Four Lessons Military and Civilian PR Pros Can Teach – Part II

In the first post in this series, I introduced a series of stereotypes about military public affairs (PA) and civilian public relations (PR) professionals, and then highlighted real lessons that the military practitioners could learn from how their civilian counterparts practice public relations.

Now it’s time to turn the tables, and provide some good old Lee Ermey-style advice to civilian practitioners on learning from the best practices of military PA experts.

Think Before You Tweet

In the last post, I explained the importance of flexibility and adaptability when practicing public relations, as communications plans are built on an analysis grounded in a set point in time, and events can render the best-laid plans of mice and flacks obsolete. But there is still a strong value in establishing general rules and guidelines to govern many PR-related operations, and nowhere is strong guidance more valuable today than in the Wild West of social media. [Read more…]

Four Lessons Military and Civilian PR Pros Can Teach Each Other

If you were going to stereotype military public affairs (PA) professionals, you would say that they lack creativity, obsess over planning and structure, and would jail their own mother if she proposed an outreach plan with any risk.

Civilian public relations (PR) professionals on the other hand obsess over the latest social media trends, fly by the seat of their pants, and tout experience over education. Over and over again.

Like all stereotypes, they are unfair to many. But there is often truth behind the broad brushstrokes. Both communities, to break free of their stereotypes, would do well to study and learn from each other. The field of public relations, despite lacking commonly accepted rules and best practices, does not lack for common sense behaviors or best practices. Recognizing these commonalities will ultimately lead to improved campaigns for all PA and PR professionals.

Today’s post will cover four lessons military PA pros can take away from the civilian world, and in a follow-up post, I’ll cover lessons civilian PR professionals can learn from observing the military. [Read more…]