Post written by: Päivi Maijanen

In the ever more competitive academic publishing and funding environment, scholars are finding it crucial to improve their skills and tools needed to effectively promote their research. It is no longer only about the quality of research, but also about how well you can capture and retain attention. With this perspective in mind, we organized three ScreenME workshops in connection with the doctoral summer school of the European Media Management Association (emma) hosted by LUT Business School, Lappeenranta, Finland, August 14-18, 2023. The ScreenME workshops were designed to focus on pitching, writing, and publishing skills. The workshops were organized by Päivi Maijanen from LUT University and Heritiana Ranaivoson from VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Altogether 24 doctoral students representing affiliations from 12 countries came together to discuss their research, build networks, engage in various workshops, and, not to forget, to enjoy and foster new friendships, see Yearbook of the emma Doctoral Summer School 2023

The three ScreenME workshops were focused on pitching a research project, writing an excellent introduction for a research paper, and creating your own publishing strategy. The pitching workshop, inspired by the American reality series “Shark Tank”, was named “Bear Cave” – referring to the Finnish wilderness where bears are more common than sharks. In this playful competition, participants (divided into groups) developed projects on the topic of Media and AI and pitched their ideas to the jury with the aim of attracting investors and getting funding. The jury was chaired by Atte Jääskeläinen, President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The groups presented diverse innovative AI-driven product development pitches created with full enjoyment and creativity. “Bear Cave” pitching session was enjoyable entertainment for the audience as well!

The writing-focused workshop was facilitated by Professor Paavo Ritala from LUT Business School. The attendees were introduced to “the Magic Formula”, a structured approach to writing an introduction in just nine sentences and five paragraphs – starting with the first paragraph that sets the hook: why the study matters. This was followed by a session on publishing provided by Professor Paavo Ritala (Editor-in-Chief of R&D Management) and Professor Leona Achtenhagen (JIBS, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Media Business Studies). They shared valuable insights and tips for how to get published and how to create your own publishing strategy, emphasizing the balance between personal career goals and institutional expectations and demands. In addition, the students were seriously warned about the growing danger of papermill business in academic publishing. Papermills are unofficial, profit-oriented, and potentially illegal organizations aiming to “produce and sell fraudulent manuscripts that resemble genuine research”.

Feedback from participants highlighted the ScreenME workshops as informative and practical, providing valuable insights and tools to promote one’s research and enhance publishing chances.