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Pr Communications Process Analysis

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PR Communications Process Analysis Paper

MKT 438/Public Relations

October 13, 2006

PR Communications Process Analysis Paper

While communication to an organization’s internal publics is extremely important to keep an organization running smoothly, communication with external public is critical to an organization’s future and reputation. The goal with the communicating to the external public is to have a solid public relations strategy make positive contact with the public, increasing the organization’s reputation in the community and what their role is in the community. External public relations include publicizing the organization activities and building a good reputation for both its internal and external publics.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an organization that is constantly communicating with the external public. Everything they do impacts the future of our world and our very existence. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union's launch of the first artificial satellite. Today, NASA conducts its work in four principle organizations, called mission directorates:

· Aeronautics: pioneering and proving new flight technologies that improve our ability to explore and which have practical applications on Earth.

· Exploration Systems: creating new capabilities for affordable, sustainable human and robotic exploration

· Science: exploring the Earth, moon, Mars and beyond; charting the best route of discovery; and reaping the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.

· Space Operations: providing critical enabling technologies for much of the rest of NASA through the space shuttle, the international space station and flight support (

While NASA has made incredible breakthroughs in science; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first of 12 men to walk on the moon, and the most recent 2006 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. There has also many tragedies and failures such as death of crew members aboard Apollo 1 (1967), The Challenger (1986), and Columbia (2003) that NASA has had to explain to the external public. In the most recent tragedy, “The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas on February 1, 2003 during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere on its 28th mission, STS-107. All seven members of the crew were killed. The loss of the Columbia was caused by damage sustained during launch when foam insulation broke off the main propellant tank under the aerodynamic forces of launch. The debris struck the leading edge of the orbiter's left wing, damaging the insulating tiles. While the shuttle was still in orbit, some engineers suspected damage, but NASA managers limited the investigation, feeling that nothing could be done even if damage was found. During reentry, the damage area allowed the hot gases to penetrate and destroy the internal wing structure, eventually causing the in-flight breakup of the vehicle (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, retrieved from” While the other two disasters Apollo 1 and Challenger were just as devastating, the third time around many people were angry because they felt that NASA should have learned from its previous tragedies, however the governments immediate response to the families and the statements release by NASA investigation board were critical to their reputation and to the public. The Government as well as internal NASA officials did an excellent job in effectively communicating the tragedy and intricate details of what went wrong to the families, and the internal and external publics. President Bush carefully addressed the nation by indicating that as common as space flight may seem, “…it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket, and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the Earth” (President George. W. Bush). In a nation that has many cultures and religions, with many people not agreeing with Space Flight or tampering with nature, Bush tied both faith and science together by also stating the following, “In the words of the prophet Isaiah, Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."

Their immediate response in what happened, and how, inspired the family members of Columbia to write the statement below in respects to the launch of Discovery retrieved from,


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