Commercial spaceflight trade group seeks to raise industry awareness

WASHINGTON: The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry trade group with members including Wyle Laboratories and SpaceX, is working with Makovsky & Company to raise awareness about the sector with the public, policymakers, media, and investors.

WASHINGTON: The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry trade group with members including Wyle Laboratories and SpaceX, is working with Makovsky & Company to raise awareness about the sector with the public, policymakers, media, and investors.

“This is a really critical time for the commercial space industry,” said John Gedmark, executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “People need to understand the role the private sector has to play in space and how helpful it can be in getting us there.”

It's the first time the Washington-based trade association has worked with a PR firm, he noted.

Makovsky was hired after David Rosen, a VP in the firm's technology and business services practice, started a LinkedIn group for PR professionals who work in the commercial spaceflight industry. According to Rosen, he shared some of his observations with Gedmark, leading to the agency-client relationship.

“I figured that this would be a good way for people in the industry, many of whom have lots of experience in others sectors, to connect with each other to share best practices,” said Rosen.

PR strategies and tactics have been in the planning stages since work began in April. To raise initial awareness about the industry, the PR team plans to use traditional and social media, as well as outreach to Washington policymakers, to target its audiences. 

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is currently using Facebook and Twitter but Rosen noted that Mavosky plans to add blogger relations and social community relations to the social media program, said Rosen. Long-term goals will also focus on the investor community.

“As a long-term effort, there's a real need for the investment community to recognize business opportunity in this sector,” he said. “Tax dollars are not going to be enough to achieve every goal the country has to get into space.”

Media outreach is targeted at news outlets that cover business, science, and government.

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