort to writing and distributing press releases, which are then sent to different media and eventually form the basis of an article or news report. But the media are overwhelmed with requests: the assignment editor or desk officer will only read it diagonally. You must therefore go straight to the point and catch his attention efficiently. News releases follow a very precise structure and include must-have elements such as a lead, quotes and references.

To take on this challenge, you will thus need to put your communication skills to good use by first writing a proper news release*, that highlights the importance of your research work. Respecting the format and guidelines is a major part of the challenge. 

Then, on the day of the competition, you'll have the equivalent of an elevator ride to catch your audience's attention with a pitch-style presentation, which should start with a catchphrase, pick up on the key points of the news release and end on a powerful conclusion.



 Text : News release (step 1)

 Speech : Pitch-style presentation (step 2)

 Type of participation : Solo

 Length : Two (2) minutes

 Visual aid : One (1) static slide** or one (1) prop on stage

*Guidelines are provided in a separate summary sheet
**Devoid of any video, animation, or sound


Which aspects of a project should a news release highlight?

It could be, for instance:

  • the societal needs or healthcare issues it addresses;
  • the knowledge it brings;
  • its innovative features;
  • its capacity to promote the development of partnerships or intersectorial collaboration;
  • its expected outcomes or short- and/or long-term benefits.


Reference documents

Summary sheet - Media Challenge 

Advice Sheet - Media Challenge 

How to write an effective news release (FR) 

Press release example - Dos and Don'ts (FR)   

Summary sheet - Presentation rules 

Advice sheet - Delivering a great presentation 

Guidelines and examples of titles and brief descriptions 

Slide templates for presentations 

Science POP logo and graphic guidelines 

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