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Tracking the Cycle of PA Success


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Title: Tracking the Cycle of PA Success

Tracking the Cycle of PA Success
  • Julie DeBardelaben
  • Deputy Director, Public Affairs
  • 2005 Summer National Conference

Mission Statement
  • To inform internal and external audiences of
  • Air Patrols national importance enable the
  • organization to grow protect the image and
  • of the corporation and strengthen relationships
  • key audiences and customers.

  • The Four-Step Process
  • Defining the problem. This involves probing and
    monitoring knowledge, opinions, attitudes and
    behaviors of those concerned with and affected by
    the acts and policies of an organization
    research and fact finding. In essence, this is an
    organizations intelligence function as it
    requires determining Whats happening now?
  • Planning and programming. This involves bringing
    the intelligence to bear on the policies and
    programs of the organization. It results in
    decisions affecting program target audiences,
    objectives, procedures and strategies in the
    interests of all concerned. This step in the
    process answers What should we do and why?

  • Taking action and communicating. This involves
    implementing the plans and programs through both
    action and communication designed to achieve
    specific objectives related to the program goal.
    With respect to each of the publics, the question
    is How do we do it and say it?
  • Evaluating the program. This involves determining
    the results of the program, as we are assessing
    the effectiveness of program preparation and
    implementation. Adjustments can be made in the
    continuing program or the program can be stopped
    after learning How did we do?

Ten Steps in Preparing a Plan
  • The Problem
  • Situation Analysis
  • a. Internal Factors
  • b. External Factors
  • Program Goals
  • Significant Publics
  • a. (Public 1)
  • b. (Public 2)
  • c. (etc.)

Ten Steps In Preparing A Plan
  • 5. Program Objectives for Each Public
  • a. ( Public 1)
  • b. ( Public 2)
  • c. ( etc.)
  • 6. Action Program Strategies
  • 7.Communication Program Strategies
  • a. Message Strategies
  • b. Media Strategies
  • 8. Program Evaluation

Ten Steps In Preparing A Plan
  • 9. Program Implementation Plans
  • a. Assignment of Responsibilities
  • b. Schedule
  • c. Budget
  • 10. Feedback and Program
  • Adjustments
  • Taken from Effective Public Relations by Cutlip,
    Center and Broom

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Goal 9 Continuously contact and educate new
    audiences through community relations programs
  • Objective 1 Continue community outreach through
    base tours, speakers bureau and interaction with
    chambers of commerce.
  • __ Hold a civic leader tour biannually
  • __ Visit area chambers quarterly to maintain
    strong community relations
  • __ Maintain active list of quality, motivated

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • __ Encourage senior leadership to speak to the
    community and participate in external community
  • __ Ensure all community audiences are identified
    and methods of communication are effective
  • __ Share AU and Air Force themes and messages
    with the community

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 2 Continue to build base tour program
  • __ Increase size of volunteer tour guide pool
  • __ Add potential tour stops to planning

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 3 Efficient handling of noise
    complaint calls
  • __ Aircraft noise complaints forwarded to
    appropriate office within one hour of call
  • __ Provide answer to complainant within 24 hours

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Goal 10 Communicate with and educate the public
    through aggressive media relations program
  • Objective 1 Energize and educate media to gain
    more balanced, thorough, accurate coverage
  • __ Conduct media orientations
  • __ Brief media annually on what PA can and will
    do for them in crisis situations
  • __ Ensure maximum disclosure, minimum delay

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 2 Aggressively pursue all positive
    media coverage
  • __ Distribute news releases, schedule interviews,
    media visits and photo opportunities whenever
  • __ Use AU and Air Force themes and messages
    during all media encounters

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 3 Educate disaster response team
    members about their responsibilities and PAs
    role regarding media interaction during a crisis
  • __ Brief off-base agencies annually
  • __ Brief on-base agencies at least annually

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Goal 11 Provide customers on-demand service
  • Objective 1 Ensure up-to-date fact sheets and
    biographies are posted on base Web site
  • __ Fact sheets reviewed and updated annually
  • __ Biographies updated within one month after
    change of command or promotion

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 2 Have current Economic Impact
    Analysis and other community information readily
  • __ Ensure office personnel know where to
    obtain EIA and other information in order to
    provide information to requestors on demand
  • Objective 3 Each office section will have
    updated continuity books (media, comrel,
    internal, security/policy review, admin)
  • __ Maintain continuity books so any office
    member can answer basic questions in short order

Excerpts from Air Universitys Public Affairs
Strategic Plan
  • Objective 4 PA staff will keep each others
    divisions informed of all high-vis events about
    which the office is likely to receive queries,
    i.e., Glenn Miller, July 4th, Air Show, etc.
  • __ POC will provide basic information to director
    and division chiefs via e-mail or place hard copy
    on all desks (Qs As, RTQs, news releases)

How to Set Up Editorial Board Meetings
  • A newspapers editorial section is among the most
    widely read and influential pages in the paper.

