Under the category of new-to-me-milblogs, check out fewl.net, a blog written by a sailor stationed in Japan.
One of my favorites is his redacted blog post, poking fun at blog censorship:
The rest is just as good. You won’t be disappointed.
As a former Army guy, it usually gives me great pains to give props to the Navy.
Not this time.
I’ve got to say that I am thoroughly impressed with an official blog started aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. The Destroyermen is a blog written by crew members who want to give a realistic, unvarnished view of what life is like on this ship. From their mission statement:
Here it is:
To deliver an authentic, unvarnished, informative and entertaining account of life aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer, report on USS RUSSELL’s contribution to the Global War on Terror and execution of America’s Maritime Strategy, and provide insight into the character of the American Sailor.
Our first objective is to offer a true-to-life picture of what American Sailors do day in and day out aboard a warship, in port and at sea. There are, after all, more blogs out there detailing life of the ground-pounding variety than you can shake a cat-o-nine-tails at, but precious few that tell about American Sailors at sea.
Second, most Americans know few if any members of the military and little more about the military than its general role in society. So, one way to think of this blog is an unofficial civil-military relations project keeping the West Virginia miners, Montana ranchers, Iowa farmers and Boston software developers up to speed on what their Navy’s all about.
Third, we hope to provide insight into the U.S. Navy’s participation in the Global War on Terror and execution of America’s Maritime Strategy. To date, the Army and Marines have been grabbing all the headlines (both good and bad), and there’s been scant reporting about what the Navy’s been up to for the last six years. From the Philippine Sea to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Gulf, we’re in it up to our main trucks and somebody’s got to tell the story.
And that it does. The blog features great photos of what is going on aboard the ship. One of the interesting trends is a series called “Eye Candy for Sailors,” which shows pictures of the cool things sailors do on the job.
It works because it is authentic. It’s got a real voice.
The other services have some catching up to do, it looks like…
Don’t spam bloggers. Especially with 35MB worth of e-mail attachments that end up clogging up their in boxes.
I might have been interested in what you were sending me had it been presented in a more audience-friendly format. Instead, your e-mails got the boot.
Better luck next time,
In the 1960s, no one was thinking about the PR impact of overhead aerial images of buildings.
Today, you need to.
Google Earth is a Google download that “combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips.” The quality of the satellite imagery is pretty impressive.
It also allows previously walled-off places (like military installations) to be seen from above.
Which brings us to this building on a Naval base in California:
Some enterprising people found this building, which from above, obviously looks like a swastika. Locals have been lobbying the Navy to do something to change the shape of the building so that it doesn’t appear like an offensive symbol anymore. The Navy has now committed to spending $600,000 on landscaping and architecture to mask the shape of the building.
Only goes to show you: you should look at things from EVERY angle… In a digital age, there will certainly be someone out there who looks at something in a way you didn’t.
And the way you didn’t look at it could cause a PR nightmare.
(h/t FP Passport)
Yesterday I bashed Navy PR firm Campbell-Ewald for not understanding the YouTube culture.
Today, I need to link to an interesting approach they have taken with mobile marketing:
From the Internet to GPS, the U.S. military often gets a first crack at deploying emerging technologies, so it’s fitting that a current U.S. Navy Reserve campaign is testing the Bluetooth waters. The effort aims to inspire today’s sailors through a mobile video to “Make a Difference a Few Days at a Time” by joining the reserve.
Fittingly, the campaign is highly targeted, reaching out to residents of 13 naval bases across the country. Locations such as mess halls and the NEX, or Naval Exchange store, are hubs of everyday life for sailors and their families on naval bases. And that’s exactly where the campaign’s developers decided to bivouac the Bluetooth-enabled ads: on payphone kiosks right outside those prime spots.
NEXs are “hugely popular,” said Scott Cohen, director of marketing at payphone ad firm Prime Point Media,” referring to them as the Navy’s version of Wal-Mart. “Some people go to them everyday or multiple times everyday.”
In a stealthy manner any submariner could appreciate, when someone carrying a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone set to discoverable mode nears a payphone featuring one of the campaign’s ad wraps, the phone is detected by a device attached to the phone ad. The ad device then sends a message to the phone, asking if the recipient would like to download a video from the reserve. If the answer is “yes,” the device immediately uploads the two-minute clip, complete with patriotic testimonials and allusions to brotherhood and pride. The video clip prompts viewers to visit the Navy Reserve.com Web site, or call the reserve.
Following its launch in November and through December, about 11,000 Bluetooth phones in discoverable mode were detected, resulting in about 2,000 successful full video deliveries. Campbell-Ewald developed the campaign creative and placed media through Outdoor Services.