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The Air Force’s Rules of Engagement for Blogging [Updated]

Update, January 5, 2008: Captain David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology for the U.S. Air Force, sent me an updated version of their chart, whose changes are based on your comments. The chart appears in this article, and you can click on it to download a full-sized PDF version.

You’ve probably seen many articles on companies and organizations saying that they take social media seriously. Here’s one such organization that you might not expect: the United States Air Force. Take a look at the Air Force Blog Assessment chart, reproduced below:

U.S. Air Force's "Web Posting Response Assessment V.2" chart
Click the diagram to download the PDF version (455K).

The “rules of engagement” are quite good. You might find them to be useful for your own blogs, whether personal or corporate.

WebInkNow recently covered the Air Force’s approach to social media, which is far more involved than many companies who only pay lip service to the idea. They’ve assigned someone the role of “Chief of Emerging Technology”, whose job is to develop strategy, policy and plans for the Air Force’s “communicators” and whose mission is to use or build web applications as a means of engaging Airmen and the general public in conversation. The goal is to make every single Airman a communicator.

The Air Force has quite a presence on the web, which includes:

As with the Blog Assessment chart, you might want to use the Air Force’s social media strategy as a model for your own. Check out WebInkNow’s article for more.

146 replies on “The Air Force’s Rules of Engagement for Blogging [Updated]”

[…] The Air Force’s Rules of Engagement for Blogging [Updated] — Global Nerdy (tags: social socialmedia networking web2.0 Writing Protocol Policy process public-relations rules usaf) Related PostsPrepare for Government-Enforced Digital TV by April 7, 2009links for 2009-01-10On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a doglinks for 2009-01-01links for 2009-01-15links for 2009-01-06links for 2009-01-03BlogPulse Trends for Chris Abraham – Because the Medium is the Messagelinks for 2009-01-02Ballston Loop in a Light Rain These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

[…] Via Global Nerdy, who reports that the Air Force has appointed a Chief Emerging Technology Officer “whose job is to develop strategy, policy and plans for the Air Force’s ‘communicators’ and whose mission is to use or build web applications as a means of engaging Airmen and the general public in conversation. The goal is to make every single Airman a communicator.”  Nerdy also shared links to existing Air Force social media efforts including: […]

Responding to Online Criticism: The Air Force Approach…

I hate to break it to you, but the U.S. Air Force has a better social media strategy than your nonprofit does. Capt. David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology, says that he wants to foster an environment in which all enlisted personnel are equipped t…

Interesting framework for responding to USAF online brand experience.
For me it lacks a couple dimensions:

1) How do you distinguish between multiple target audiences? Ex. New Recruits, Retired USAF vets, USAF civilian contractors and alliance partners in other countries, Other branches of US military, Victims, Terrorists/ Enemy media/ terror sympathizers

2) What’s the primary objective of this lovely response framework? I would assume positive imagery around USAF, to recruit and correct negative opinions, in a bid to uphold the rich heritage of USAF. Any other ideas?

3) How do you respond to credible news media about civilian causalities or rumors from ‘unnamed sources’ of black ops that the USAF cannot officially confirm or deny? Does the USAF release their own PR releases?

4) What’s the reason to believe that a USAF personnel is responding to a post? The nature of the web is such that anyone can pretend to be anyone. I can claim I am a retired USAF senior commissioned officer? Is there a singular command and control structure to identify which posts are officially made and which ones are fake?

5) How do you track effectiveness of your resources? Sure there are 15 bloggers/ resources, but how are the tax payer dollars really being used? Is there a track of x number of posts made, y number of traffic recruited from xyz sites.

6) Is there a strategy to comment on Hollywood and foreign movies, TV shows, stand up comedians who may or may not show the USAF positively?

7) Is there a feedback loop, where a site identified as a troll or a rager site is put into a database that is shared amongst the social media team?

8) I would assume with most ‘enemies’ currently engaged being in the arab speaking world? Is there a program for countering foreign language postings? Or is it restricted to an English-speaking population?

Despite these concerns, I am impressed that a government organization has made an attempt to develop a web brand response framework. Good luck, keep refining!

Sam

Top guns go blogging…

The US Air Force may seem an unlikely source for good guidance on blogging – but they have come up with something thoughtful, well organised and on one piece of paper, which are attributes not to be sneezed at. Found……

Don’t Fight It: Air Force’s Lessons on Making Social Media Work for You…

A recent Forrester Research study may have many companies wondering whether they should bother with corporate blogs. But whether or not you decide to maintain a blog presence, rest assured that many of your customers will blog (or Twitter or write a….

[…] In fact, a pre-announced Air Force One air show might even garner an extra PR boost from the additional “viral marketing” that would come from people posting their Air Force One photos taken from New York’s many good vantage points on their Facebooks and on Flickr. It’s the sort of social media thing for which the Air Force has shown a considerable amount of sav…. […]

[…] The Air Force’s Rules of Engagement for Blogging [Updated] — Global Nerdy tain David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology for the U.S. Air Force, sent me an updated version of their chart, whose changes are based on your comments. The chart appears in this article, and you can click on it to download a full-sized PDF version. (tags: socialmedia trends planning web2.0 airforce how2) […]

[…] If you fail to engage with someone who has a valid gripe, then you’ll lose. If you try to engage with someone that doesn’t want to engage with you, then you’ve lost. Need to look at specific arguments and know when to engage. The Air Force has a great chart for rules of engagement and blogging. […]

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