Guarding against the Grinch: How NORAD’s Santa Tracker helps Santa– and NORAD’s image

This time of year, there are two critical questions all good North American citizens are asking themselves:

  1. Why does the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) help track Santa—call sign “Big Red One”– every year on Christmas Eve?
  2. How does NORAD guard against the Grinch, Jack Frost and the Abominable Snowman to keep Santa safe on his Christmas Eve flight to deliver toys to good girls and boys worldwide?

For those who don’t know the heartwarming story of how NORAD starting tracking “the Big Red One,” read Part 1 of GPO’s NORAD Santa Tracker series, “Tracking ‘Big Red One’: NORAD’s Secret Santa Mission at which tells the history of how a typo in a Sears & Roebuck 1955 holiday ad and a military colonel’s subsequent heartwarming response to kids led to NORAD tracking Santa Claus. This post has become an annual tradition at Government Book Talk. Link to Part 1:

In our newest Government Book Talk blog post, “Santa, We Got Your Six!” NORAD’s Santa Tracker Goes High-Tech”, part 2 of our NORAD Santa Tracker series, you will learn about NORAD disguises a lesson about their serious mission and technology –from fighter jets to heat-sensing radar–in a fun presentation about how they plan to guard against the Grinch, Jack Frost and the Abominable Snowman as part of their mission to keep Santa safe on his Christmas Eve flight. Link to Part 2:

It also shows how to handle unreasonable attacks against your agency or program, as NORAD used its established goodwill with the public and its social media savvy to nip a fledgling controversy in the bud about the use of fighter jets to escort Santa– something that had been done every year but that for some reason rose on social media this year.

All of this gives a really good lesson for all Government organizations that showing compassion for the people and demonstrating passion for your mission can be the best possible boost for your organization’s morale, public relations and overall brand image, and make you impervious to attacks by monsters– whether they are the media, the public or the Abominable Snowman!

Happy holidays from all of us at the Government Printing Office’s U.S. Government Bookstore!

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