Before making propositions, this team looked at the theoretical framework
guiding this research. For research purposes compliance gaining,
agenda-setting, and diffusion of innovations were to help meet theoretical
objectives of this research.
suggests using certain strategies such as reward, punishment, both positive
and negative, will enable a persuader to gain the compliance of the intended
audience (Miller, Bolster, Roloff & Seibold, 1977). This theory
will be used to persuade servicemembers the value of public affairs in
operations planning and day-to-day activities. Research indicates
gaining the compliance of an intended audience is one of the most common
uses of communication (Littlejohn, 1996). Although the taxonomy of
16 compliance-gaining strategies introduced by Marwell and Schmitt (1967)
were thorough and complete, researchers agreed shortening the strategies
by choosing the best tactics and tailoring them to the speakers goals works
best (Littlejohn, 1996).
16 strategies, this team chose, promising, threatening and expertise as
strategies to try to persuade military leaders to better utilize their
public affairs officers. The intent of this paper is to educate leaders
on the utility of public affairs. If leaders begin to include public
affairs in the planning of operations, their reward will come in the form
of a more successful public affairs mission. Fink (1986) wrote a
crisis is a turning point with a degree of risk and uncertainty with at
least half a chance of the outcome being negative. If public affairs
practitioners are part of the operational planning, they would be in a
much better position to produce and implement a crisis communication plan
should the need arise. Afterall, the best time to prepare for a crisis
is when there is none (Fink, 1986).
Should leaders continue to ignore
the importance of public affairs in their operations planning, this team
fears an imminent risk of poor public affairs performance lies ahead.
How can public affairs officers adequately field questions if they are
uninformed? Should public affairs even be fielding questions about
what the military is doing? Department of Defense Directive
5122.5 (1996) states public affairs is vital and established the position
of Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs. One of the responsibilities
for the ASD PA is not only to ensure a “free flow of news and information”
to the press, American public and Armed Forces internal audiences, but
also to develop policies and plans that will support Department of Defense
objectives and operations (http://web7.whs.osd.mil/text/d51224p.txt).
To further persuade servicemembers to better utilize public affairs, this
team also looked at the Agenda-setting Theory.