Achieve impact by reaching new audiences 

In 2014, the Political Studies Association embarked on a new phase of development, PSA+, based on a renewed and reinvigorated emphasis on ambition, professionalism, and visibility. 

In 2015, Total Exposure was launched to bring top political research to new audiences, and at the same time help PSA members develop their communication skills.


What is Total Exposure? 

Total Exposure is a PSA initiative designed to bring international broadcasters and political scientists together around big ideas that showcase the discipline and underline exactly why the study of politics matters. Those big ideas could end up on TV or radio programmes in the future!

So, are you the author of a ground-breaking study that our wider society needs to know about? Are you struggling to get your research read by people outside of academia? Do you feel that your research would be better explained visually or aurally instead of by words on a static page? Do you have a big idea that you want to talk to broadcasters about? Total Exposure helps members of the PSA connect with the world of TV and radio with a view to get those big ideas out there. 

The challenge

Individuals or groups of up to four academics from the broad world of political studies and international studies are invited to submit a short written 'pitch' for a new programme for TV or radio that showcases an idea related to their field. This big idea should be based on a piece of your research or draw upon existing research examining an issue or topic. 

In addition to get the chance of getting an idea commissioned, the aim of Total Exposure is to create a fun and friendly environment in which academics at any stage of their career, from any institution and any sub-field of the discipline, can learn about the media commissioning process, develop the skills to add new dimensions to their career and - through this - promote the discipline for the benefit of all its members. 

The process for Total Exposure is very simple. Get involved by sending in your written idea pitch (or pitches) via our Total Exposure 2018 application form by Wednesday 21 November 2018. Ten submissions will be selected by a panel of commissioners from the broadcasting industry and the academics behind those pitches will be invited to sit across from a panel of media producers, commissioners and executives and present their idea.

Total Exposure is not a competition. There is no guaranteed prize, no guaranteed programme commission. It is, however, offering an opportunity to learn about interacting with the media and learn new communications skills.


What's new this year

Total Exposure 2018 will have a few new changes for this year. In years previous, Total Exposure was a lot like Dragon's Den with emphasis on the presentation and delivering a pitch in a very tight three minutes. Instead of standing in front of a panel, this year the shortlisted applicants will be invited to join our panel of commissioners and producers at the table and have twelve minutes to have a discussion with the panel about their idea. 

Total Exposure also previously encouraged applicants to consider the ideal media format for their idea in their pitch. This year, we're asking that applicants leave the format up to the media panel. Instead, applicants should concentrate on their concept or idea - the information they'd like to communicate, rather than how it should be communicated. 

We're happy to announce that this year we will offer a Total Exposure prep day with Cathy Gormley-Heenan, who participated in Total Exposure in 2015 and successfully had her idea 'A World Made of Walls' commissioned by the BBC World Service. The prep day will offer shortlisted applicants tips from Cathy about how to present their idea most effectively, how to talk to media commissioners and what might happen if their ideas are successfully picked up by the commissioners.