Lessons from JSC

November 18, 2008

timothyjallen Says:
November 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Here are some of the “New Media” related suggestions that I formally made to Public Affairs at Johnson almost two years ago. This was part of a larger report, so – as Melissa said in our meeting – “Your mileage may vary”, but I’d like to share the thoughts as a way to further our conversation on engaging audiences… Comments (positive or negative) are welcome. >>>

Specific Recommendations

There are very specific and tangible steps that NASA can take as an organization to better ensure that we connect with our target audiences.


  • Ensure that NASA can respond quickly to changing audience demands by organizing PAO and contractor leadership and staff to create a balance between new media opportunities and traditional communications efforts.
  • Prepare to alter the organizational structure so that internal business functions and processes are aligned to support innovation in ways that mirror our target audience’s demands. (i.e. Create an internal “New Media” team that can not only identify opportunities, but ensure the technical processes are implemented in order to take advantage of those opportunities.)
  • Tap into the strengths of the Strategic Communications Framework that NASA’s Office of Communications and Planning offers, to ensure a consistency of “brand message” (rather than just thinking of the Communications Review Board as “font police”.)


  • Identify, connect with, and leverage those “key influencers” in the media ecosystem by devoting a portion of resources towards monitoring and participating in conversations about NASA online.
  • Develop partnerships with vendors who can provide reporting and analysis of such conversations.
  • Build proactive web content that leads web users to additional relevant content.


  • Educate NASA communications professionals regarding privacy issues and expectations from our audiences, and Intellectual Property guidelines.
  • Understand the legal requirements and expectations of privacy regarding collection and analysis of data, and be as transparent and clear about those issues with constituents who participate in those online conversations.
  • Use “Real NASA Folks” and “Real NASA Facilities” rather than elaborate sets and celebrities to get the messages across and keep things “authentic”.

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