What can businesses learn from the way the International Space Station communicates?
In late 2017, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli hosted a live video link from the International Space Station (ISS). We were there to see it: members of the audience spoke easily and seamlessly with an astronaut who was 408km away – asking interesting questions and getting interesting answers.
But beyond the fact that talking to astronauts is inherently amazing, it got us thinking that communication is essential to most major scientific advancements. Space is, we assume, breathtaking, but it’s also probably quite lonely: being able to communicate with Earth makes all the difference – both in terms of the mission success (imagine how Apollo 13 would have gone if they had to get back to Earth by themselves!) and in terms of staving off isolation and homesickness. The scientific value would also be greatly diminished if we didn’t have access to real-time – or near-real time – communication and reporting.
And just as communication is key to the running of the ISS, it’s key to running a successful business.
It helps to avoid confusion, ensuring everyone is on the same page – both internally and externally. As part of a business’ communications team, it’s vital to co-ordinate messages across different business units or countries. This ensures consistency across the entire organisation, ensuring all employees know what kind of face the company wants to put forward.
On an external level, good communication helps your business foster a positive reputation, and it boosts awareness among customers and press. This could include press releases, thought leadership articles, whitepapers, or social media campaigns. When communicating externally, through whatever medium, the most important thing to remember is to cater to the particular requirements and desires of the audience.
Our experience with Paolo Nespoli emphasised that communication should not be taken for granted. Without it, space exploration missions would not run smoothly and business messaging would be less consistent – both internally and externally.
Is your PR strategy floating like a tin can? Planet Earth may be blue, but there’s definitely something you can do. Talk to our specialists in our successful science PR agency to take your communications to the moon.