Throughout November, the work that Dr Andrew Mayers (a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, in the school of Design, Engineering and Computing) has been doing with children’s sleep has been receiving a great deal of attention on national television and on national and local radio. Over the last few years, Andrew has been running a series of sleep workshops with parents, in a unique partnership with Winton Primary School and Barnardo’s Bournemouth Children’s Centres. Over that time, there have been several reports in the local press about the work, but it is only in the last six months that this has received national attention, starting in July with articles in the Times Educational Supplement (TES: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6264998) and Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180003/Parents-offered-child-sleep-classes-pupils-turn-lessons-tired.html) and a live interview with Talk Radio Europe (http://www.talkradioeurope.com/clients/amayers.mp3). However, it is this last month that the attention has become more intense, with two features on national television and four live interviews on BBC radio (including one session at 12.30am!).
ITV Daybreak, November 1st: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd_OaMieSks
BBC Radio 5 Live, Drive show, November 16th http://www.andrewmayers.info/Radio5Nov162012.mp3
BBC Radio 5 Live, Tony Livesey late night show, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/Radio5Nov212012.mp3
BBC1 Breakfast/BBC News Channel, November 21st http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20423289
BBC Radio Sheffield, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/RadioSheffieldNov212012.mp3
BBC Radio Solent, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/RadioSolentNov212012.mp3
Andrew has been reflecting on these experiences. He said “I am extremely grateful for the incredibly hard work put in to these workshops by Pat Bate at Winton Primary School and Patrick Ives at Barnardo’s – without them this would not have happened. It is also testimony to the effectiveness of a good personal web page. Much of the initial media attention came about because a journalist was conducting research online about children’s sleep, and found my web page. The rest is history!”
Andrew’s website can be found at: www.andrewmayers.info
Andrew also said “Once a website like this is established, it is important to keep it updated, especially when there is a chance of media attention. A few days after the BBC features, I noticed that visits to my website increased six-fold in the first day, and is still well above normal levels of traffic. As a result of the media attention and increased web site visits, I have established several potentially very lucrative new partnerships with leading academics in the field, some with a very high profile media presence. I also received support and requests for collaboration with several educational psychologists and other professionals across the UK”.