Via dialogue or messaging how Air Force Public Affairs is leveraging social media
Westover, David S.
Lamme, Margot Opdyck
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U.S. military public affairs (PA) policy has witnessed a comprehensive evolution in trust and transparency since the Vietnam War. This evolution continues to this day as Internet-based social media have drastically changed the way information is shared between individuals, groups and organizations. As a result of this huge paradigm shift, the military PA professional must grapple with these emerging communication platforms not only to advise military commanders, but also to build trust and maintain relationships with key stakeholders. More than traditional PA practices and procedures, social media offer an interactive approach that encourages dialogue and two-way communication. This study found that most of the Air Force PA professionals who participated in this survey (n=126) reported that although they frequently use social media, very few report that they use social media to build relationships, engage in conversations, participate in discussions or to monitor the needs and interests of stakeholders. Based on theoretical concepts of public relations, the survey respondents are not fully leveraging the interactive and dialogic nature of social media.
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