Establish a Strategic Communications Team to Manage the Academy’s Goals, Vision, and Its Values and Beliefs in Support of NASA’s Technical Workforce
Recognizing the need to communicate the Academy’s products and services, the value the organization provides to NASA’s mission, and address the needs of key stakeholders, FedStar set up a cross functional team of APPEL contractors to propose, design, develop, build, and launch products, services and various communications that supports the APPEL Academy’s technical workforce needs.
In collaboration with multiple contractors supporting the Academy, FedStar established a cross functional team that
includes a curriculum lead, technical writer/editor, training support specialist, a representative from the program management office and a project manager to work together to successfully address the Academy’s communication goals that include:
- Developing and implementing communications plans for enhanced visibility
- Increasing awareness and involvement of specific, targeted groups of individuals
- Educating the Agency on the Academy’s capabilities and successes
- Generating support from practitioners, the public, and internal clients
FedStar established key performance indicators that enable the academy to visualize measurable goals, know when they have been achieved and to gauge progress along the way. Trends and analysis are reported monthly and offer opportunities for continued process improvement.
The Academy’s mission statement is the cornerstone of the communications plan developed for the Academy that drive the overall direction of all communications activities. In addition to the mission statement, FedStar identified five critical elements the Academy needs to drive strategy:
- An understanding of the target audience and how to reach it
- Messages to be delivered
- Materials to be produced
- Financial resources from which staff and equipment will be drawn
- A written work plan
- Project Management
- Business Process Engineering
- Federal Acquisition Management Support
FedStar delivered a communication plan, and established a diverse team of talented professionals designed to represent the multiple business lines that support the Academy's ability to meet the needs of NASA’s technical workforce. As a result, the Strategic Communications team has been instrumental in the design, development and delivery of the Academy’s website (appel.nasa.gov), an all new online course catalog (inclusive of course descriptions, instructor biographies, and introduction videos) and development framework. In addition, the team identifies, writes and delivers articles and newsworthy information shared on the Academy’s carousel located on the website homepage and distributes an online newsletter to more than 85,000 subscribers. Built-in evaluation components allow the team to check accountability and make improvements over time. Evaluation activities help the academy refine its products and services to address shifts in target audience, policy changes, organizational participation and public opinion.