Internal Audiences' Perception

Internal public members report that the primary function of the military public affairs office is to assist the military by improving public relations and by dispersing information which enhances public understanding and hence appreciation of the role of the military missions and activities; to ensure that good relations are kept between the military installation and surrounding communities: image building; and to complement recruiting and to tell the story of the various men and women in the military with the hope that young people will want to join.

In addition, internal public members the overall role of public affairs in the military is to provide the (internal and external) communication strategy through which each individual member can be an ambassador for building understanding of and commitment to our particular missions. To ensure that when the military speaks, it is with "one voice". It also plays the role of educating the general public about the things we are doing in the military and how the taxpayers money is being spent. To keep the operations of your organization (installation) viewed in the best possible light under whatever circumstances exist. To focus the message that the various commanders and commands want to put out to their troops.

Internal public members report that commanders use public affairs as an information conduit to provide the public and the specific customers for a project all of the information necessary for them to understand our authority, plan and status of the issue in question. Some respondents see commanders using public affairs as a "reactive" tool rather than a "proactive" tool. Many times, it is too late to react to a perceived "negative" situation. The "negative" situation should be prevented - this requires proactive efforts. The data also shows the perception that commanders use public affairs to get recognition for their troops, to focus what they want to say, and to help attract young bright individuals into the military.

The initial responses and analyzed data from our pilot-survey allows us to formulate a more in-depth methodology to specifically examine the relationships between the three major groups discussed herein. A compilation of that data will allow us to construct explicit means for enhancing those relationships and clarify differences in perceptions of the job of the military public affairs professional.