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Draft Formation Document for the NASA Communications Coordinating Committee (CCC)

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2007

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NASA Internal Use Only
DRAFT - February 6, 2007
Formation Document for the Communications Coordinating Committee (CCC)

Requirement - NASA requires an effective mechanism through which senior communications and outreach managers across the agency can come together to develop and implement a coordinated communications and outreach strategy. There is a need to create that mechanism in order to introduce a more strategic approach, to coordinate key communications and outreach activities performed by Headquarters, Mission Directorates and Centers, and to increase the effectiveness of NASA communications and outreach.

Purpose - The Chief of Strategic Communications, with support from the Office of Communications Planning (OCP), shall establish and support a Communications Coordinating Committee (CCC). The CCC will provide a coordination and implementation mechanism for NASA's communications and outreach efforts. It is envisioned that this group will help increase cooperation, coordination and resourcesharing to better leverage the agency's overall outreach mission.

Charter - The Communications Coordinating Committee (CCC) shall:

  • Provide a forum for senior outreach managers to exchange information on current and planned communications and outreach activities;
  • Develop consensus for a clear, overarching strategy for NASA outreach;
  • Ensure implementation of strategic goals and objectives;
  • Define evaluation criteria to assess current outreach efforts and guide future outreach planning;
  • Endeavor to integrate common messages and themes throughout the agency's communications and outreach products, projects and programs;
  • Periodically discuss, coordinate and update outreach to various target audiences;
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration and resource-sharing to leverage successful outreach programs and practices; and
  • Establish working subcommittees to more effectively coordinate and manage communications issues and programs.

Scope - The CCC shall focus on the development and implementation of a coordinated outreach strategy, ensuring the communication of a common NASA message(s) through mechanisms such as:

  • Exhibits
  • Speakers Bureaus
  • Communications Materials
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Other Outreach Events (Astronaut Appearances, Dedications, Capitol Hill receptions, State/local events, NASA Administrator speeches, etc.)

The CCC shall work to increase the effectiveness of NASA's overall outreach program by discussing and developing criteria against which specific outreach activities may be evaluated.

Membership - The CCC shall be composed of representatives from the following:

  • Chair - Chief of Strategic Communications
  • Assistant Administrator, OCP
  • Mission Directorate Outreach Leads
    -- Aeronautics Research
    -- Exploration Systems
    -- Space Operations
    -- Science
  • Strategic Communications Offices
    -- Legislative Affairs
    -- Public Affairs
    -- Education (someone w/ connection to ECC would be useful)
  • Center Representatives (for each of NASA's 10 Centers)
    -- Communications/Outreach Leads

Working Groups - The CCC may establish working groups to more effectively coordinate and manage communications issues and programs. Working groups will be created as needed and separate guidance shall be developed to govern the work of each group. The Chair shall appoint Working Group Leaders and consult with CCC members to determine membership of each working group.

Meetings - The CCC will meet quarterly, or at the call of the Chair. The CCC initially may meet monthly, in person or by VITS, as it organizes and begins its work.

Roles/Responsibilities -

CCC Chair: The Chief of Strategic Communications shall Chair the committee. The OCP AA shall provide support for the CCC through the Office of Communications Planning.

CCC Executive Secretary: The CCC's Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the Chair. The Executive Secretary shall develop agendas, in consultation with the OCP AA and the Chair, and send meeting agendas prior to CCC meetings. The Executive Secretary shall also be responsible for taking minutes and forwarding those minutes to the CCC within a week after CCC meetings.

CCC Members: Members of the CCC shall be senior outreach leaders from the respective organizations who can make commitments and decisions on behalf of their organizations.

Working Groups: The CCC may stand up ongoing and temporary working groups to provide coordination, evaluate particular issues, and/or provide recommendations for action to the full CCC. The Chair of the CCC shall appoint Working Group Leaders and identify working group members, who may or may not be members of the full CCC, depending on the expertise needed to accomplish the work of the group.

Operating Principles --

Attendees:

  • Normally limited to the official membership of the CCC (to encourage open and frank dialogue).
  • Each member may designate an alternate to act on his/her behalf if they can't attend.
  • Attendees will be senior leaders from the respective organization who can make commitments and decisions on behalf of their organization.

General Attributes:

  • Information is distributed in advance of the meeting - attendees are expected to read materials before the start of the meeting.
  • Issues are preferably identified ahead of time and will be addressed by the group
  • in an open discussion to ensure transparency and inclusion of the full Committee membership.
  • If participants have concerns with operations of the CCC, they may surface these issues to the Chair who would address the concerns in an open forum with the other committee members.

Meeting Logistics:

  • Normally meets quarterly or at other times as necessary as determined by the Chair.
  • Suggestions for agenda topics are forwarded to the Executive Secretary for inclusion.
  • Office of Communications Planning staff will provide logistics support in planning for and executing the meetings; however meeting presentations will be sent out in advance and attendees are expected to print out copies and bring them with them.
  • Final, signed minutes (that include action items and decisions) will be distributed to participants within a week of the meeting.
  • Agenda, most presentations & final minutes will be posted on an internal NASA site (note: some sensitive topics - like embargoed budget information - will not be posted or recorded in the minutes).

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