How to Set Up Editorial Board Meetings
  • Editorials that are written by the newspapers
    editorial staff are extremely influential in
    setting public opinion and mobilizing a community
    to take action.

How to Set Up Editorial Board Meetings
  • Editorial board meetings allow interested parties
    or groups to present their point of view on
    issues that are important to them and the
    community. The paper then takes these views into
    consideration when deciding what editorial
    stances to take and even what stories to cover.
  • Editorial board meetings usually include the
    editorial page editor, one or more editorial
    writers and often a reporter who covers the issue
    being discussed.

How to Set Up Editorial Board Meetings
  • To set up an editorial board meeting with your
  • Call or write the head of the editorial board at
    your local newspaper. Newspapers will know
    exactly what you are asking for when you request
    a meeting with the editorial board.

How to Set up Editorial Board Meetings
  • In most instances, their assistant will either
    connect you or ask you to send a letter or

How to Set up Editorial Board Meetings
  • Select up to four people to meet with the
    editorial board. You should assemble a diverse
    group to meet with the editorial board.

How to Set Up Editorial Board Meetings
  • Plan your remarks. One person generally acts as
    the spokesperson and introduces the issue. Your
    presentation to the editorial board should take
    no more than 15 or 20 minutes.
  • After the presentation, the members of the
    editorial board generally ask questions of the
  • Be sure to provide a media kit.
  • Taken from

Setting Up a Speakers Bureau
  • The speakers bureau is a means of providing
    speakers on request.
  • The subject matter usually represents a
    compromise between the speakers desire to
    express organizational views on important issues
    and the audiences interest in having informative
  • The speakers bureau is a valuable medium for any
    organization with something important to say to
    key groups of influence and community groups.

Setting up a Speakers Bureau
  • There are four points worth remembering in
    providing speakers to outside groups
  • First, carefully select and coach the line-up of
  • Second, select topics that serve the needs of
    potential audiences and carry the organizations
    story or positions on important issues of public
  • 3. Third, provide speakers visual aids -- flip
    charts, slides, overhead transparencies, films or
    videotapes and

Setting Up a Speakers Bureau
  • 4. Fourth, promote and publicize the
    availability of the speakers to appropriate

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • Rules for Good Media Relations
  • Good relationships can best be achieved by
    practice of a few basic principles
  • Shoot squarely
  • Give service
  • Dont beg or carp
  • Dont ask for kills
  • Dont flood the media
  • Keep updated lists

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • Specific Guidelines
  • Practitioners can profit from close study of
    these guidelines developed by an experienced
    counselor, Chester Burger
  • Talk from the viewpoint of the publics interest,
    not the organizations.

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • 2. Speak in personal terms whenever possible.
  • 3. If you do not want some statement quoted,
    do not make it. Spokespersons should avoid
    talking off the record because such statements
    may well wind up published without the source.
  • 4. State the most important fact at the

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • 5. Do not argue with the reporter or lose your
    cool. Understand that the journalist seeks an
    interesting story and will use whatever
    techniques necessary to obtain it.
  • 6. If a question contains offensive language or
    simply words you do not like, do not repeat them
    even to deny them. Reporters often use the gambit
    of putting words into the subjects mouth.
  • 7. If the reporter asks a direct question, give
    an equally direct answer. Not giving one is a
    common error.

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • 8. If a spokesperson does not know the answer to
    a question, one should simply say, I dont know,
    but Ill find out for you. With this, the
    spokesperson assumes the responsibility of
    following through.
  • 9. Tell the truth. Even when it hurts. In this
    era of skepticism and hostility, the most
    difficult task is often simply telling the truth.
  • 10. Do not exaggerate the facts. Crying wolf
    makes it harder to be heard next time out.

Rules of Good Media Relations
  • These guidelines simply add up to the rule that
    profitable press relations require adherence to
    the five Fs Dealing with the journalist and
    program producers in a manner that is fast,
    factual, frank, fair and friendly.
  • Taken from Effective Public Relations by
  • Culip, Center and Broom.

