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Big Stories in the Big Apple

6/29/2011-

by SIOP

SIOP Hosts NYC Workplace Reporters Luncheon
 
SIOP members shared their science, practice, and research in industrial-organizational psychology to an eager audience Monday during a specially invited New York City reporters’ luncheon for workplace reporters.
Anna Marie Valerio (right) speaks with a reporter.
 
SIOP’s Visibility Committee hosted the lunch at the Harvard Club of New York City.
 
Rob Silzer (left) talks with a member of the media.
SIOP members Greg Barnett, Ben Dattner, Alexis Fink, Chris Rotolo, Rob Silzer and Anna Marie Valerio represented SIOP at the event, discussing their careers and trends in I-O psychology, answering questions from the reporters and discussing potential story ideas.
 
Seven reporters from The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Newsday, HR Executive magazine, SHRM online, McKinsey Quarterly, and Portfolio.com attended the casual lunch, the purpose of which was to discuss some of the latest research in the field of workplace psychology and I-O psychology’s impact upon business and the workplace.
 
"SIOP and its members have important information that needs to be more accessible to the general public,” said Valerio, who discussed her career and interests in women in the workplace, among other topics. “This luncheon with the journalists was an excellent way to foster ideas and communication between SIOP members and the press."
Fink, Chair of the Visibility Committee, agreed the casual discussion format spurred good discussion.
“The in-person dialogue was really effective,” she said. “The workplace reporters who joined us were eager to take advantage of the research and perspective in I-O psychology, and the noted I-O professionals who joined did a great job translating technical concepts into everyday language.”
The event follows several successful media luncheons sponsored by SIOP in recent years. Past luncheons have included journalists from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Crain's New York Business, Inc. magazine, HR Magazine, Newsday, Money Magazine, Fast Company, and Dow Jones newswires.
 
SIOP member Alexis Fink (right)
The lunch did not include formal presentations, just an opportunity for reporters who write about workplace issues to meet industrial-organizational psychologists and discuss workplace research and trends.
 
“In additional to discussing current topics in I-O psychology, we also discussed how the SIOP administrative office can best support the workplace reporting community, what resources they will find most useful,” Fink added. “Both the I-O and journalist attendees agreed that the event was a good use of their time, and the fact that we continued quite a bit past the end of our scheduled time is a good indicator that participants were finding the discussions valuable.”
 
The journalists were not the only ones to learn something.

“One interesting thing I learned was the extent to which an individual perspective was important,” Fink explained. “That is, how an individual could apply what we as a profession study. So often, our work takes the perspective of the organization, and the discussion forced us, or at least me, to step back and reframe what we know in a way that it could be useful to an individual employee or manager. It wasn't too big of a leap, but it was an important one in terms of making our insight consumable to an audience we don't always spend a lot of time thinking about—individual employees and managers.”
 
Barnett agreed.
 
"One takeaway for me was how I-O Psychology sometimes forgets about the audiences that journalists are trying to reach,” he said. “We are so busy working with organizations, we forget to think about and communicate how are expertise can help the job seeker and employee in their own career pursuits. The meeting really highlighted how we need to do a better job of communicating what we do, what our research finds, and why it matters. It was terrific to have an opportunity to mingle with experts in another field, journalism. It turns out that we have the same goals around educating the world, but we have two very different approaches." 
 
Among other topics presented were SIOP’s Leading Edge Consortium in October in Louisville, KY, on the topic of the virtual workforce and a list of potential story ideas based on research presented at this year’s annual conference in Chicago.
 
Overall, the group felt it was a successful meeting.
 
Ben Dattner (right) talks with the press.
“The SIOP press lunch was a terrific opportunity for SIOP members to better understand the professional needs and interests of key media contacts and reporters,” Silzer added. “The lunch discussion was lively and engaging, and covered a range of content topics, writing challenges and ideas on how to stay connected in the future. It should increase the likelihood that these key reporters will see SIOP and SIOP members as a valuable resource for future articles.”  
 
SIOP’s other media relations efforts include a helpful “Media” tab on the SIOP website that provides reporters with information about SIOP as well as a Media Resources Service that lists thousands of members available to speak to reporters on a range of workplace topics. To be included in the Media Resources Service, identify your interests one of the designated I-O interest areas when you pay this year’s dues.
 
Questions regarding SIOP’s media relations can be directed to Stephany Schings Below at sbelow@siop.org or Clif Boutelle at boutelle@siop.org.