Social media – why do i care


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Presented at the Texas Military Forces Public Affairs Conference in Austin, TX at Camp Mabry

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  • Informal and interactive discussion
  • Not an expert except in my head. All self taught.
  • Dispatch – who reads it monthly? How many are Full time / M-Day?, how do you know when it’s out?
  • My interpretation
  • Social media – why do i care

    1. 1. Social Media – Why and why not? LTC Jonathan Pettit Public Affairs Officer Joint Force Headquarters
    2. 2. Disclaimer Please read all instructions and warnings before use. Must be 18 years of age or older to proceed further. Enter at your own risk. Do not enter. Stop here on red. Hostess will seat you. Trucks over 4 tons excluded. Void where prohibited by law. Some assembly required. List each check separately by bank number. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Use only as directed. For indoor or outdoor use only. Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly. We make no other warranties, expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee. Postal service will not deliver mail without postage. No postage necessary if mailed in the United States. Subject to CAB approval. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. See other side for additional listings. This product is meant for educational purposes only. For recreational use only. For office use only. For entertainment purposes only. Only 1 winner per household. Do not disturb. All models are over 18 years of age. Apply only to infected areas. If condition
    3. 3. TheaverageFacebookusers Source:spends 20 Infographiminutes on c Labsthe site pervisit. Fifty-threepercent ofusers arefemale, 43percentmale. Thereare 2.7billion “likes”every day.
    4. 4. 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!
    5. 5. 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?
    6. 6. 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
    7. 7. Social Media Explained
    8. 8. The Big Ones Facebook Twitter Linked In You Tube Flickr Who has each of these? Personal or unit?
    9. 9. The Plan Have a social media plan Many social media sites often fade away with disuse Think about  Audience  Messaging  Frequency  Organizations  Needs
    10. 10. Audience Potential recruits Current soldiers & airmen Retirees Families of soldiers & airmen Media Legislative / governor’s office / local leaders Emergency response personnel (first responders)
    11. 11. 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
    12. 12. 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
    13. 13. Organizations - References PAO Recruiting ESGR FRG JOC (OPSEC monitoring) Texas Military Forces Museum NGB Other state agencies Who else needs to know?
    14. 14. 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
    15. 15. 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
    16. 16. 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,, 7 Tips for Better Social Media Writing
    17. 17. 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”
    18. 18. 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?
    19. 19. 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
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. Public Posting Rules Poster expectations / rules to the public Terms of use DRAFT
    22. 22. Resources Manpower – 1 FTE? Best with 2-4 administrators Cost Equipment Policies & procedures “Care and feeding” of social media
    23. 23. 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”
    24. 24. Where can you find us?!/TXMilitaryForce