Monday, August 13, 2012

Question 6 -- NASA Communications

Do you feel that NASA is very good, moderately good or not very good at communicating its vision, mission and strategic direction to its stakeholders, including the public? Why? How do you obtain information about NASA (TV news, websites, Twitter or other social media, etc.). If you think NASA's communication strategy needs improvement, what specifically do you recommend? Why?

NASA must have it's mandate for outreach reinforced.

While NASA's PAO should be applauded for the work they've done in supplying data to the folks that actively seek the information, NASA must do better at spreading-the-word among the folks with less knowledge of it's goals-and-achievements.

NASA's recent-successes with publicizing the Curiosity-Mission's EDL-Event and similarly the ISS's capture-and-subsequent-berthing of SpaceX's Falcon-Capsule are examples of tapping-into the worldwide-following and enthusiasm that NASA generates. The publicity ensured these otherwise-engineering-triumphs continue to make the front-pages of major newspapers and news-outlets and generate discussions all around the world! Both are results of well-thought-out, finely-targeted, outreach-campaigns using modern-social-media-tools.  However, both also exposed that in today's world of 4sec-soundbytes, fast-video-edits and 27sec-attention-spans that NASA can do better at expectation-management. Exposure is a doubled-edged-sword.

NASA has the 'not-fully-exploited' potential to drive-ambition in our schools. The sixties and early seventies was a period when NASA was among, if-not-the premiere organizations-to-work-for. American-Education was concurrently-driven to be the best in the world, populating technology-hubs like Silicon-Valley and Medical-Alley. Even parents outside-of-America wanted American-Educations for their children, the results of which today are the many highly-regarded scientists, doctors, educators, engineers and other professionals that are naturalized-citizens whose contributions have brought an abundance-of-wealth for our country.

NASA should seek-the-authority to promote itself, and branding built upon it's reputation-for-excellence. A discreet NASA-brand that establishes the integrity of its products as up-to-date, science-based, facts.

Use NASA's data-and-brand heavily in textbooks for our public-schools. Build curriculums around NASA missions and objectives covering everything from basic-arithmetic to advanced-physics to civics and social-studies. Personally, I would like to see astronauts-characters replace some of the cartoon-protagonists that populate our pre-school and early-school textbook-illustrations. Lets set-ambition early!.

Efforts should be taken to further-promote NASA as one of America's shinning stars. A place every school-kid in the world wants to grow up to work at.   


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