Dispatch – who reads it monthly? How many are Full time / M-Day?, how do you know when it’s out?
Social media – why do i care
Social Media – Why and why not? LTC Jonathan Pettit Public Affairs Officer Joint Force Headquarters
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TheaverageFacebookusers Source:spends 20 Infographiminutes on c Labsthe site pervisit. Fifty-threepercent ofusers arefemale, 43percentmale. Thereare 2.7billion “likes”every day.
Why social media? Immediate vehicle for “viral” information Instant communication Immediate response Direct engagement with followers Very inexpensive advertising Customer service and interaction Drive them to the website It’s expected!
TXMF – How do wecommunicate? The Dispatch – monthly Websites Various social media Do we Facebook or tweet about posted stories? Cross fertilization with other units Coordinated effort We want to drive people to our stories How should we communicate?
Basic Guidance Good news story for your unit – unit commander Public information release authority is still at State PAO Agency story – leave to the agency “Stay focused on your lane” Retweets or reposts are acceptable (and good) If there’s a question about a release, ask for approval
The Big Ones Facebook Twitter Linked In You Tube Flickr Who has each of these? Personal or unit?
The Plan Have a social media plan Many social media sites often fade away with disuse Think about Audience Messaging Frequency Organizations Needs
Audience Potential recruits Current soldiers & airmen Retirees Families of soldiers & airmen Media Legislative / governor’s office / local leaders Emergency response personnel (first responders)
Messaging Crisis / emergency SITREPs – communications Recruiting PR / PA for events, such as American Heroes Celebration, Octoberfest, Veteran’s Day Run, Blue Santa, etc. “The Dispatch” notification and where it’s posted Traditional media story notification – any article published by local, regional, or national media should be posted ESGR – stories about companies that support the National Guard FRG – information notifications, seems like there are a couple of these a week (family programs, sports tickets, deals, etc.) Command Information – current messaging, public statements
Frequency Responsive – though much of the response will be by the audience via comments, other NG states say that support requirements has been minimal Drive to the website or other applicable site –we want messaging to make fans go and check out the website (or YouTube, etc.) Minimum of once / day – 2-3 is probably better, but other organizations count Message relating to a NG family once / week
Organizations - References PAO Recruiting ESGR FRG JOC (OPSEC monitoring) Texas Military Forces Museum NGB Other state agencies Who else needs to know?
Details Need a contact list for escalation Need a list maintained who has admin access to account (limit to 2-4) Q&A / FAQs If you know the answer, answer the question; if you are not sure, then contact someone from the POC list Get the truth out – faster
Needs Opt- in (the audience chooses you) – they will drop you if you are not meaningful Interesting Relevant Topical Responsive To the point Fun / Entertaining
Writing Keep it short and to the point It’s not a press release Keep it fun, but professional Connect with your audience Avoid social media (texting) slang Don’t be too promotional Edit and proofreadFrom Social Media Roundup, www.us.army.mil, 7 Tips for Better Social Media Writing
Crisis Communication Twitter / Facebook Expect websites to go down due to overload “Get the truth out there first” Be quick, be helpful, be open Rules of thumb Acknowledge the problem Talk about what you are doing Tell the public what they should be doing Tell them what you are doing next “Bad news doesn’t get better over time”
Best Practices – Message Mix Family story Soldier’s story Anniversary stories (this time in history) Command messages Military deals / specials What’s another message type?
Rules of Engagement Be transparent Be judicious Write what you know Perception is reality It’s a conversation Are you adding value Your responsibility Create some excitement Be a leader Be professional regardless of the medium Did you screw up? Apologize If it gives you pause, pause
Risks Associated with SocialMedia Permanence Social media comments and conversations are “official” Perception is reality Some mistakes give credibility You are never “off duty” Select your administrators carefully
Resources Manpower – 1 FTE? Best with 2-4 administrators Cost Equipment Policies & procedures “Care and feeding” of social media
Conclusion Start brain before mouth (tweet) Is it something you would tell your mother or sister Read what you wrote before you post Timeliness is key Listen to the audience Balance “fun” with “mediocre”
Where can you find us? www.txmf.us/ twitter.com/#!/TXMilitaryForce www.facebook.com/TexasMilitaryForces www.flickr.com/photos/texasmilitaryforces/ www.youtube.com/TexasMilitaryForces