Keep it simple stupid: the double S paradigm in communicating research

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given in my career in communication and PR was fair and square: “When talking about complicated research you have to keep it simple stupid”. This double S adjective (Simple-Stupid) is absolutely the best way to express how a communication strategist must be while communicating research. Only years later, I found out the the K.I.S.S. is actually a well known concept in strategic communications.

Albert Einstein used to say that “if you can’t explain it, it means you have not understood it”

“Simple” is too small. It is hard to get complicated messages across in a simple way. I.e. how can you explain a set recommendations related to economic or fiscal policy to somebody who doesn’t have any background knowledge on the topic. The answer is you also have to be “stupid.”

If you are not able to write in one line the main message of a research project it means you haven’t understood it. If you haven’t understood it, it means you can’t communicate it. Don’t try to fix and re-fix your lack of knowledge to pretend you know what you are talking about. It will backfire. Instead have researchers, or better the authors themselves to help you understand it.

You will look (and sound) better by saying “I would rather get a better grasp of this topic and come back to you” instead of starting mumbling and sweating just for the sake of saying something. It will affect your overall credibility and reliability for future projects and assignments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.