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FCW : June 30, 2015
12 June 30, 2015 FCW.COM HOW IT WORKS When it comes to connecting with the public — be it on Facebook, Twitter or the silver screen — there might be no federal organization that can equal NASA’s success. How does the agency generate so much goodwill on a relatively tight budget? The answer lies in a bit of a paradox: following the rules but being flexible enough to roll with hashtags on Twitter and Michael Bay’s leaps of logic. The power of saying ‘yes’ to Hollywood “Don’t suck all the fun out of what you do,” said Bob Jacobs, deputy associate administrator for communications at NASA. When it comes to movies, NASA might have the cachet of space, but it lacks the outreach budget of, say, the Pentagon. Therefore, Jacobs said NASA’s cinematic power lies not in aggressive outreach but in saying yes to almost everything it can. Although the military is picky about the films it cooperates with, NASA has lent advice and support to a slew of movies that feature questionable — or flat-out wrong — science. For instance, NASA helped with “Armageddon,” the over-the-top aster- oid movie that starts with the premise that it’s easier to retrain oil drillers to be astronauts than it is to retrain astro- nauts to be drillers. The wormhole adventure “Interstel- lar,” “The Avengers,” time-traveling “Men in Black 3” and cartoon “Planet The space agency’s PR machine is second to none in the federal government. The secret: “Don’t suck all the fun out of what you do.” BY ZACH NOBLE A good story well told NASA: 1 2 0630fcw_012-025.indd 12 6/10/15 9:38 AM
June 15, 2015
July 15, 2015