Blogwell San Diego Navy Social Media Brief (Feb 2010: links and data may be outdated)
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Blogwell San Diego Navy Social Media Brief (Feb 2010: links and data may be outdated)

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Presentation given by CDR. Scott McIlnay, Director, U.S. Navy Emerging Media Integration, at the Blogwell San Diego conference.

Presentation given by CDR. Scott McIlnay, Director, U.S. Navy Emerging Media Integration, at the Blogwell San Diego conference.

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  • Today I will coverNavy Social MediaOur MissionOur MethodologyThe Value Proposition of Social Media to the NavyProducts/Resources the Navy has developedOur Presences in Social MediaSome of the challenges we’ve experiencedFinally I’ll talk about the Navy’s use of Social Media for Operation Unified Response – HA/DR to Haiti
  • One of the first things we looked at was the value proposition of social media and we came to the determination that Social Media’s value to the Navy is that it makes the Navy a better service able to achieve its missions and objectives as a result of being a more open and transparent organization, having a more informed work force and families, and facilitating support from its advocates.We also looked at the value to….…the Commander.Immediate communication: The commander can get information immediately to target publicsTwo-way communication: The commander can receive near-real time feedback on information that’s distributedUnmediated dialogue: 100% of the message reaches target publics…the Sailor.Stay in touch with family & friends, regardless of location, in near real time quickly and easily and share experiences.Connect with their command, peers, and service in a way integrated into their life.Collaborate and seek out professional development with peers and mentors…the Navy Family.Stay in touch with their Sailor, regardless of location, in near real time.Connect with their Sailor’s command and understand their role in its mission.Connect with other spouses/family members and share sense of communityReach out to family service resources in a trusted platform…the Advocate.Connect with the Sailors, Navy communities, and commandsEasily receive timely information on their interests (ships, aviation, etc.)Connect with other advocates and share and feel part of that communityConnect with the Navy and feel part of the greater Navy community
  • We view Social Media as an integral part of a Communication Plan working in concert with other means of communicationOur methodology to approaching social media is to Listen, Plan, Engage, and finally Empower - all the while we measure what we are doing to better information our decisions.
  • So in order to provide support across the enterprise for the adoption of social media we developed a number of products and resources:1) Social Media Roadmap – The Roadmap was created for the RDML Thorp’s Call to Action at last year’s Navy Public Affairs Conference. It was written by a team of social media savvy public affairs officers that collaborated on it via Wiki. The final product is an executive summary on the importance of social media with a lengthy appendix on the use of specific social media platforms.2 & 3) One of the first things we did was establish weekly and Monthly Metrics Reports4) Social Media Directory (for registration & validation)5) Social Media Adoption Survey (How Social Media Impacts our Community)6) Social Media Resources Page7) Social Media Snapshot/Case Studies8) Social Media Slide Share9) Weekly Social Media Email (not pictured)
  • is the official website for the Navy and the touchstone for most of our social media - :Launched 1/13 as part of comm effort for Chief Petty Officer Rick WestSeveral sepcialize recruiting pages for Doctors, Nurses, and Nuclear communitiesNavyforMoms – a Ning based social networking site maintained by Campbell-Ewald on behalf of Recruiting CommandTwitter@NavyNews – stories from – planned to transition @NavyNews to an enterprise accountYouTubeDMA-Anacostia – Internal Finished ProductsNavy Visual News ServiceFlickrNavy Visual News ServiceNavyLive – hosted on the DoDLive blog hosting service this is the planned but not launched Navy Blog
  • We all experience challenges to implementing social media and some of these might be familiar.Our first challenge is …SecurityThreats to the Networks are realThreats to our service members are real-Two of the screen captures displayed are of blog posts discussing a direct threat from Al Qaeda not just to our ships but also to the Sailors on those ships and their families.-So we take the safe use of social media very seriously
  • While current policy permits the use of social media in the Navy there isn’t specific policy regarding how Commanders, Public Affairs Officers, and Sailors can use social media safely and effectively. There is also an internal debate ongoing on the extent social media should be adopted and the best means to do so? What role does our IT organization have in social media? What role does our public affairs community have? These roles and issues are being hashed out.
  • With everyone exercising the ability to potentially publish to a global audience there is plenty of opportunity for misteps. Operations Security (OPSEC) is vitally important in today’s connected world. This means that we need to ensure that everyone is trained on safe and effective use of social media. Developing and delivering appropriate training on Social Media will be a challenge for the Navy for the foreseeable future.By way of example, -Shortly after USNS Comort deployed, a link to a Fan Page for a Navy Doctor was advertised on the Navy’s Facebook Fan Page-The page was completely open to the world and included names & photos of the doctor’s family including his children.-We contacted his wife to let her know this and she had no idea that she had exposed this information to the world
  • Ships & Aircraft are expensive and the defense budget, is a zero-sum gain. While social media is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional media, and pocket change compared to some of the budgets in the Navy – none the less it’s new and it’s value has to be demonstrated in ways that leadership can appreciate and understand.
