NASA's One-Year Mission Earns PRSA's Highest Honor

Congratulations to our client, NASA Johnson Space Center, for winning the 2017 Best of Silver Anvil Award. The agency's program, "Year in Space: Communicating NASA's Historic One-Year Mission from Space to Ground," won the Silver Anvil in the Integrated Communications category and a second Silver Anvil for Reputation Management. It was judged to be the best of all this year's Silver Anvil winners.

DPK Public Relations is proud to have assisted with spokesperson preparation connected to NASA's historic one-year mission. We worked closely NASA's Human Research Program in the year leading up to the mission to hone messages and refine storytelling strategies. We later media trained many of the scientists and researchers involved in the mission.

NASA Johnson Space Center's integrated communications campaign showcased diverse activities aboard the International Space Station and collaborated with TIME magazine to produce a series of products for TIME and TIME for Kids. If you haven't already watched TIME's documentary, A Year In Space, we highly recommend it. We've embedded the series below. The Primetime Emmy-nominated 12-episode series chronicled the mission, the thousands of people who work to support life in space and the families left behind.

The underlying story of the One-Year Mission is that a great deal must be learned about the impact on the human body (and on our ability to think clearly and solve problems) of prolonged periods in space before the next mission beyond lower Earth orbit. NASA is currently pursuing a long-term strategy for human explorers to travel to either Mars or an asteroid in the first half of this century. Such missions could require multiple years of space travel. Basically, the One-Year Mission was an important stepping stone to further human space exploration. Making these highly complex scientific inquiries personal and showcasing the individuals involved was instrumental in cutting through the information clutter, engaging the audience and building interest in and support for NASA's exploration activities. 

This is one of the many lessons other organizations can learn from NASA's impressive public relations achievement: if you want your communities to take a personal interest in what you are doing, you need people who are willing and able to open their lives to public scrutiny and tell their stories in an emotion-based way. It's not enough to report on data -- spokespersons must personally connect with the data and express their feelings in a way that is authentic and real.

Congratulations to the entire communications staff at NASA Johnson Space Center!

TIME A Year In Space