NASA Shuttle Launch Public Relations Strategy

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If there is one thing NASA is really good at, other than space exploration, that’s modern PR. While in the past a shuttle launch was only announced via traditional media channels, including radio, traditional television and printed media, these days NASA opts for its own online TV channel, NASA TV, and other online video sharing channels, to broadcast its missions. Today’s shuttle launch from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida occurred at 8:56 a.m. and was seen by millions online.

NASA has its own channel at and also on YouTube. While not a novel way to raise brand awareness, there is no other institution using these channels more effectively than NASA. Having an onsite TV channel, and a YouTube channel ensures that NASA gets to sent its message to broader audiences.

Online broadcasting channels are just a small part of the equation. Now NASA’s employees are encouraged to use Twitter to communicate with their fans. For instance, shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly posted this message on Twitter before departure this morning:

Commander Mark Kelly on Twitter

NASA has a strong presence on Facebook as well, with a few specialized pages for each of its departments, and considerable numbers of fans, constantly engaged in the conversation – although NASA is more broadcasting news than anything else. But broadcasting value is what social media is all about anyway – learning, sharing knowledge, and yes, fun.

Below, a video of the launch of STS-134, as broadcast on NASA TV. Space Shuttle Endeavour lifts off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its final mission. Commander Mark Kelly and crew (Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori) will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station.

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