“One of the major new difficulties here is the vast canvas of the media landscape. No longer can audiences be divided into ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ as they have done in the past. Anything that is published can be potentially viewed by either the domestic or the international audience or in fact a multitude of different audiences with a variety of compositions. And yet, the old view still prevails in a number of communications campaigns. This comes unstuck when your international audience views your domestic output. Steve Tatham provided one example of a British Army advertisement showing British soldiers searching Muslims. This was part of a recruitment drive aimed at UK television audiences, but it had a detrimental effect when it ended up on Youtube, and was deemed highly offensive by some Muslims.” – Daniel Bennett reviewing the symposium How Insurgents Shape the Media Landscape. Read Part One and Part Two.
“We have rarely seen such a work of profound analytic fallacy as the now much circulated study “Baghdad nights: evaluating the US military `surge' using nighttime light signatures”, which has been making the rounds throughout the blogsphere as of late. ... such an assumption ignores much of the literal reality on the ground – valuing remote sensing over the contemporaneous and local accounts of human sources, military commanders, and reconstruction agencies that have lived through the tumultuous progress of the latter stages of the Iraq intervention. It also conflates economic indicators with stability and security...” Deliberately Ignoring the Human Terrain by Kent’s Imperative
“An informed public is central to a properly functioning democracy. As bloggers, you are now part of this modern day newsroom. You are deciding what stories should be posted without the benefit of a traditional gatekeeper in the media that’s often been referred to as the Fourth Estate. ... Bloggers play a vitally important watchdog role in the defense of democracy and the Constitutional order.” - LTG Bill Caldwell speaking to the Milblogging conference.
Related to the above, see the Combined Arms Center’s blogging page.
Treat audiences as investors was the message of a recent short post. This week I threw up another post (sourced again from H&K) about proxy engagement, which is fundamentally what public diplomacy is all about: talk to people, influentials preferred but not required, so they tell two friends, and so on like the old U.S. commercial. The firm behind the program in the latter post caught my mention of their client and followed up with me today to see if I needed more information. This is a ‘digital outreach team’ that is on top of it (GolinHarris, if you were wondering). That’s good follow up to promote the message and help it spread. This is where the Madison Avenue model really digs in but it’s also the approach that’s uniformly ignored by USG folks who invoke “Madison Avenue”.
“I think DMA is one of the most exciting things to happen to public affairs in a long time,” Hastings said. “It’s our opportunity to change the way we deliver news and information to our internal audience.” – Bob Hastings talking about the Oct 1 establishment of the Defense Media Activity. (h/t Galrahn)
Following up the testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, see