The term strategic is officially reserved for echelons that few in government will work in without winning an election or political appointment. Most military public affairs officers (PAOs) technically work at tactical and operational levels, not strategic. Echelon naming conventions aside, the best communicators think and operate strategically. “Strategic” is one of those seemingly professional … Continue reading Strategery: the Strategy of going Strategic
Last month White House Communication Director, Hope Hicks, became the latest professional communicator to make headlines when she admitted to lying on behalf of her employer. Honesty is a key value that PR industry codes of ethics demand, whether it be the Arthur W. Page Society, the Public Relations Society of America or the International … Continue reading Focus, Honest Capability Assessment and Geography Matters: 3 Fundamentals I have learned as a Military Communication Officer
Yesterday another school shooting happened. A monstrous human being used a gun to murder and terrorize innocent young men and women in Florida. This has happened before. As a nation, we collectively mourn and look for ways to direct our anger at making sure this never happens again. It is right and just to seek … Continue reading The Problem with Immediate Blame
The Army is the largest military service in the U.S. Department of Defense. The Army’s public affairs (PA) program traces its history back to Gen. Douglass McArthur. As a young officer serving overseas, he is said to have believed in the importance of communicating soldiers’ stories to the public back in the states. That directive … Continue reading Introducing Professional Ethics to the Army Public Affairs Program
It’s that magical time of year again: when political theater of the absurd engages in a “government shutdown.” Government shutdowns used to mean something to me. The first government shutdown I remember happened in 1995, during the Clinton presidency. A second 21-day shutdown in 1996 made much more of an impact. Federal shutdowns became more … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Shutdown!
“I’ve never convinced someone by starting off calling them an asshole.” That quote, or something very close to it, immediately engraved on my mind during a class discussion last summer. The instructor was sharing persuasive techniques during a lecture on how to write opinion editorials. In modern times, one cannot bring up the topic of … Continue reading Lose Your Civility Online in 5 Easy Steps
Approximately 41% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Of those, just over nine-percent keep them. Gyms across the nation will be flooded with people determined to lose weight next week. Most will drop off by February. If you make a resolution for 2018, the odds are against you. That’s why I stopped making resolutions years … Continue reading Ditch the Resolutions, Give the Gift of Dignity in 2018