7 August 2014, SKA Organisation HQ, Jodrell Bank, UK – Today the SKA Organisation is launching the SKA minisites, tailored versions of the global SKA website designed for local audiences and available in their language.
The move is part of an initiative led by the SKA Organisation’s Communications Office to increase awareness of the SKA in non English-speaking countries and give relevant SKA-related information to audiences.
The minisites, managed by communications officers from the SKA’s partner institutions in each country, will offer more tailored information and news to local audiences by focusing on the most relevant SKA facts for their country. “So for someone from the UK for example, their minisite will focus on the UK’s contribution to the SKA, such as SKA work happening in a lab or university near them”, says William Garnier, the SKA Organisation’s Communications and Outreach Manager.
For non English-speaking audiences, the minisites also mean gaining access to SKA content in their native language, facilitating their experience and their immersion into the SKA universe.
“One of the basic rules of communications is to reach out to audiences in their native language. Given the SKA’s membership – 11 countries on 5 continents – it means considering many different languages, from Chinese to Swedish, Dutch, German, Italian, Afrikaans and more as other countries join the project. The fact is, if you only communicate in English, you bypass a lot of people”, says William, himself a French national. “That’s why we decided to develop this tool, so people around the world could better connect with us and learn more about the SKA”.
The SKA minisites will also go beyond the current membership of the SKA Organisation to include countries with a strong interest in the SKA, such as Spain or Portugal.
“We also expect it to help with education, as teachers in non English-speaking countries will be able to introduce young students to the SKA more easily, using things like our translated Amazing Facts and other education material we plan to develop in the near future,” he adds.
Finally, the tool will also serve as a local point of contact for journalists who would like to get in touch with scientists or engineers working on the SKA in their country, to give a local perspective on the project.
The first minisites to become available include a Swedish minisite, an Italian minisite, a Spanish minisite and a UK minisite, with more to come in the future. With these, the SKA reaches out to over 9 million native Swedish speakers, 64 million native Italian speakers and 470 million native Spanish speakers in addition to the 64 million UK nationals who can now learn more about the SKA activities undertaken in their country.
The current minisites can be accessed by clicking on the active flags in the top banner of the SKA homepage, at skatelescope.org.
Mr Mathieu ISIDRO
Deputy Communications and Outreach Manager
Jodrell Bank Observatory, UK
T: +44 (0) 161 306 9681