The foundation of any effective communications strategy is a clear and concise articulation of the organisation’s vision and mission. From these, the organisation’s positioning, strategic themes and messages can be developed for use in all communications activities.
An organisation’s vison and mission derive from its strategic goals. In CERN’s case, we divide these into scientific and “beyond science” goals.
CERN’s scientific goals for the period 2017-2021 (as laid out in the Medium-Term Plan) are:
- to fully exploit the LHC during its high-luminosity phase;
- to maintain and continually update a diverse, complementary scientific programme serving a broad community, including contributing to long-baseline neutrino projects outside Europe;
- to prepare for a post-LHC high-energy accelerator project through design studies (CLIC and FCC) and a vigorous accelerator R&D programme (AWAKE and others).
CERN’s "beyond science" goals are:
- to be a politically neutral voice for science, advocating investment in fundamental research and evidence-based policy;
- to build further links with industry in terms of the transfer of knowledge from CERN to industry;
- to train a new generation of scientists and engineers;
- to inspire and nurture scientific awareness in all citizens.
CERN’s vision is articulated as:
To gain understanding of the most fundamental particles and laws of the Universe
This statement underscores the fact that CERN is first and foremost a research laboratory for fundamental physics. This is the "core business" of the Organization, around which all other activities are built.
The following statement articulates how CERN intends to achieve the above-mentioned vision.
CERN’s mission is:
- To provide a unique range of particle accelerator facilities that enable research at the forefront of human knowledge
- To perform world-class research in fundamental physics
- To unite people from all over the world to push the frontiers of science and technology, for the benefit of all.
This mission statement draws on the following keywords that encapsulate CERN’s raison d’être: Research. Innovation. Collaboration. Inspiration.
In the communications architecture, themes carry the platform for CERN to spread its messages and tell its stories.
Four themes capture CERN’s essence:
- Discovery through science
- This is reflected in the three strands of CERN’s scientific strategy.
- CERN innovates new technologies for high-energy accelerators, detectors and computing.
- CERN-based innovation have applications in other domains.
- Diversity in people
- People of more than 100 nationalities from across the globe work at CERN.
- Their academic and professional backgrounds are extremely diverse (science, engineering, computing and others).
- Inspiration and Education
- CERN trains the future scientists, engineers and technicians
- CERN motivates school students to pursue the study of science
- CERN inspires scientifically aware citizens