0000The DoD public affairs professional,
regardless of their branch of service, works for commanders who
may or may not fully understand the responsibilities of a public
affairs officer (see DOD Directive 5122.5). The areas of command
information, media relations, and community relations are primary
functions that most commanders come in contact with during their
tour of duty. Past studies have examined the degree of understanding
and appreciation, or value, a commander warrants to his public
affairs officer in performing these functions.
0000Cannon (1984) found that commanders
had a higher perception of public affairs officers who kept them
informed and were part of the team compared to the wider held
perception that the rank of PA officers, their time in service
and past operational experience were the keys to PA integration.
The correlation between public affairs officers' perception of
a commander's support of public affairs and the commanders' actual
perception of public affairs has also been suggested and researched
(Martin, Butler & Porter, 2000). The present study extends
previous research by examining both variables, commanders' perception
and PA perception. More importantly, previous studies did not
look at "why" commanders held the value they do of PA.
In addition, the transformation of the armed services is affecting
the way organizations communicate and this does impact public
affairs, especially leader-member exchange. This study begins
to address each of these issues.
0000This Capstone project will determine
the correlation between perceptions held by the public affairs
officer and that of his or her commander. Secondly, it will also
attempt to determine why commanders have a high or low value of
public affairs. The variables that researchers can attribute to
explain why a commander holds the particular value for integrating
public affairs range from personality to leadership traits. For
the purpose of this study, the researchers have chosen formal
and informal education, direct experience with public affairs
personnel and activities, and indirect knowledge and opinions
about public affairs personnel and activities.
0000The commander's survey may also
determine shared anchor points for attitudes that commanders hold
for the value of public affairs. Using the leader-member exchange
theory on interpersonal relationships, PAO professionals can determine
whether open persuasion, strategic persuasion, or manipulation
should be used to perform and carry out public affairs in support
of the unit mission.