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On Oct. 4, 1957, the Soviet Union declared the success of its space program after its Sputnik satellite was launched into orbit and successfully communicated with Earth. Less than a year later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was open for business and took on a communications strategy built on open communication with the public, sharing information about missions before they were carried out—successful or not. This was the antithesis of the Soviets’ strategy, which was to keep every project secret unless it was successful. That stark contrast is exactly what NASA was looking for. 

They accepted that successes and failures alike would be communicated far and wide because the American public was being educated about space at an unprecedented rate. At the end of the day, that awareness is what would keep NASA shooting for the stars. 

This is where public relations, marketing, and space became irrevocably intertwined. With space being a new frontier, and discoveries and technologies evolving at such a rapid pace, there is a need for constant education across key stakeholders about the risks and benefits associated with innovations and communicating them to the public. Additionally, with the rise of social media and the increased involvement of the private sector in space exploration, it’s inevitable that space tech companies’ higher demand for PR and marketing support will follow. 

Let’s explore the benefits of a strong PR and marketing strategy for space tech companies and how these new players on the universal stage can break through the sound barriers.


Educate the market through your company’s messaging


The work that goes into space exploration is nearly unmatched in complexity—it’s literally rocket science! Communicating complex physics, geology, and life sciences concepts to the everyday person is no easy feat, but this is where PR and marketing professionals specialize. They’re trained in translating complex topics into simple, impactful messages that leave a lasting impression. Those communications skills are crucial to educating policymakers, government officials and the general public about what space exploration entails in the first place.

While you’re educating the market and positioning yourself as a thought leader, you should also be honing your messaging and highlighting your differentiators along the way. Public relations and marketing pros can help you build a unique, impactful brand profile from the ground up, or review what you already have and help you pave a path forward. They can tell you what they’re hearing from other vendors, help you identify what really makes you unique, and tell a story that’s out of this world.

With how nascent the space exploration industry is (especially on the private sector side), there is immense opportunity to get in on the ground level, educate, and launch messaging that makes your company stand out before others even get on the radar.


Gain a partner in crisis communications


The space exploration market has the inherent benefit that most people find the industry beyond fascinating and have an active desire to know more. However, it’s also one of the most crisis-prone industries in existence. Millions watched in awe in 1969 as the first human stepped foot on the moon…and millions watched in horror in 1986 as the Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after liftoff, killing all seven crew members on board. Even before the rise of social media, hundreds of millions were keeping a close eye on the space program. 

In addition to what the everyday person may think of as typical space failures (explosions, failures to launch, etc.), there are sophisticated cyber threats that are becoming more pervasive as well. Hacking a satellite, for instance? Apparently not that hard to do. This could have impacts on network connectivity and is already being taken advantage of by global powers in geopolitical conflicts. 

Naturally, when you take into account an entire industry, especially one as novel as space, you are going to open up Pandora’s box when it comes to cyberattacks on the supply chain as well. As we all watch new and emerging companies make headlines challenging the space, so too do threat actors. And we don’t need to tell you that threat actors will attack for the sheer purpose of proving a point, flexing political muscle, or making a buck.

Needless to say, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you reach for the stars. That’s why it’s critical to have a trusted communication partner to mitigate the damage when the “Houston, we have a problem” message comes through.


Tell amazing stories


When a line of work is naturally awe-inspiring, it makes PR and marketing a lot easier. But the additional benefit, beyond profit generation and brand awareness, is that PR pros and marketers know what it takes to tell an amazing story—and they can make you the main character. 

By partnering with marketing and PR pros who know what makes the media tick, you can not only get your company on the map, but also drive awareness, position yourself as a true innovator in a rapidly changing industry, and showcase how your organization is helping to move humanity forward. 

The space technology industry is full of incredible opportunities, and society is just at the beginning of unlocking its full potential. Having PR and marketing services at your fingertips gives you an extra megaphone to break the news that has yet to be broken and tell the stories that make jaws drop. At the end of the day, we’re all looking for a heartwarming story full of wonder. Bring on a partner that has the expertise to help you share it with the world. 

Interested in learning how you can maximize your presence in the space technology market? Reach out to Merritt Group’s security or connectivity teams for insight into the latest trends and biggest opportunities. Or, check out our services page to learn more about building a comprehensive communications and marketing program.

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