Skip Navigation
  Print Page

Video Text Alternative: Inside the NICHD: How Has Communications Changed?

Skip sharing on social media links
Share this:

To view the original video, please go to

Video/Graphics Audio

Inside the NICHD:
How communications has changed over the course of Ms. Childress’ career

NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo
GRAPHIC SLIDE: Kerri Childress

Ms. Childress on camera.
Ms. Kerri Childress: When I started in communications—and I’m almost embarrassed to say this—we were still using mimeographs. I remember when the Selectric 2 typewriter came out, and suddenly you could automatically correct your typos. I truly thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I just thought this was the greatest invention ever. I have truly seen so many changes in the past 30 years in communications. Some of them not good, I’ll be very honest with you. It breaks my heart to see the demise of the daily newspaper. Every time I see a bookstore close, there’s a part of my heart that just breaks. So there really are parts of this movement that I find very difficult.

On the other hand, communications has moved into an arena that is moving so quickly, that has given the common man, the everyday person, the ability to be heard and the ability to hear others all over the world. The Internet, the websites, social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube—all of those have truly given the world the ability to communicate quickly, and to communicate personally, and to be heard. That’s actually extremely exciting. It also means there’s a whole lot of noise out there—that, as a communication professional, in an effort to put out specific messages—that you have to figure out how to get around. How does your message resonate in a way that gets around all the noise? And I’m very happy to say that a lot of that has to do with just the reputation of the National Institutes of Health.
Ms. Childress on camera. Ms. Childress: Just saying you’re from the National Institutes of Health gives you a level of credibility that makes your messaging a lot more important. But it’s also a matter of really understanding your audiences and how to push that message out to them. How do they need the message? How do you, how do you really translate this amazing research that we’re doing in a way that will then resonate with the population and have meaning to them? That’s all part of the communication role. And it’s a challenge. I won’t argue with anyone in that regard. It’s a very big challenge. But one that has amazing rewards if you’re successful.
Last Updated Date: 02/27/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 02/27/2014
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology