Digital Public Affairs Training at the US Defense Information School
US Army Public Affairs Staff Sgt. Joshua Salmons coordinates internet-based capabilities training at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) on getting the United States Army public affairs staff up to speed on social media, speaking truth to power, and advocating decentralized communications in a command and control organization.
I'm returning as the Official Podcaster of the Public Relations Society of America International Conference, where I'll be interviewing military public affairs officers who handle public affairs and manage PR agencies for this podcast.
Digital Public Affairs Training Insights
3:01 – Integrating digital marketing training into the Defense Information School (DINFOS) curriculum.
4:28 – How the US Army’s senior leadership uses public affairs and information operations in battle to manage public perceptions and the fundamental policy that every service member is a spokesperson for the US Armed Forces.
6:53 – How US Military senior leadership is responding in principle to the risks and opportunities of new media engagement and how middle leadership is applying social media on a tactical basis.
8:52 – The seriousness with which Major General Bergner and General Casey, as well as the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Coast Guard’s senior leadership, are acting to ensure that the US Armed Forces get social media right.
9:34 – Specifically, what the US Armed Forces are doing now with social media.
10:09 – How the media and blogosphere got the news about the US Marines Corps social media policy all wrong.
10:23 – Select US Dept. of Defense social media programs by the numbers (as of Oct. 15, 2009):
- US Marine Corps Facebook Followers – 98,945
- US Army Facebook Followers – 65,268
- US Air Force Facebook Followers – 8,125
- US Coast Guard Facebook Followers – 7,420
- Pentagon Channel YouTube Subscribers –140
11:20 – Social media is an information operations battlefield tool where public opinion is won and lost.
12:12 – Tia Nelson asks if the US Army is actively nurturing relationships gained in society and whether service members are conversing with civilians.
14:16 – US Dept. of State foreign service officer and former US Army infantry reservist Don Kilburg III asks if the US Army is systematically listening and if information coming in is being used to drive outgoing information.
16:40 – How Jack Holt, the US Dept. of Defense's social media analyst, explores social media tools tactical value.
17:37 – Theresa Christianson asks how the military monitors pictures that personnel post to social media services, given the potential security risks and the “grisly quotient.”
18:20 – How the US Army uses training and education to curtail and mitigate the security risk of social media, and why misuse should never be used as a justification for inaction.
20:08 – US President Barack Obama and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen recognize the risks of social media, but they see the benefits of establishing a secure, trusted communications channel as well worth that risk.
21:11 – The US Army’s operational security (OPSEC) strategy and training to offset the risks of cyber warfare and cyber-terrorism.
24:07 – Whether or not social media could be used to win the trust and confidence of the Afghani people in the current conflict.
26:08 – The attitude inside the US Dept. of Defense about the social media review that is expected to conclude this month and whether it will form the basis of an umbrella social media policy for all military branches sometime in the future.
27:12 – Mr. Price Floyd, assistant Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, greatly advocates social media and has talked about using past guidelines and widely moving forward.
29:37 – Tips on speaking truth to power.
32:13 – Advocating for a decentralized communications model inside the ultimate command and control organization.
33:51 – Balancing social media communications against national security.
37:00 – Will social media become a core component of the US Armed Forces training regiment?
39:10 – The use of Twitter, possibly by the Basaji riot police during the recent electoral protests in Iran, to trick Mousavi supporters into showing up at fake protest sites where they would be arrested.
40:58 – Will laptops and handheld devices ever be standard issue for service members?
42:40 – Reclassifying “social media” and “internet-based operations” to better communicate it value to all facets of the military complex.
43:29 – Empowering all service members to tell the military story themselves directly to their peers via social media.
45:20 — End