The differences in the perception of the role of Public Affairs can have effects on all areas of the military when
there are diverse and different views of that role. It is important for that role to be clarified and understood by all
of the main players; the commander, the public affairs professional, the media, and the internal audience. This
difference in the perception has developed over years as the media has played a more prominent, and often
adversarial, role in shaping the views of the public and as the role of the public affairs professional has developed
within the command as the primary source of information for the media. It has been shown through time and
extensive research that one mistake and the reputation of an organization can be destroyed. That is why it is
important for everyone involved to know what they can expect from public affairs. This study will show how to
combat mis-perceptions of the role of public affairs and where the differences in perceptions lie. While this study
may raise more questions than are answered it will be a step in clarifying some issues that get in the way of the
public affairs professional doing a good job for the command and the media.
Further research should be done on the role of public affairs and the office of counsel or legal advisers
inconsistencies in the way situations are handled depending upon whom the commander relies more heavily upon.
Comparisons should be done on the success of each method of dealing with situations depending upon which
tactics were employed. As the world transitions into more of a global village, the military continues to play a vital
role in national and international relations. How the public views the military is often dependent on how they are
portrayed in the media. How the military is portrayed often depends on the relationship between military public
affairs professionals and the media. On a further level, how that public affairs professional portrays the military is
directly dependent on what the commander wants and how the commander sees the function of the public affairs
professional. Only when all of these "dependents" are derived from the same basic definition can a full
understanding be reached. This understanding is essential for a harmonious relationship between the public and a
military that defends its existence.