Award for social media science breakthrough

Winner of a national PR Award Peter Aitchison (second left),  with the judge and event host Hal Crittenden
Winner of a national PR Award Peter Aitchison (second left), with the judge and event host Hal Crittenden

Glasgow University announced its recent discovery of gravitational waves via social media, and by doing so it became the authorative voice on that aspect of science.

It is the first time that a major, complex scientific discovery has been communicated via social media only, and the decision made by Eyemouth’s Peter Aitchison, communications and public relations director at the university, looks like being a game-changer for the PR industry.

Peter and his team picked up a UK award from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations for their campaign.

After selecting the university’s PR team as winners, the judges said: “The team showed bravery by choosing social media as the only medium through which to communicate a complex message in a very time-sensitive way.

“Their well-thought-out campaign on a very tight budget was underpinned by their ability to react, respond and engage.

“The University of Glasgow became the most authoritative voice on this topic by utilising a wide range of social media platforms. The success of this campaign has changed the perception of social media and has created a platform for the future.”

Peter, author of Black Friday: The Story of the Eyemouth Disaster, said: “The campaign to promote the discovery of gravitational waves was enormously successful, achieving an unprecedented level of reach and engagement.”