The Red Phone. Three words that instantly conjure an image of urgent, point-to-point communication. For more than a half-century, the red phone has played a central role in some of the most important moments in American geopolitics. Today, the iconic red phone is synonymous with immediate, effective communication.

This is our reference point for everything we believe about what communication should be. Whether it’s with our clients or their audiences, we make sure the ethos and intent of what the red phone stands for 
is reflected in everything we do. From a phone call to discuss a client need, to the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy, we’re working to create connection points that are innovative, and integrated. We believe that is the best way to ensure every element of your communications program turns into engaging, compelling conversations that build relationships, and inspire people to participate.
The agency model might not be broken, but after decades of experience leading and managing agencies, we think it could certainly use an overhaul.

The approach to organization and staffing has not appreciably changed since the first agency was formed, and now, more than ever, there is a need for a process that is more flexible, and more nimble. The fact is the traditional agency process and organization is wasteful, financially inefficient, and simply not the most effective way to create the content necessary to tell your story in real time, to keep your brand relevant and engaged with your audiences.

You need world-class talent, but it doesn’t make any sense to pay for them to sit at a desk in an office when they’re not working on your business. It’s time for a better, smarter way to meet your communication needs.

At Red Phone, we’re built to meet today’s communications needs, to keep up with today’s pace of business.

We've assembled a hand picked group of best-in-class people — vetted by years of first-hand experience — in every discipline, from strategy and planning to content creation, in any media channel. From that group, we’ll build a bespoke team, dedicated and uniquely suited to meet your brand’s communication needs.

Your team is on the case when you need them. Not on the clock when you don’t. Red Phone’s principals lead and organize everything, managing the team, workflow, content creation, development and delivery. You get world-class experience, expertise and just-in-time capability; cost-effective, efficient, and assembled to meet your unique needs. We get to deliver our very best 360 solutions, with no limitations or disclaimers.
On a night just before Christmas in 1955, the chief of combat operations at NORAD gets a call on the red phone. Thanks to a misprint in a holiday ad, it’s a small child looking for Santa Claus. More calls from children follow, and once the confusion was cleared up, command center phone operators are instructed to take the calls, and “act like Santa Claus.” And that’s how a wrong number call to the red phone at NORAD began the annual Christmas Eve tradition of tracking Santa’s sleigh.

This Christmas, there will be tens of millions of visits to NORAD’s Santa Tracker website. Add to that more than 150,000 phone calls and thousands of emails from excited children all over the world, fielded by a team of 1,500 volunteers at NORAD’s Command Center, and supported by a group of corporate sponsors including Sears, Google, and Microsoft. With the help of a quick-thinking Air Force Colonel, some creativity, and a clearly defined mission, a potential public relations disaster was transformed into goodwill, positive visibility, and one of the longest-lasting, most successful public-private partnerships in US history. 

If that’s not a textbook lesson in successful PR, we don’t know what is.
The first direct communications link between Washington D.C., and Moscow became operational on August 30, 1963. The very first red phone hotline message sent was completely devoid of any drama or intrigue. A simple sentence familiar to any student, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back 1234567890” 
is an alphanumeric phrase that uses all of the letters in the English alphabet and every Arabic numeral, and was used to test the teletype system’s accuracy.
Although we’ve come to know it as the “red phone”, the Moscow-Washington hotline never used a telephone line, or red telephones. The first generation, built in 1963, used two full-time duplex telegraph circuits, and teletype equipment. The equipment was never installed at the White House. The original shipment of four sets of teleprinters manufactured in East Germany were delivered to the Pentagon, and installed at the National Military Command Center.
The Moscow-Washington “red phone” hotline is tested every hour, around the clock. The content for the test message changes, American test messages have included excerpts from William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, encyclopedias, even a first aid manual. Tests from Moscow have included passages from the works of Anton Chekhov. Subject matter is carefully chosen, and must be free from innuendo or literary imagery that could be misinterpreted. For that reason, passages from Winnie the Pooh will never be acceptable red phone content, as a bear is the national symbol of Russia.
While it is true that the Moscow-Washington hotline does not use an actual red phone, several other government agencies have, or do currently. Among the agencies that have used, or are using red telephones and secure, dedicated phone lines for urgent, high-level communications: NASA, the Department of Defense, NORAD, and the Defense Red Switch Network.
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