Key Topics:

Know your vision and mission

The hallmark for any organization is its vision and mission. Taken together, these statements should clearly present an organization's programmes, operations and communications. All types of communication should, directly or indirectly, reinforce them.

The IAEA's vision is to be the world's center of cooperation in the nuclear field, working with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. This vision, expressed in the IAEA's Statute, serves as a guiding principle from which all IAEA's activities stem.

The IAEA's mission is its core business:

To accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose.

Three main pillars - or areas of work - underpin the IAEA's mission and, in turn, command our communications attention:

  • Safety and Security;
  • Science and Technology; and
  • Safeguards and Verification.

Find out if perception matches reality

Noted marketing expert Al Ries said it best: "Perceptions, not products" (or services). Organizations often overlook this critical point, or they acknowledge it in the planning process, then set it aside.

One organization I researched had a lingering problem: the public's perception of its activities didn't match what it actually did. Although the organization's mission, philosophy, and business plans reflected one set of attributes, the perception unveiled in donor surveys revealed a very different picture.

Does your organization suffer from this problem? Try this exercise: Approach two or more of your senior managers and ask them to define in one sentence what you do better than anyone else and why that's important. If you get an array of divergent responses, it's time to realign your mission statement, infuse those beliefs into the organization, and publicize them to the world at large.

-- Bill Nissim, Not Just for Madison Avenue: The Basics of Non-profit Marketing, November 2004


IAEA Statute

Next topic: Targeting your audience