  • Leadership throughout the Navy do not yet fully understand or support the use of social media. We have some pioneers (ADM Stavridis, MCPON West) but for most, social media is just not on their horizon yet. We continue to build the case for the importance of using social media in the Navy one best-case example at a time. However …
  • If we can steam a 100,000 ton warship, with two reactors, surrounded by thousands of pounds of bombs and jet fuel, around the world and launch and recover jet aircraft from it safely than I am more than certain we can handle our Commanders and our Sailors using social media.
  • We have a number of examples of successful use of social media in the Navy. However, the most recent and dramatic example is the Navy’s use of social media during the response to the earthquake in Haiti that become Operation Unified Response.
  • Not long after the earthquake we began communicating immediately via existing media – (internal), @NavyNews (social) – not that we had much to say but to let people know we were aware and following the storyEstablished @NavyNews/Haiti-Relief Twitter list and #USGHaiti hashtag to take the lead in conversations on Haiti Relief and the US GovernmentEstablished dedicated website monitoring and analysis of social media
  • -We launched an unpublished Navy Facebook page and used it both to redistribute official content from but also as a platform for content specific to Facebook (Ex. Highlighing Specific Sailors Contributions)-We coordinated content with other Navy Social Media sites (Youtube, Flickr) and with content from
  • Interest in USS Carl Vinson skyrocketed overnightCoordinated with deploying units to synchronize and energize communication on existing social media For units without social media –guided them through setup or did it for them and bridged the connectivity gap when needed – posting and tweeting for them as required.
  • Social & MSM tracked Comfort’s deployment and our social media helped lead the coverage
  • Through “Blogger’s Roundtables” we were able to highlight the contributions of units involvedMany ships deployed with little notice and social media served as a means of staying in touch with families and keeping them informed.
  • Our social media efforts were complimentary to and coordinated to a degree with DoD and the other services.
  • By monitoring social media we were able to track the overall growth and decline of conversation about the Navy and Haiti (from 1/12 through 1/26)
  • Word clouds showed us the trending topics on specific days and overall giving us feedback on how effective some of our communication efforts were.Sometimes you are effective by what doesn’t show up
  • Both quantitatively through graphs like this and qualitatively through direct observation we were able to monitor the conversation as it transitioned from Twitter to the blogs.


  • 1. 0
    Department of the NavyOffice of Information
    Navy Social Media
    Integration & Strategy
    BlogWell San Diego
    16 February 2010
    CDR Scott McIlnay, APR
  • 2. 1
    Navy Social Media
    Value Proposition
    Operation Unified Response –
    Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief to Haiti
  • 3. Emerging Media Integration Team
    Established within the communication strategy and integration directorate as a proponent for social media and to develop a program for long-term sustainment
    The team: (1) CDR, (1) LT, and contract support (BAH)
    Our mission includes:
    Best Practices
    Metrics & Analysis
    Identify emerging trends
    Keep focused over the horizon
  • 4. Value of Social Media
    Value to the Navy -- social media makes the Navy a better service and as a result a service better able to achieve its missions and objectives.
    But it also provides value to …
    The Commander
    The Sailor
    The Navy Family
    The Advocate
  • 5. Social media: Part of a
    harmonized communication plan
    Social Media
    Publishing – Print & Web
    Personal Engagements
  • 6. Products & Resources
  • 7. Social Media Presences
  • 8. Challenges
  • 9. Challenges
  • 10. Challenges
  • 11. Challenges
  • 12. Challenges
  • 13. Challenges
    If we can do this …
    …then we can certainly handle this.
