“Connecting the Dots”

ASTM International tells the story of its mission in a powerful new 90-second video.
Katharine E. Morgan


It’s easy to help someone understand how ASTM International supports them in their professional or personal life if you have about 30 minutes to talk. Our standards relate to so many industries and consumer products that you’re bound to make a connection.

It’s much more challenging in just 90 seconds.

But when our board and I asked the communications and marketing teams at ASTM International to try to “connect the dots” of our mission in a short, powerful way using video, they did just that.

Make no mistake, it was an arduous process.

Over the course of many weeks, they talked about how we could convey our mission in a way that resonated with our wide range of stakeholders, including members, customers, partners, governments, and the public at large. Then, they drafted scripts, cutting out jargon and boiling down key messages.

With language in hand, they fleshed out sketches and storyboards to blend the most effective text and visuals. And they chose a powerful strategic-communications strategy — storytelling — that would ensure that the video sticks in the memory of those who watch it.

Overall, they decided that the most effective approach would be to follow a single individual as she interacted with ASTM International in a number of ways:

  • As a member developing standards,
  • As a customer using our tools,
  • As a partner choosing to work with us, and
  • As a parent who sees the value of standards in daily life.

Here’s the final script of the video:

Whether you go to an office, a lab, or a worksite each day… you see how technical standards support quality, safety, innovation, and trade.

As your organization grows and industries evolve, standards must keep pace. ASTM International is open to anyone who wants to help create or update standards. Every voice is heard in our committees, where the world’s most respected experts develop the world’s most respected standards.

The Compass platform provides constant access to the latest standards across dozens of industries… with tools to help your team collaborate and make informed decisions. We’re also here to prepare you for accreditation or certify your products. Training and e-learning show test methods in action, providing the skills and confidence to perform tests correctly.

When your industry or nation needs a leader across all of these areas, we can be your partner.

For standards and all your needs surrounding them, we connect the dots – in your workplace… in your career… and in your daily life. Together, we are helping our world work better.

The commercial-quality video is now on our YouTube and social media channels. Please share it with your colleagues, peers, and friends, particularly when someone asks you about what ASTM International does or about standards in general.

In essence, this video is a tool to open the door to a wide range of conversations about standards and related services. It’s a launching point for answering questions such as:

  • How do I get involved in creating a new standard?
  • How can technology help me learn test methods on-the-job?
  • How can ASTM International help my industry or my country?
  • And much more.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues if you have any of those questions.

In closing, I want to highlight a part of the video that seems to resonate with everyone, regardless of whether they use standards in their professional lives.

At the end, the main character returns home from work, and she smiles as her daughter clicks on a bike helmet and rides off.

Our committees that work on consumer-products standards understand the significance of that heartwarming scene due to the ASTM International standard for bike helmets. In addition, the Safety Equipment Institute — one of our affiliates — provides certification services for helmets.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions as president is to do more of what that scene — and the entire video — does. I aim to “connect the dots” of ASTM International’s mission for more and more people. I hope you join me in that in 2018.

Post a note on Twitter (@ASTMIntl), Facebook, or LinkedIn about how ASTM International helps you or your organization “connect the dots” and we will send you a small gift.


Issue Month: 
Issue Year: