Army Commander Will Tweet From War-Torn Afghanistan

Telegraph, our source for this story, quotes Graham saying, “I would like to be able to give people a feel for the reality because it’s not all fighting, it’s not all bombs and bullets.”

Military officials around the world are understandably concerned that soldiers could create risks for themselves, their campaigns and others should they inadvertently share information on social media that would be useful to enemy forces. But the initial concern has been easing up lately.

The United States military recently reversed a general ban on social media that was imposed by certain branches such as the Marines. There are myriad caveats and potential exceptions, of course, but it’s a step for soldiers who want to stay in touch with friends and families while fighting abroad.

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Samuel Axon

A British army commander will tweet updates about life in the military while serving a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. It’s an unlikely task considering the life-and-death security issues involved.

The soldier is Lieutenant Colonel Dougie Graham, and he commands the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland — a sizable force of 450 soldiers. He’s currently in talks with his own commanding officers to work out exactly what he can and can’t include in his Twitter (Twitter) updates.

The battalion actually already has a Facebook (Facebook) page, so social media isn’t a new thing for them, but Graham hopes that a frequently updated Twitter account will help connect him and the men and women serving under his command with their families back home. Leer más “Army Commander Will Tweet From War-Torn Afghanistan”

McChrystal Clear: Basic Media Training

McChrystal: The Lessons

What lessons are there to take away?

1. As apparently General McChrystal didn’t or wouldn’t, remember when you are speaking to the press that you are speaking to the press. Obvious? Maybe not enough. If you are offered an interview opportunity that may seem attractive to your business efforts, do your homework. What is the publishing organ? Is it Time or is it tmz.com? That is, is it an organization which endeavors to be fair and objective and has a reputation to match? Or is it a shoot-from-the-hip medium which is only concerned about titillating its readers/viewers?
2. Then, who is the writer? Ask for published work if it’s available so that you may review the writer’s credentials and orientations. What you are doing is protecting yourself. But what you are also doing is impressing the writer that you did your own homework, and that you cared enough about the dialogue to familiarize yourself with the writer’s work.
3. And of this, remember: Writers are people, too, with egos. If you liked something the writer wrote, say so. It’s a great ice-breaker.
4. Then, in an interview setting, measure your words. You’re not going to lose your job if you say too little. But you might, like Stanley McChrystal, lose your job if you say too much. If you hear your mind caution you about a comment or revelation you might be about to make, think a couple of homely maxims: “Better safe than sorry.” And/or “When in doubt, leave it out.”


McChrystal by John Cass
http://pr.typepad.com

Duncan Christy is a colleague of mine, he is an editor of great experience, and he was inspired to write this article about media training from his years of experience as a journalist and the McChrystal story. He kindly let me republish the article here on PR Communications Blog:

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This exchange occurs very near the beginning of reporter Michael Hastings’ profile of General Stanley McChrystal in a recent issue of Rolling Stone:

“I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,” McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

“Unfortunately,” he adds, “no one in this room could do it.”

With that, he’s out the door.

“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides.

“Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.”

And with that we are off to the races of one of the most colossal misfires in the history of a subject cooperating with an interview. A disaster that cost an otherwise admired career officer his career and was a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, which had selected him specifically to lead a successful “surge” in embattled Afghanistan.

What happened? And, more to the point, how can you avoid this ever happening to you should you be a public person or a person speaking publically? Leer más “McChrystal Clear: Basic Media Training”

JASON ELLIOT / THE NETWORK: VIRAL EMAIL PROMOTION

Now we are well aware that all of you lovely connected people will no doubt receive umpteen forwarded emails every day, bearing constantly amended titles such as: ‘You have to check this out’, or ‘So so funny – you have to read’ or the ever-intriguing ‘Awesome Friday fun LOL’.

Obviously, the clearly fake sarcastic email correspondance between a man and his uncooperative insurance company or pictures of cats on trampolines (can I haz bounce?) which follow, are almost always a dissapointment. Imagine our delight, therefore, when we were sent one that we actually enjoyed reading… [Más…]

It is perhaps no surprise that the copy was slick, sharp and engaging – it was keyed by a critically acclaimed writer, Jason Elliot. He is best known for his travel-based nonfiction, specifically, An Unexpected Light, Travels in Afghanistan and Mirrors of the Unseen, Journeys in Iran. His latest work, however, is something of a departure – a rip-roaring, Bourne-esque espionage thriller set just before the events of 9/11.

His email – sent presumably to most of the contacts in his address book – begins: ‘This message is to acquaint you with a new book released this week in the UK by Bloomsbury. It is not the kind of book I would normally read but, since I wrote it, I did have to study it quite closely.’

He follows by explaining, ‘Those of you who did not fully relish my last book about cryptic metaphysical symbolism in Persian geometric art will be relieved to know that The Network is a page-turning thriller. The terms ‘epistemological’ and ‘ontological’ do not appear. Instead, there are lots of details about guns, explosions, and descriptions of women from hot countries.’


JasonElliot_01.jpg

Now we are well aware that all of you lovely connected people will no doubt receive umpteen forwarded emails every day, bearing constantly amended titles such as: ‘You have to check this out’, or ‘So so funny – you have to read’ or the ever-intriguing ‘Awesome Friday fun LOL’.

Obviously, the clearly fake sarcastic email correspondance between a man and his uncooperative insurance company or pictures of cats on trampolines (can I haz bounce?) which follow, are almost always a dissapointment. Imagine our delight, therefore, when we were sent one that we actually enjoyed reading… Leer más “JASON ELLIOT / THE NETWORK: VIRAL EMAIL PROMOTION”