Survey results reveal communications training needs
7 February 2022
The results from the 2021-22 ARC West communications training needs survey have revealed the subjects people working in health and care research most want training in. Among the 224 respondents, the most popular subject was data visualisation and infographics, with communicating with commissioners and policymakers coming in second.
The survey was aimed at people communicating in the health research space. This includes professional communicators and those using these skills as part of their job, such as researchers or administrators.
Most of the survey’s respondents were researchers (145). Administration, management and support (36), clinicians (33) and communications professionals (25) were the next most common groups.
The five most popular subjects were:
Infographics and data visualisation (137 responses)
Communicating with policymakers and commissioners (115 responses)
Communications planning and strategy (101 responses)
Writing news, features and blogs and other writing styles (99 responses)
Zoe Trinder-Widdess, Head of Communications at the National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaboration (NIHR ARC West) and the Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), developed the survey. She said:
“Both courses were based on a perceived need rather than one supported by evidence – although their continued popularity six years later shows the need is there. But I felt that it was time to look at what other communications courses people would like.
“I was delighted by the response to the survey, which shows a real hunger for this type of training among colleagues.
“Next I hope to develop at least the five most popular subjects into courses, with help from other communications professionals in our field. I hope that other NIHR communicators can offer their skills and experience to the project.”
The survey ran from 3 December 2021 to 24 January 2022.