Why use this guide?

In addition to documenting your findings in a research report and working out the Actions you want to take, it may be appropriate to actively share your research externally.

What is included in this guide?

  1. When to share externally
  2. Key groups of people to share your results with
  3. Methods of sharing.

When to share externally

Sometimes your research will be confidential or specific to your particular circumstances; however, often, there are others who could benefit from hearing the findings. Research needs to be actively shared with people in order to have maximum impact. This means reaching out to others and engaging them in your research.

Ideally, you should engage key stakeholders at the very beginning of your project – not just at the end when you’re sharing your results. Check out the working with stakeholders guide to learn more about how to generate ‘buy in’ from the start.

Key groups of people to share your results with

There are a number of people you could consider sharing your results with:

  • Participants. It’s good practice to go back to those who took the time to participate in your research and to tell them what you learned. This could be as simple as sending an email to the same database that you sent the survey to.
  • Peers. Sharing your findings with your industry peers is critical for the development of the sector. It helps others learn from your work, so they don’t reinvent the wheel.
  • Communities of interest. Depending on the topic of your research, there may be particular communities to engage with, such as the Arts Education community or Community Arts and Cultural Development network.
  • Public. Publishing your research report online and sharing it actively on social media can help your community engage more actively with your work.
  • Other key stakeholders. Funders, sponsors, a board. Talk to each to work out what will be most interesting to them.

Methods of sharing

Below are some methods and platforms you could choose to share your results:

  • Email
  • Sharing on social media
  • Publishing on your website
  • Sharing in industry press and newsletters such as ArtsHub and ArtsProfessional
  • Adding to culture sector research hubs such as CultureHive
  • Speaking at conferences or summits.

For important research projects you can develop a communications plan to help disseminate your findings. As part of this plan think about what information and level of detail is appropriate to share:

  • Everything – a full copy of your report, your action plan or even your raw data (unidentified)
  • A ‘public facing’ version of your report (excluding any sensitive or confidential information)
  • A short email or one-page infographic/summary outlining your key findings and the actions you’ll take
  • A PowerPoint presentation for a specific stakeholder or group of stakeholders.

When deciding who you’ll share your information with, there are some considerations to make:

  • What your research topic is
  • How involved a stakeholder is with your organisation
  • Whether some sections of your report contain sensitive information about individuals or groups
  • Whether some sections of your report contain confidential business information, such as salaries.