Strategic Communication for Social Scientists

Want to attend more than one COMPASS workshop? You can now purchase a class pass to save up to $50 per workshop! Learn more here.

Learn tools and strategies to help you effectively communicate your social science with diverse audiences.

As more people realize how interconnected people and the environment are, there is a growing need and opportunity for social scientists to engage with others about their work. And yet, translating social science findings into clear, concise, and compelling messages without losing the depth of their explanatory power is difficult. But like any skill, through training, practice, and feedback, we can all become more strategic and effective social science communicators. Grounded in science communication research and practice, this interactive virtual workshop will help you gain tools and skills to strategically communicate your work to diverse audiences. Over the course of three hours, COMPASS trainers guide you through techniques and tools that help you communicate your work in a meaningful and understandable way that can resonate with your audience. The workshop will also provide opportunities for you to put into practice what you learn through facilitated group discussions and small group feedback activities. By the end of this workshop, you will have:

  • A stronger understanding of how to build a meaningful connection with your audiences
  • Experience using the Message Box, COMPASS’s signature tool for breaking down complex topics into digestible, effective messages
  • A draft COMPASS Message Box of your own, on a topic of your choosing
  • A draft metaphor or example that helps your audience understand an abstract idea or process.
  • Feedback on your draft messages and metaphor/example.

By registering for this workshop, you are committing to active participation in the workshop, for the benefit of both yourself and the group. Please also plan to use a webcam whenever possible during discussion and breakout room portions of the workshop. Due to the progression of materials presented and the paired exercises, we cannot admit participants who are more than 15 minutes late. More information can be found in the FAQ page on our website.

Who could benefit from this workshop?

We’ve designed this workshop to meet the communication needs of those who use social science methods and approaches to understand social phenomena, but it is open to anyone who would like to build their strategic communication skills. Given our mission at COMPASS, the majority of participants who have been involved with our workshops are professional researchers, scientists, and science users whose work focuses on the environment, and many of our examples draw from this work. However, this workshop is suitable for anyone seeking to make their communication efforts more strategic and relevant for their audience.



Want to attend more than one COMPASS workshop? You can now purchase a class pass to save up to $50 per workshop! Learn more here.

FAQs – Virtual Workshops

I need to arrive late/leave early. Is that ok?

We are unable to admit participants who arrive more than 15 minutes late due to the progression of material presented. You will not receive a refund if you are more than 15 minutes late. If you unexpectedly need to leave the workshop during a portion of the event or early, we cannot guarantee we will be able to readmit you to the workshop, depending on how long you are gone. Part of the magic of our workshops is the peer feedback and peer-to-peer learning that takes place. To ensure that is possible, we need everyone to be present for the full workshop.

My webcam doesn’t work. Can I still attend?

A functional webcam is highly recommend, but you can still attend as long as you are able to verbally participate in group discussion and paired exercises in breakout rooms.

Can I call in to the workshop?

This workshop includes visual content viewed via Zoom screen sharing and browser-based content, so we do not recommend that you solely call in to the workshop.

Will the workshop be recorded?

No. For the privacy and comfort of all participants, this workshop will not be recorded.

Will there be other dates or opportunities to join a COMPASS virtual workshop?

Yes! To stay up to date on our virtual offerings, sign up for our newsletter.

What does it mean to be waitlisted?

We create a waitlist for workshops that reach capacity so that we can offer spots as they become available. If there is a cancellation and a spot becomes available, we will open up registration for the first person on the waitlist and then work our way down the list as other spots become available. We will contact you directly to let you know if a spot has opened for you.

What is your refund policy?

If you have to cancel up to 7 days before the start of the event, you will receive an automatic full refund minus the Eventbrite processing fee if paid through Eventbrite. If you cancel within 7 days of the event, you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel within 24 hours of the event, you will not be eligible to receive a refund. If you cancel within 24 hours, have technological issues during the workshop, or unexpectedly need to leave the workshop early, we will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not you can receive credit for a future workshop.

Can I transfer my ticket to another person if I can no longer attend the event?

Yes! Participants are allowed to transfer their registration up to 24 hours in advance of the event. There is no charge to transfer registration, unless there is a price difference between the tickets.

Can I purchase tickets for other people?

Yes! You will need to have the names and email addresses of the people for whom you are purchasing tickets. To complete the purchase, you may enter “N/A” for the additional questions in the order form. Once the tickets are purchased, an order confirmation will be sent to the purchaser and to each participant. The participants can then retroactively fill out the additional questions in the order form.

Still have questions?

Contact us at and we’ll do our best to answer them!

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