So is it useful or not? (2010)

Whenever I sign up for a new social media site and play around with it for 5 minutes, I always try to determine how useful it is. Some social media sites are useful, some are a waste of time, and some of them are somewhere in between. So during a discussion today, the question was raised as to whether it is better to jump in early or wait for the best of the sites to rise above the rest. Personally, I like jumping...

Communication to the public in WWI (2010)

  I went to the National WWI Museum in Kansas City yesterday as part of a class I'm in on multi-national military operations. If you have never been there, I would highly recommend it. It is a top-notch facility that really brings to life the history of the events that led up to WWI, the war and the aftermath. What I zoned in on was the communication methods of the time. They have several hundred posters from that era including the 'Uncle Sam'...

A ‘timely’ release in the social media age (2009)

Social media means much more than just Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. It has changed what 'timely' means when we talk about 'accurate and timely' release of information. The general public expects much more information and transparency from organizations now, and the new norm is that information is released in real-time as it is happening. In my opinion, that is where the big challenge is for our profession. I got thinking about this topic when I read LTC Paul Fitzpatrick's blogpost about the Fort Hood shootings and...

The Media Snack (2009)

People just don't read lengthy news articles anymore. It takes too long and people are generally too busy. Short and sweet 'media snacks' are more likely to be read and digested by the average viewer in this day and age of information overload. The term media snack has been around for a couple years and is basically the 60-second media bits that we all see on most social media sites. So how do we produce products so they are more snackable? Text. No more...

An iPhone for every PAO (2009)

If I were the Public Affairs King for a day, that is what I would do. Every Officer, NCO and Soldier working in Public Affairs would get an iPhone. Here are some reasons why: Reason #1: Imagery. You're always able to have the ability to get still photos and/or video. 3 megapixels on the iPhone ain't bad. 5 megapixels on the some of the current Android phones is even better. Yes, we can have a small digital camera in our pocket,  but...

‘Social Media’ or ‘Collaborative Media’? (2009)

I recently had a discussion about renaming social media to collaborative media. The logic behind the discussion was that the term collaborative might be more accepted and understood by military and business leaders than the term social is. Using social brings up different mental images for some people, but they all probably have to do with parties, meaningless chit-chat, and other mental images. Those of us that work in PA/PR understand that personal and professional contacts are often mixed, and that maintaining and...

Public Affairs 2.0: A visual depiction (2009)

So here is my 'Public Affairs 2.0' poster. It is a 27X37 inch file, but of course can be reduced to print out at whatever size you want. I have placed two links below that allows you to download the high resolution jpg and png files. Background. I have a poster of Brian Solis' The Conversation Prism in my office which is a very good visual tool. I got thinking one day that it would be nice to have a version...

The Unit Twitter account (2009)

There was a recent CNN article describing the different types of annoying Facebook users, as if the author's way was the only way to 'correctly' use Facebook. The truth is,  there is no right or wrong way to use all these social media tools. There are different techniques, but what might work for one may not be good for another. So with that in mind, here is how I use Twitter for work. For the unit Twitter account, I stick the unit crest...

Providing a digital umbrella (2009)

There are two military sites out there that in my opinion are missing the mark, and both for the same reason. TroopTube and ArmyStrongStories are both good ideas that are somewhat flawed in their execution because they don't capitalize on the tools and capabilities that are already out there and being used by Soldiers everyday. Trooptube.tv was a site that is used to 'help military families connect and keep in touch while miles apart."  It also says, "The site is designed for...

Listen to what’s being said online (2009)

Here are a few tools to use on your unit websites that can help keep your 'ear to the ground' when it comes to monitoring what is being said about your commander, your unit, or any other number of topics. It is very important to monitor what is being said, just ask Dominos Pizza. (If you don't know of the recent Domino's crisis, here's a post from August). Yes, there are a lot more people out there talking and passing information...