CENTCOM Public Affairs Engagement in AOR Media

Speaks_DET 2 0DET 2.0 CENTCOM Public Affairs Engagement within the AOR’s Emerging Media

  • Daron R. Weishaar
  • 11 pages
  • May 6, 2009


•(U) Performs tasks to counter extremist ideology, disinformation, and misinformation about CENTCOM operations and strategic engagement by participating in discussions on emerging media sites whose target audiences are within our AOR.

•(U) DET serves as a means to:
–Counter factual mis/disinformation on US policy and operations in the AOR
–Challenge assumptions on US motives
–Inform audiences of important news and facts missing from media coverage
•Current capabilities
–4 Arabic Linguists
–1 Farsi Linguist

•(U) Main sites engaged:
•Social media
–Arabic Facebook page launched

•(U) New Methodology
–Focus on sites with significant influence in the region
–Engage in Conversations
–Cease repurposing of press releases/video, unless they are of real strategic value (e.g., Mando Zayi bombing)
–Reduce DET man hours spent doing translation/editing
–Monitor sites for news and discussion of CENTCOM operations/US policy in the region and engage to counter misinformation, add value to discussion
•(U) Research
–Benchmark study of sites of strategic value to CENTCOM (i.e., popular sites that discuss policy areas in which CENTCOM plays a significant role)
–Review of languages most prevalent in the AOR’s on line communities
–Most popular blogs and news forums, as well as most influential bloggers and participants, with an eye toward biases and agendas.
•(U) Retooling the DET IAW research findings
–Add media relations skills sets to the team
–Resize DET IAW review results –language demands within the AOR
–Site visits to agencies for training (State Dept.’s DOT)
–In House media training
–Full integration with other CCPA functions and resources

•(U) Social Media Management Tools
–“Dashboard” tools, Alerts, RSS –minimize time spent searching for relevant posts
–Social Media measurement tools –benchmarks
–Ecosystem mapping
–Measuring influence
•(U) Timeline
–5-15 APR 09Orientation of DET on new ROE, CCPA integration
–5-15 APR 09 Initial site selection
–15 APR 09Begin 2.0 ROE;
–Summer 09Results of benchmark study
AOR social media review
–Fall 09Resize DET makeup IAW benchmark results
–Fall 09Implementation of Social Media Management tools

•(U) Issues and Topics
–Relevant to USCENTCOM activities (operations, policies, engagement)
–Policy issues
–Religious doctrine and other philosophical discussion (e.g., “what is terrorism?”)
–Internal political matters
–Regional political figures by name
–Criticism of governments or political figures –but feel free to engage policies themselves
•(U) Conduct
–Always provide factual information and let facts speak for themselves
–Information is attributable to USCENTCOM/USGOV
–Speak for USCENTCOM –minimize personal opinions
–Professional and courteous dialogue –no insults or inflammatory language
–Collaboration –all products/responses shared with fellow team members and supervisors before hitting send

•(U) Personnel
–Right mix of language/cultural expertise and PA/media relations competence
–Right mix of languages for AOR internet audiences
•(U) Engagement vs. “broadcast”
–Can’t “fire and forget” –must engage in conversation and stay engaged
–More difficult to “stay in your lane”
–Difficult to avoid being viewed as “trolls”
–Difficult to avoid personal attacks/vitriol
–Nature of the medium
–Who we are
–Issues not limited to current events –historical perspective
–“Working without a net”

•(U) What do we want to gain from this?
Greater penetration of our message
–Relationship building –No longer viewed as “trolls” but respected as contributors of a different point of view
–Messages valued as sincere even if not agreed with
–Less questioning of motives
–Fewer accusations, more questions
–Less likely to accept conspiracy theories and misinformation


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