Communications timeline and milestones for dissemination of trial results
Revisit your initial communications strategy with dissemination in mind.
- Identify new needs and opportunities.
- Consider your goal, audience, medium, and execution.
Establish a dissemination planning team and a decision-making policy.
- In addition to your existing communications team, you may want to involve additional stakeholders, such as CAB members.
- With your team, discuss and decide which members will have decision-making authority.
As a team, discuss your dissemination goals and develop a written dissemination plan.
- Weigh the pros and cons of different release strategies.
- Establish your goals and priority audiences.
- Plan different activities for each priority audience.
Update lists, materials, and messages as necessary.
- Look over contact lists; ensure they are current and accurate.
- Account for any changes that have occurred since the start of your trial that may affect your dissemination strategy.
Determine the timing of the announcement.
- Choose a tentative release date.
- Decide when to release the results to various stakeholders: staff, participants, sponsors, etc.
- Identify events or other factors that may affect your announcement strategy.
- Plan for various outcome scenarios.
- Discuss and develop key messages for those scenarios (positive, neutral, and negative).
- Share each scenario; meet with site teams and other stakeholders to discuss implications of each scenario.
- Consider the ways each scenario might affect your announcement strategy.
- Determine “top line” (key) and supportive messages for each outcome; translate materials as necessary.
Manage pre-release issues.
- Put systems in place for when the results are known.
- Consider the needs of both global and in-country stakeholders.
- Determine the timing of the results for each group of stakeholders.
- Consider conference or publication embargoes.
- Plan the timing of media embargoes and press releases.
Orchestrate the public announcement.
- Implement your announcement strategy.
- Consider holding a local announcement event.
- Use different approaches for different stakeholders.
- Monitor news media and correct inaccuracies.
Manage post-announcement dissemination activities.
- Continue to monitor media and community concerns; respond when appropriate.
- If you so choose, submit a manuscript to a scientific journal.
- Plan appropriate meetings to involve stakeholders in determining the implications and applications of the results.
- Promote the application of the findings; involve stakeholders in planning, implementing, and evaluating the application of the results.