Communicating in a 24/7 news environment
U.S. Department of the Army
Rampant changes in America’s social fabric, along with the unbridled growth of social media, created a challenging environment for telling the Army’s story. The Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA) needed to stay ahead of a nearly instantaneous news cycle, ensuring that soldiers and families felt connected to a national strategy, and building meaningful connections with the public. This required new ways of thinking and operating. To create a communications operation built on foresight and optimized for today’s fast-paced news environment, OCPA turned to DCG.
- Strategic communications
- Creative development
- Social media
- Media relations
- Media monitoring
DCG developed a strategy to facilitate OCPA’s transition from a reactive to a proactive organization, solidifying its position as a critical resource that both connected soldiers with their leaders as well as bolstered public support for the Army. A communications strategy, outlined in the Army Communications Playbook, provided the framework for creating communications plans, materials, and measures of effectiveness. Notably, the Meet Your Army public outreach campaign not only bridged the civilian and military divide but also helped the Army reach potential recruits, their parents, and other influencers in communities underrepresented in the Army today. Outreach targeting specific communities optimized the use of OCPA’s limited resources and broadened awareness of today’s volunteer Army’s domestic and international contributions. By providing a standardized communications model, DCG helped OCPA:
- Prioritize incoming communications requests.
- Break down communications silos.
- Ensure all communications efforts supported the broader Army strategy.
DCG’s use of research set the stage for OCPA to address shifts in the nation’s political and social landscapes and the changing demographics of soldiers, potential recruits, and the public. By regularly monitoring traditional and social environments, DCG continuously monitored the pulse of opinions among key publics. Furthermore, 24/7 monitoring quickly detected dis- and misinformation, enabling the Army to counter malign messages with truthful and accurate information.
- Ensured message synchronization across the force with more than 325 users downloading the Army Communications Playbook each month.
- Brought awareness to new audiences. 20% of people reached by social media posts for the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting did not follow the Army’s social media accounts, far exceeding the industry average of 5–10%.
- Increased efficiency within OCPA by delivering sound strategies coordinated across multiple communications disciplines.