  • 14. Operation Unified Response
  • 15. First steps
    Twitter list mentioned by DoD, Washington Post, and White House
  • 16. Navy social media in sync
    62,581 fans within one week of Facebook page launch
    5,000+ “likes” on Facebook posts and images
    1,000+ comments on Facebook posts and images
    More than 15,000 clicks on links on Twitter posts by @NavyNews
  • 17. USS Carl Vinson brings U.S. relief efforts to the world
    Mentions of the Vinson went from virtually nothing to hundreds of posts in social media on January 13th
    7,000+ fans on Facebook
    1,429 followers on Twitter
  • 18. The world tracked USNS Comfort from Baltimore to Haiti
    Mainstream media and blogs covering USNS Comfort before we were active with social media
    2,132 followers on Twitter (over 100 followers before account was public)
  • 19. USS Bataan used social media to stay connected to families and bloggers
    Families stay in touch through Facebook and Twitter
    Bloggers were given direct access to USS Bataan Captain through Blogger Roundtable
  • 20. Navy seamlessly integrates communications with DoD and services
    Powerful images of the U.S. military services providing aid to Haiti circulate over mainstream and social media
    DoD is taking a particular care to have the most recent information, images and videos posted to all official pages (websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • 21. Navy’s social media supporting Haiti relief recognized across government
    White house blog post of ABH(AW) Lisa Gurnick, USS Carl Vinson (CVN70)
    Official DoD Twitter account mentions White House blog post
    White House Twitter posts mentioning and linking to official Navy social media accounts
    DoD Facebook Page announces @USNSComfort Twitter updates with link,
    @NavyNews listed on CNN’s Haiti list
    Facebook’s Government page featured Navy as trusted resource for current information and photos on Haiti relief (3 unique posts)
  • 22. Conversation about Navy in Haiti
    Mentions of “Haiti” and “Navy” Jan 22-Jan 26
    • US Navy prepares for Haiti
    • 23. 3 ships leave for Haiti
    • 24. Hospital ship eager to assist
    • 25. USS Carl Vinson arrives
    • 26. USNS Comfort leaves Baltimore
    • 27. USNS Comfort arrives
    • 28. Troops arrive
    • 29. Food, water reaching people
    • 30. US to send more troops
    • 31. Navy providing medical aid
    Mentions of “Haiti” and “Navy” from Jan 12-Jan 25, 2010
  • 32. Top keywords within mentions of “Haiti” and “Navy” for 0500, January 20, 2010
    Top keywords within mentions of “Haiti” and “Navy” since Jan 12, 2010
    Keywords related to Navy and Haiti
  • 33. Conversation matures throughout the week
    Jan 13: Navy’s involvement is mostly discussed over Twitter
    Jan 20: Conversation greatly expands with blogs, photos and mainstream news taking more prominent position
  • 34. Pastor used Twitter as means to coordinate activities in Haiti
    Sparked by Sanjay Gupta’s (+1million followers on Twitter) response after performing brain surgery on Carl Vinson that “there aren’t enough brain surgeons in Haiti,” Shaun King, a pastor, coordinated a team of doctors trip to Haiti only to find there is no place to perform surgery other than the USNS Comfort. Through Twitter, a frustrated Shaun King attempts to reach out to USNS Comfort to get the doctors on board.
    @ShaunKing praises work of USNS Comfort crew and restores credibility of Navy among his followers
    @NavyNews addresses Shaun King’s frustration and directs him to @USNSComfort on Twitter
    @USNSComfort reaches out to @ShaunKing and arranges phone call with BUMED to work out arrangements for doctors
    Sanjay Gupta’s 0730 show the next day does not cover the issue of doctor’s reaching out to the Navy
    6,500+ followers of @ShaunKing spread his plea across web
  • 35. Communicating the Navy Story
    External Media Reporting
    More than 9,400 news stories printed and aired nationally and internationally(as of 1000 26 Jan 10)
    Navy Visual News
    • Imagery distributed to national and international media
    • 36. 628 photos
    • 37. 9 hours of video
    • 38. 600% increase in traffic on Navy FLICKR page at peak on 1/19
    Social Media
    • Navy Facebook (66K fans)
    • 39. @Navynews (7.7K followers +10%)
    • 40. Enabled Twitter & FB accounts for:
    • 41. USS Carl Vinson
    • 42. USS Bataan
    • 43. USNS Comfort
    • 44. USS Normandy
    • 45. USS Gunston Hall
    • 46. USS Carter Hall
    • 47. White House highlighting Navy
    Total since Jan 13, 2010
    • 3.9 mil page views
    • 48. 125 Print Stories on
    • 49. 19 Daily News Updates
    • 50. 9 All Hands Radio Pieces
    Jan 19, 2010 (noon) through Jan 26, 2010 (noon)
    • 2.4 mil page views; 1:15 avg stay times
    • 51. 85 Print Stories on
    • 52. 13 Daily News Updates
    • 53. 6 All Hands Radio Pieces
    • 54. 6 Multi-media Pieces; 27 airings over
    Forsee : Avg 84; High 89 on 20 Jan
  • 55. Thank you BlogWell!
    CDR Scott McIlnay, APR
    Director, Emerging Media Integration Department of the Navy,
    Office of Information
    LT Lesley Lykins
    Deputy, Emerging Media Integration
    Department of the Navy,
    Office of Information
  • 56. U.S. Navy Sites
    Official Navy Website
    Navy Social Media Directory
    Navy on Facebook
    Navy on Twitter
    Navy Visual News Service on Flickr
    Navy on YouTube
    Navy Visual News Service on YouTube
    Navy Emerging Media on Slideshare