Live blogging (and more) for a scientific meeting

MQ: Transforming Mental Health is a charity dedicated to funding research into all aspects of mental health. A core part of their mission is to build and grow a global research community which is dedicated to understanding, treating, and ultimately preventing mental illness.

One way MQ achieve this is through the Mental Health Science Meeting, their annual scientific conference which gathers together hundreds of researchers from different disciplines across the world of mental health.

MQ asked me to write blogs for the 2019 event, with the aim of simplifying and summarising the meeting for people who may have personal experience of mental illness but less knowledge about the research. A key message was to explain why continued investment into mental health research is need so urgently.

The blog support for the meeting came in three phases. First, I produced blogs to be published ahead of the event, introducing some of the main themes which would be on the agenda. I interviewed two of the researchers who would be presenting at the event, producing two articles which are relatively ‘stand-alone’. In this way, we shared the story of these brilliant researchers, and also gave readers the heads-up about the meeting.

During the meeting itself, I ran a live blog for MQ, allowing those who couldn’t be at the event to get involved and follow the latest research as it was presented. The live blog also served as a focal point for other content like embedded images, tweets, podcasts and videos, as well as signposting on to other articles.

I worked with the team at MQ to plan and write the live blog, making sure that readers could get the latest and most important information from the talks as easily as possible. This was then re-edited after the event to make it a useful summary that could be used on an ongoing basis.

Finally, I produced a ‘wrap-up’ blog to pull together the over-arching themes from the day. Whilst the live blog looked at the content of all the talks, this article connected the dots and gave people the overall key take-home messages from the event. Read it here.

Hannah Myerson, Communications Officer at MQ, said:

“Richard impressed all of us with his writing skills and his ability to communicate complex science in a clear and exciting way. He honoured deadlines, was flexible where necessary and went above and beyond our expectations by really taking the initiative to ensure that the digital user experience was as easy as possible.

“We were really excited to see how well the live blog performed – Richard’s work surpassed our benchmarks, both on page views and average time spent on-page.”

Read the full version of what Hannah had to say about working with me.

I really enjoyed working with the team at MQ, being a part of the event and learning about some really exciting advances in mental health research.