Category Archives: Communication

NASA includes Social Media with Traditional Media for Budget Briefing

There we sat. Twitter users. No special badges saying we were “tweeps,” No special seating gallery. No instructions to just “observe” the “real” media.

The New Media Corp

NASA decided that this time, from the get-to of the FY2013 budget briefing at NASA HQ (2/13/2012), everyone in the room was media and was important. From the podium, Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Communications and the moderator for the event, explained:

This year we’re trying something a little different, as well as traditional media representatives, for the first time we have invited members of the social media community to be a part of today’s presentation and we’ll be taking questions via Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA.

NASA's Bob Jacobs

Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA's deputy associate administrator for Communications tweets a pic of the Media Corp at beginning of the Budget Briefing.

NASA acknowledged that social media is a valid means of media communication and should be included in briefings alongside the AP, Nature, Orlando Sentinel, and the other traditional media outlets represented. We were allowed to ask questions, to talk to Administrator Charles Bolden, Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson, and the other NASA officials just like anyone else in the room. In short: no second-class citizens in the media corp.

It was a very special time–not just for those of us in the room–but for the army of social media journalists who have waited for recognition and validation of their status as “real” media.

Lindsey Mastis recorded Bob Jacobs’ thoughts on the relationship between NASA and social media. You can read her report of the briefing here.

Communicating Your Message

If you care about something, you want other people to know about it. This means that the way you present your information is important because it can mean the difference between true communication occurring and boredom or confusion. Unfortunately, many presentations (especially at conferences) fail miserably at this task. If you think your content is important, you need to pay attention not only to what you talk about but how you do it.

Many people think that Powerpoint (or Keynote) presentations assist in communicating ideas and facts. It’s true that visual information that accompanies oral presentations can help — but it has to be done well!

Here’s a youtube video of how NOT to use Powerpoint.

And here’s a slide show that shows how creative visuals can supplement (not compete) with the speaker’s words. Ideas and information will be better retained when this kind of dual presentation is employed.

The creator and presenter of this slide show, Beck Tench, works for the NC Museum of Life and Sciences. Follow her on Twitter at @10ch