Evolving the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Technical Communication Strategy

Report No. ARL-SR-0365
Authors: Jean M Vettel, Jennifer Mullins, Garrett Warnell, Karin Rafaels, Brendan Hanrahan, Chad Kessens, and Gabriel L Smith
Date/Pages: October 2016; 80 pages
Abstract: The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) must evolve technical communication strategies to enhance its mission. Benefits will include international recognition of ARL scientists, wider impact of ARL scientific accomplishments, easier recruitment of top-notch employees, attraction of more customer funding through strong demonstration of added value and enhanced tech transfer, and strengthened relationships with academic and industry collaborators. In support of increasing ARLâ??s impact, an internal ARL Technical Communications Working Group (TCWG) was formed to consider the following: 1) our audience, 2) our technical message, 3) how to convey that message, 4) how often to convey it, and 5) what outcomes we want. While nuanced answers are embedded in the Appendix, the TCWG consolidated their main findings into a 3-prong, near-term technical communication strategy. Prong 1: Modernize the Online Communication Strategy to enhance online presence and enable the active generation and distribution of ARL science and technology (S&T) advancements, and leverage established online S&T audiences; Prong 2: Improve Workforce Technical and Strategic Communications Skills to enhance strategic messaging and improve public communication skills; and Prong 3: Promote a Stakeholder Database to implement a stakeholder database (including names and preferences) and use a customer relationship management system to improve the consistency of communication with customers.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2016