I won’t try to sugar coat it: I am literally constantly impressed by the work that NASA is doing in terms of social media and digital marketing. How could I not be? After visiting the Dryden Center for their #DrydenSocial event, I saw how NASA is an organization that consciously keeps an eye on the evolving landscape of social media. From their NASA socials to the hundred of active Twitter accounts under the umbrella of NASA, their social media presence is one of the best on the Web.
The NASA Mars Science Lab Social Media Event
Well, it looks like NASA is back at it again. In conjunction with the landing of NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, they are holding a multi-location social media event. The social media event will focus on showcasing the Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity, which is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6. The announced NASA centers that will be featuring the event so far are the Ames Research Center, Glenn Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center and Langley Research Center.
NASA’s social media manager John Yembrick hopes the event will better connect NASA with the public. He told NMR:
“We’re continuing to look for new ways to provide the public an opportunity to participate with NASA. By holding multiple Mars-focused social media events around the country at the same time, we’re hoping to connect with more people than ever before through various online platforms. It’s also a great way to showcase the diverse work of the agency by highlighting our activities from around the country.”
The NASA social media event will be accompanied by a NASA Television simulcast with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Social media and NASA enthusiasts attending the event will be introduced to the ins and outs of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the corresponding field center that they are attending the event at. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the center in charge of the Mars Laboratory mission so attendees will be able to witness the landing of Curiosity front and center through simulcast.
NASA Reinvents Social Events
This event represents a new kind of social media movement for government organizations and social media driven companies. By creating a combined network centered around one massive event, NASA is increasing their social media presence exponentially. If NASA were to host a social media event at only one center, the social media reach would be limited to the event head quarters and only those in attendance there. What NASA has done here is multiply that number by six, thus increasing the number of people tweeting, posting and blogging about Mars rover Curiosity and the Mars Science Laboratory.
This has been an event that NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator, Bob Jacobs, feels will allow a maximum amount of people to experience the Mars landing:
“For some time, I’ve wanted to do expand the concept of NASA Social events to include more centers. Often, we’ve had thousands of people sign up for just over one hundred spots. While that’s exciting for the people who are selected to participate, it’s often disappointing to those who are not.”
The idea behind the event is not only to increase NASA’s social media presence but to get more people interested in NASA. “With the interest being shown in the August Mars landing of Curiosity, we saw it as an opportunity to get more people involved across the country. Between the technology that allows us to more easily bring people together and having 10 field centers across the country, we felt the Curiosity landing offered us a chance to expand the reach of what has been a very popular concept” Jacobs told me.
After visiting the Dryden Flight Center for their NASA Social event, I highly suggest that if this event is anywhere near you, check it out. NASA is looking to show the world that they are leaders in social media as well as technology and exploration. It is not an event to be missed.
To get a full list of event locations that will be hosting, you can read NASA’s official release for the event here.
Planning on making the NASA Social? We want to hear about it. Make some noise below.