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.

October 3rd, 2013