Author(s)

Julian Gibson

Date Approved

10-8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Basso, Joseph

Subject(s)

Public relations;United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration--History;Astronautics and state--United States

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purposes for this comparative analysis were to (a) compare the efficacy of NASA media relations strategies according to NASA's stakeholders and (b) reveal if these media relations strategies have a causal relationship or correlation with U.S. space policy. NASA employees reflected positive responses to questions related to the efficacy of NASA media relations strategies and the overall communications philosophy of the organization. Journalists who report on NASA through traditional and online channels had mixed responses toward the organizations media relations efforts during crisis situations like the Columbia and Challenger shuttle disasters. However, journalists were very supportive of NASA's dissemination of information through social media platforms. Additionally, the author conducted an extensive review of volumes of literature related to NASA's media relations activities over a 50 year period. The facts revealed in the literature suggest the relationship between NASA media relations strategies and U.S. space policy has elements of causality and correlation. These elements vary according to factors like geo-political climate, inter-organizational communication, economics, and public perception.

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