For Immediate Release: Sept. 8, 2010
By Tammy White
Office of Naval Research, Corporate Strategic Communications
ARLINGTON, Va.— When the Office of Naval Research (ONR) extended its annual call for Young Investigator Program proposals on Sept. 2, the 64-year-old organization reached beyond conventional channels to announce its fiscal 2011 program for university researchers.
It turned to Facebook.
Taking its science-minded message to the Web, ONR launched profiles on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube earlier this year. The digital media initiative is part of a multipronged approach to help ONR communicate more directly and quickly with partners across government, academia and private industry.
“Interactive media is the new ‘normal’ in how we network in social and professional circles, learn in the classroom or from a distance, and conduct business in a global marketplace,” said Dr. Walter F. Jones, ONR’s executive director. “ONR’s digital media portfolio reflects our stakeholders’ growing demand for real-time information and connectivity in an increasingly networked environment.”
And ONR is expanding its network.
At the end of August, ONR tweeted from the AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America Conference 2010 in Denver, and subsequently posted Facebook photos of robotics technologies from the exhibition floor. Leading up to the organization’s 2010 Naval Science & Technology Partnership Conference, ONR will host live Facebook chats with some of its key subject matter experts. The weekly series of question-and-answer sessions between ONR program officers and the Facebook population will cover a range of science and technology topics, including research areas touting funding opportunities as part of the 2010 Chief of Naval Research Challenge.
ONR is one of a growing number of naval commands using social media to collaborate with multigenerational audiences around the globe. More than 300 commands now participate on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flicker and Blogger, according to the Navy’s social media directory.
The move is more than a trend, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative sponsored by the Pew Research Center. In its April 2010 Government Online report, the nonprofit think tank reported that 31 percent of online adults have used social networking sites, blogs, online videos and other new media tools to access government services and information.
“Government interactions in the information age are often fueled by data,” wrote Aaron Smith, a research specialist with the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in the report published online. “Online citizens can—and often do—‘go to the source’ in their efforts to monitor government activities, evaluate the impacts of new legislation, and track the flow of their tax dollars.”
Using social media tools, ONR will engage with a broader audience, announce funding and partnership opportunities, sponsor online conversations with subject matter experts, debut new multimedia projects, and bridge the digital divide to online communities where future scientists and engineers interact.
Last year, the science and technology provider for the Navy and Marine Corps unveiled a redesigned Web site (http://www.onr.navy.mil), providing a fresh face for an organization that celebrated its 64th anniversary in August. Additionally, ONR manages the Navy’s Stem2Stern Web portal (http://www.stem2stern.org). STEM2Stern is a series of dialogues exploring ways to identify and attract young scientists.
Visit ONR’s communities online:
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officeofnavalresearch
• Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/usnavyresearch
• YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/usnavyresearch
• Stem2Stern: http://www.stem2stern.org
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning, and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.
# # #