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Friday, June 13, 2008

More on Strategic Communication and New Media

This is from a TTI for a class I'm to conduct.
The growth of social networking sites in the past few years has created both challenges and opportunities for the military. To the positive, these sites provide a unique venue to target those in the primary recruiting age (18-24). On the negative side, the growth of social networks on the Internet has provided a haven to radical Islamic elements and also provided them a venue to recruit members. Likewise, the growth of blogs, text messaging and other aspects of telecommunications comprise the every day lives of our young servicemembers. As communication advisors, we need to be cognizant and savvy communicators in this world. Today, we are going to spend some time discussing the positive aspects of social networking sites and other telecommunications trends and look at ways you as PAOs can use these tools to communicate more directly to young servicemembers and your target audience.
One strategic point; this is about more than recruiting. This is a strategic field in the battle of ideas. If our ideas are not in this battlespace we cede the area to the enemy. This includes not just recruiting, but all logistical support. All support stems from political will and if we do not provide a counter to the images and messages communicated here, we open a path to our flank which protects our supply lines.

Strategic Communication

What an interesting term. How to define it? Let's dissect.

From Merriam-Webster
1: of, relating to, or marked by strategy
2 a: necessary to or important in the initiation, conduct, or completion of a strategic plan
b: required for the conduct of war and not available in adequate quantities domestically
c: of great importance within an integrated whole or to a planned effect
3: designed or trained to strike an enemy at the sources of its military, economic, or political power

1: an act or instance of transmitting
2 a: information
b: a verbal or written message
3 a: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior ; also : exchange of information
b: personal rapport
a: a system (as of telephones) for communicating
b: a system of routes for moving troops, supplies, and vehicles
c: personnel engaged in communicating
5plural but sing or plural in constr a:
a: technique for expressing ideas effectively (as in speech)
b: the technology of the transmission of information (as by print or telecommunication)

Most of the combinations in these definitions would be confusing. It would appear that it primarily means to identify the critical elements of who needs to know what, when to successfully reach your goal.

Doesn't seem that difficult to understand, now does it. For some it seems an impossibility however. There appear to be too many combination options from which to choose. Depending on you occupation within the military, you come away with a different relevence to the term.