Typically, DOD public affairs professionals are not included in operations planning or are an afterthought.  Most public affairs offices are not notified of a crisis until alerted by the media nor until the military is in a reactionary stage, creating a premise that public affairs officers are merely reactive tools.  Although the military was practicing crisis management planning long before businesses found it useful, public affairs offices have rarely been involved in the planning. (Littlejohn, 1983).  Experts agree crisis communication planning is important if an organization is to successfully handle a crisis (Fink, 1986).   Because there are many opportunities for crisis, military public affairs officers should be included in operations planning.  Furthermore, a public affairs plan should be implemented and adhered to by the command leadership.  For the purposes of this study, public affairs officers are defined as the military leadership within a public affairs office.  We contend that military public affairs officers would be best utilized if they were involved in all aspects of planning an operation.  As it stands, many public affairs officers are still not involved in any plans and are viewed as a reactive tool.  A useful example is the experience of a U.S. Marine Corps public affairs office deployed to provide support of an operation. 

Case Study: Marine Corps in Turkey 
     A Marine Corps public affairs team was deployed to the Republic of Turkey to provide coverage and support for the Second Marine Expeditionary Forces’ (II MEF) operations during a Maritime Pre-positioning Force offload exercise.  The role of the Marine PAO’s and combat correspondents was to: a) Provide internal coverage of important events for several print medias to include their base paper, Marines Magazine, Stars and Stripes, and Leatherneck Magazine; b) to escort all Turkish and foreign media who want to interview or photograph Marine units; c) to update the Marine Corps homepage with photos and stories of the operation; d) work in close coordination with and provide support to the Commander of Land Forces for the Southern European Theatre -Allied Press Information Center (APIC); e) generate video imagery from the exercise and interview troops and commanders; and f) provide daily brief to the II MEF Commander to include translated articles done by host nation media publics on the exercise. 



  Case Study 2 

Literature Review