Military Media Relations
Military media relations is a subject not often thought about by many soldiers. There will always be this infatuation with the military when it comes to people who have never served and especially the media. They like to try to get military members to tell them everything they have done and where, when, and how they did those things. As a military member, you should always talk with your chain of command prior to doing any interview. Your chain of command will normally allow this as long as it is authorized by public affairs. A great way to conduct an interview is do it on your turf. Try to get a list of questions that the media will be asking you. Once you have the questions, go over them with your chain of command and public affairs. One of the most important things you should remember when speaking to any type of media is OPSEC. You do not want to provide them with any specific information that could lead to any type of OPSEC violations. When you are speaking to the media, keep in mind that whatever you tell them will probably end up printed or pasted all over the internet. Be specific and brutally honest with your answers. Don’t leave any doubt in their minds and verify that they understand your answers. Do not allow the media to put you in a position where you feel your answer will be violating UCMJ or any other rules or regulations.
My Experience With Military Media Relations
I have had several experiences with military media relations over the course of my career. I will say that my best experience was with a member of the media from Texas. This media member was professional and did provide a list of questions prior to the interview. The interview was conducted on base at Ft. Bliss. I was asked questions only pertaining to my time in the military and how I felt about our time in Afghanistan and Iraq. I remember several questions about the current presidential administration. My answer was simple: as military members, we do not offer our opinion or speak negatively about our commander in chief. Our job is to follow orders as directed. I was careful not to mention names, missions, or specific dates and times. I directed any questions that I felt may lead to further questions regarding OPSEC to our public affairs officer. I was not going to allow an interview to put me in a situation where I would later have to answer for it. I knew from college sports interviews that the media will do anything to add to a story and create a bigger one. They also thrive on negativity and controversy. In the end, I was careful with how I answered questions and made sure I said nothing that could later be turned around and make me look bad.
Be Careful With the Media
When you are dealing with military media relations, the first and most important thing to do is get permission; it goes back to CYA! The media’s job is to create a story and to keep it going, and once they do keep it going, they gain ratings to create more advertising money, which is what they want. The more story they create, the more money they get. And they don’t care if it jeopardizes your career to do so. The media as a whole loves the military because the public does, and they will always look for a military story to publish. If you review what we do here at Low VA Rates for veterans and service members, you will see why the media and our customers have always reported that we are one of the best companies in the industry in supporting our veterans and our military. We attend and host events that are dedicated to our wounded warriors and their families. We do more than provide a mortgage; we provide an experience and support our military, our veterans, and their families.
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