Introducing CAPs Hometown News Release Program
  • Sample Release
  • CAP Cadets Build New Plans at Aircraft
    Maintenance Academy
  • (name)_____________ of _____(hometown)___________
    was one of 21 Civil Air Patrol cadets who
    attended a new summer academy on aircraft
    manufacturing and maintenance.
  • The event was held July 16-23 at the Cessna
    Manufacturing plant in Independence, Kan.
  • During the seminar, the cadets, representing 14
    different state CAP wings, installed aircraft
    wings, upholstered seats, assembled fuel cells
    and painted new aircraft. They also went through
    the actual pre-employment testing administered to
    regular employees, safety briefings and rivet

Introducing CAPs Hometown News Release Program
  • The workforce was eager for us to get there and
    to show us their jobs. The cadets got to work
    hands-on, and they were impressed with the
    workers professionalism, said Maj. Phil
    Holbrook, project activities director.
  • Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the
    U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with
    almost 56,000 members nationwide and overseas.
    CAP performs 95 percent of all continental U.S.
    inland search and rescue missions as tasked by
    the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at
    Langley Air Force Base, Va. Its volunteers also
    perform homeland security, disaster relief and
    counterdrug missions at the request of federal,
    state and local agencies.

Crisis Communications
  • The basic principles of effective communication
    all apply during times of crisis. But when an
    emergency situation turns up the heat, these
    additional guidelines should help you and your
    staff keep your cool
  • Always return media calls. A bunker mentality
    wont make a problem or the media go away. So
    make it a point to get back to reporters -- even
    if they call more

Crisis Communications
  • than once and even if theyre hostile. The more
    cooperative you appear, the better.
  • Really Communicate. When youre talking with
    media representatives, that means both talking
    and listening. During crisis time, try to be
    informative, friendly and patient. And take time
    to listen, too. Reporters can provide you with
    useful information.

Crisis Communications
  • Dont antagonize the media. A sharp tone at a
    press conference, during a phone call or
    elsewhere can affect your future relationship
    with a media representative and any other
    reporters who may have overheard the
  • Hold the phones. Consider establishing a
    dedicated call-in telephone line for the media
    and other interested parties.

Crisis Communications
  • Particularly useful when incoming calls tie up
    your regular phones, a dedicated call-in line
    allows you to record on tape and easily update
    important news such as times and dates of
    upcoming media events, rumor control information
    and other newly acquired details.
  • Think about others. Consider how the information
    you release to the media may affect other
    sources. If what you say will

Crisis Communications
  • result in reporters calling other agencies or
    individuals, you need to call ahead to warn them
    of impending calls.
  • Share the spotlight. When talking to media, be
    sure to give credit to other agencies, groups, or
    individuals working on the crisis, including your
    own staff. But dont do so just because its
    courteous do so because it will enhance your
    relationships and reflect well on you and your

Crisis Communications
  • Take a proactive approach. If you acquire new
    information about the crisis, reach out to media
    -- even if things are frantic. Everybodys
    looking for a twist on the story that no else
    has. If you provide reporters with a special
    angle, it can pay off later.

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Crisis Readiness Test
  • For which types of crises are you prepared?
  • Community-related?
  • Accident?
  • Natural disaster?
  • Disease?
  • Crime?
  • Scandal?
  • Administrative or governance problem?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Have you drafted a crisis plan for your wing or
    unit ?
  • Is everyone prepared to use it when needed?
  • Who heads the crisis response team?
  • Have you distributed your crisis plan to the
    appropriate Wing administrators?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • 3. How fast can you assemble a crisis team?
  • Does your crisis plan specify the teams
  • composition for a variety of crises?
  • Do you have a crisis communications chain in
  • Have you identified alternate team members in
    case any first draft picks are out of town or
    otherwise unable to serve?
  • How will you communicate when power and phone
    lines are down?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • 4. Who are the members of your crisis team?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Who will speak for your Wing?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • 6. Do you have a phone notification list that
    includes the following key audiences?
  • Members of the crisis team?
  • Local agencies and outside officials?
  • Updated information for all media representatives?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Have you worked out the following logistical
    details in advance?
  • Potential news conference sites?
  • Availability of phone, fax machines and
  • Inventory of video and uplink equipment?
  • List of area hotels and motels?
  • Parking for media representatives?
  • Staff availability?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • 8. Are your media relations sound?
  • Did you work to build and maintain good
    working relationships with the media before the
    crisis hit?
  • During times of crisis, can your staff handle
    media requests calmly and truthfully in a
    relationship of mutual trust?
  • Does your PAO have direct, immediate access to
    your Wing Commander?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • How swiftly can you meet the following
    communication needs?
  • Get word to everyone in the Wing?
  • Develop a comprehensive news release?
  • Provide a news briefing?
  • Hold an informational forum?
  • Set up a rumor-control hotline?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Are your ties to the local community strong?
  • Neighborhood groups?
  • Police, fire, safety, health departments?
  • Mayor and town, county or state officials?

