In China, long renowned are a series of quotes and published works by the late Chairman Mao Zedung. Mao said “I have witnessed the tremendous energy of the masses. On this foundation it is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever.” Mao had a firm belief in the strength of the masses to accomplish almost any task. Heused this belief and a strategic communications process to galvanize a nation of nearly (then) a billion people to institute a new form of government. Granted, he also employed military force, but the process used by Mao to capture a nation leveraged strategic communications efforts as a fundamental aspect of its success. Similar processes have been adapted for use in political campaigns, ideological and religious movements, and as an augment to political revolutions. It was Mao’s personal leadership and ability to leverage strategic communications that allowed him to “mobilize the masses” and capture a nation. That same process – strategic communications – is the foundation for mobilizing the nation(s) to drive humanity into space.
The document establishes a strategic plan relying on strategic communications efforts to inform, educate, and galvanize the broad range of stakeholders and citizens to develop a permanent presence for humanity off the planet Earth.
A well-planned and coordinated strategic plan systematizes the process of galvanizing to action policymakers, stakeholders organizations, and citizens towards a common objective. This strategic education and outreach effort includes the citizenry, government officials, non-government organizations such as academia, trade associations, media, businesses, and the aerospace industry.
Strategic Public Affairs Approach
Strategic public affairs involves the use of a variety of public and private communications mechanisms to advance the goal of acientific exploration and solar system colonization by providing accurate and timely data, using the means proven most effective for each critical audience. Perhaps the most important aspect of strategic public affairs is that the message must be consistent across all individuals, organizations, and associated forms of media. Public affairs, official media, public diplomacy, educational programs, organizational support and other activities all come into play. And all must have the same message. The organizing principle is to focus all of the above means in service of a broad strategic plan designed to promulgate the action of exploring the cosmos and establishing a permanent human presence off the planet. The strategic plan provides timeframes, goals, definition of success, and associated milestones.
Individuals and organizations leading this effort must promulgate processes for external and internal communications to support the strategic public affairs approach. Effective internal communications is critical to ensure participating entities speak with a unified voice when dealing with external organizations and individuals. External communications is designed as appropriate for each mission partner and audience.
The process for developing and implementing a strategic communication plan is inextricably linked to defined mid and long term goals for Solar System colonization. The large-scale nature of this project, and the strategy and tactics employed to successfully engage and educate the broad range of stakeholders requires a phased approach over several years. Specific phases include the following:
- Establish vision, mission, and goals
- Define objectives:
Identifying stakeholder base (citizenry, government officials, non-government organizations such as academia, trade associations, media, and U.S. aerospace industry). Identify and prioritize at global, national, and local levels.
- Identify stakeholder internal decision making and programmatic processes (e.g. Congressional schedule, election campaigns, decision panels, etc.).
- Product development. Develop media products in most appropriate form for each customer group.
- Coalition formulation. Identify organizations, institutions, and events offering opportunities to support effort.
- Scheduling. Schedule activities to afford maximum participation and impact.
- Program Implementation.
After program implementation, open and effective channels of communication must be maintained to relay evolving organizational goals and objectives.
Proposed program activities:
- The following activities are illustrative of communication mechanisms implemented through a strategic public affairs program.
- Conferences and workshops targeted at non-aerospace communities with a focus on building awareness among, and a cooperative relationship with, existing mainstream U.S. institutions dealing with space, education, finance, and related issues.
- Sponsor academic papers, studies, op-ed and feature articles, customer surveys, and appropriate dissemination (electronic and print media).
- Identify Space Chairs in middle schools, high schools, and Universities.
- Sponsor exhibits and leverage other events (e.g. education conferences, science fairs, city and state technology development functions, etc.);
- Briefing material and expert witnesses for Congress, public organizations, and media;
- Develop a Congressional breakfast program
- Regular briefings to Congressional Staff/Members
- Organization, mission, and functions briefing on Network broadcast;
- Newsletter on line & fax; Worldwide Web Page;
- Educational support (e.g. lectures) to interested citizens and grassroots organizations nationwide;
- Organizational representatives develop plans to integrate partnerships with stakeholders
- Disseminate information to mission partners
Program implementation requires a strategic plan designed to develop citizen interest and action with measurable milestones. An large scale effort of this nature could be defined over months and implemented in a few short years. These activities will be designed to impact decision making in significant media, economic, political, and global institutions. The measurable result would be funding and advancements in space scientific achievement and colonization efforts.
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