Crisis Readiness Test
  • Taken from When Crisis Strikes on Campus
  • Edited by Wendy Ann Larson
  • Published by Council for Advancement and
    Support of Education

Community Service Promotional Ideas for
Patriotic Holidays
  • By encouraging CAP members to become involved in
    community service on behalf of their units, they
    will be provided opportunities to render
    meaningful service.
  • A calendar of events can be established based on
    patriotic holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag
    Day, July 4th, Veterans Day and perhaps the
    anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight,
    as well as CAPs anniversary.

Community Service Promotional Ideas for
Patriotic Holidays
  • The calendar could cite suggested activities,
    such as participating in parades, helping out at
  • events (parking cars, etc.), and, whenever
    possible, performing color guard ceremonies at
    sporting events and other functions.
  • The possibilities are endless. Taking water to
    families that have no air conditioning in extreme
    heat, taking blankets to underprivileged families
  • winter, cleaning up playgrounds, and/or

Community Service Promotional Ideas for
Patriotic Holidays
  • participating in Arbor Day are all viable venues
    for engaging members, generating publicity and
    enhancing CAPs image.
  • Ideas provided by Linda Tynan, Creative Design,

Everyday Heroes Testimonials
  • Promote CAPs image by generating testimonials
    on members associated with events of national
  • Conduct research to uncover significant stories
    follow up on the status of these heroes today and
    the role CAP continues to play in their lives.
    The testimonials can also relate to natural
    disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Everyday Heroes Testimonials
  • Public interest in these testimonials can be
    measured by hits on the Web site and stories
    picked up by the local media.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • By Lt. Col Karen Copenhaver, Middle East Region
  • As a CAP Public Affairs Officer,
  • you must have tools to do the job of
  • public relations. There are many
  • published materials, guides, tips,
  • training/study guides and other types of
  • materials available to help you do your job.
  • CAP, the U.S. Air Force and the Public
  • Relations Society of America are resources you
  • can lean on for assistance and mentoring.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • Dont forget you can also rely on your own
    initiatives of taking journalism and public
    relations classes.
  • The following information provides some valuable
    tools that will enable you to enjoy your
    responsibility as a CAP Public Affairs Officer.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • Purchase a full set of CAP Regulations.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • B. Request a PAO Kit from CAP National
    Headquarters. This valuable package of materials
    contains many items necessary to begin your
  • C. Create a Continuity Book. This book is one of
    the key elements in being successful. It contains
    everything from the CAPR 190-1 (Public Affairs
    Regulation), CAPP 201 (PA Study Guide),

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • media lists, political contacts, local and
    community contacts, emergency services
    information (logs, state and local authorities,
    additional emergency service organization
    contacts) report forms, wing supplements and much
    more. This is a comprehensive three-ring binder
    of materials that support the Public Affairs

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • D. Purchase the Associated Press Stylebook. It
    is available at many bookstores and is the most
    acceptable book used in writing and editing news
  • E. Establish contact with your local Public
    Relations Society of America chapter
    (national Web site). It can be an excellent
    resource for learning and providing training for
    a group of PAOs.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • F. Use informational recruiting materials and
    the Annual Report to Congress, which are
    available from national headquarters to help
    inform the public about CAP and its valuable
    contributions to the community and nation.
  • G. Create or use pre-written public service
    announcements. These outstanding tools help you
    personalize information about CAP as an
    organization, invite the prospective member to
    join for specific jobs or tasks, and announce
    events your unit is hosting.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • H. An independent tool that many do not use is
    the local library. If you do not have public
    relations experience, you can check out books on
    public relations and journalism to enhance your
    skills. The more professional your work the

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • I. Establish a rapport with your local media.
    They are very willing to befriend you, especially
    in an atmosphere where you can explain that you
    and they have something in common -- a desire to
    provide news to the public. Ask them what type of
    information they need and want.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • J. Participate in public affairs courses through
    the Air Forces Air University and state and
    local emergency service offices (Office of
    Emergency Services). These courses enhance your
    ability to function in the day-to-day efforts and
    in the intense world of emergency services.

Tools of The Trade A Must For Public Affairs
  • K. Enroll in photography and journalism classes.
    These courses will provide better insight into
    nurturing good photography skills and composing
    well-written releases.
  • L. Subscribe to an online public relations

Multimedia Resources Available Online
  • Homeland Security Resource Video
  • CAPabilities Video
  • Advanced Technology Video
  • Commercials/PSAs
  • NCC Video
  • CNN Video
  • History Channel Video
  • Aerospace Education Video
  • Everyday Heroes Video
  • Radio PSA commercial
  • These can all be downloaded at
  • ftp//