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Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Noah at Danger Room is smacking military PAOs around a little:

Forget the drone stuff. Here is your eye-popping statistic of the day: “This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department.”

That’s from an Associated Press investigation, “which found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year.”

Staff costs take up most of the money, more than $2 billion. Another $1.6 billion goes into recruiting. About a half-billion goes towards “psychological operations, which targets foreign audiences.” And, finally, “$547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences.”

That last one may be the most amazing figure of ’em all. Because getting a straightforward answer out of most military public affairs shops is still a root-canal-painful procedure. You’d think it’d be easier, with all those resources brought to bear.

Come on, Noah. You’re being a bit unfair. My response:

First, as already noted that the 27,000 includes recruiters — which mean staff in small towns peppered across the country. The actual communications apparatus is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller.

Even if you took the whole 27,000 though, which may seem like a lot, you need to consider that there are about 1 MILLION soldiers and nearly that many government civilians that are in or work for the Army. This means recruiting and communications make up a scant 1% of the organization.

And last, I understand the challenge getting answers from military PAOs. But you know as well as anyone that there are laws governing release of military information. Violating those laws can put Soldiers’ lives at risk — and, from their personal perspective, is punishable by fines and prison.

Given what is on the line with release of information, I don’t begrudge a PAO spending a little time fact checking, getting security review and legal take before putting information into the public domain.

No matter what you think, I’d definitely read the AP article that inspired Noah’s post.

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From Wired:

A new video game commissioned by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool portrays the nation’s military in 2015 as an invulnerable high-tech machine.

The new PC title, Future Force Company Commander, or F2C2, is a nifty God-game that puts players in the driver’s seat of 18 systems at the heart of the military’s new net-centric warfare approach. The Army added the game to its recruiting tool kit last month as a high-tech follow-up to its successful America’s Army shooter.

It’s an impressive game, simulating weaponry the military is actually using or building, gamers say. But the gameplay is designed so it’s hard to lose: The equipment holds up awfully well and the enemy doesn’t learn from experience.

Read the full article here.

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On the ball

I had every intention this morning of chastising Army Recruiting and McCann-Erickson, the Army’s advertising contractor.

Instead, I have to commend them.

Yesterday, I noticed that a Google search of “Army Strong” listed the Army’s Web site as the third search result rather than the first (behind Blackfive and a Boston.com article).

This morning, it has been fixed. The results on Yahoo! are even more favorable to the Army.

Good SEO, folks.

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Army Strong, Part Two

Much of the new Army Strong ad campaign is being focused on the online space. Here is a link that was prominently displayed on Yahoo during the opening week of the campaign:

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Army Strong

A new SecDef, a new Army Web site, and now a new Army advertising campaign.

Lots of news coming out of the Pentagon.

From the Army:

Today, the U.S. Army launched its new Army Strong advertising campaign on network television nationwide. The three television ads powerfully communicate the character of the U.S. Army Soldier and the unique and transformative power of the U.S. Army.

“Army Strong advertising was inspired by the experiences and defining character of the U.S. Army Soldier,” said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp, commander of U.S. Army Accessions Command. “These ads have been created with the singular aim of helping us succeed in our mission to recruit the next generation of Soldiers and build a highly capable force sufficient to meet the needs of the Nation.”

Cool stuff. The Army has a great new slogan that connects with America’s youth and resonates with the institutional Army (in a way that Army of One never did).

But it gets better:

Additionally, the Army is working to expand its recruiting efforts by using Web-based technology. The Army will reach out to recruits through the Web, text messaging, an increased presence on popular search engines like Google and Yahoo and video partnerships using YouTube.com. Further, the U.S. Army is taking “America’s Army: The Official U.S. Army Game” into the Global Gaming League, an online gaming league and social network that sponsors and covers video game tournaments.

Army recruiting, and their advertising partner McCann Worldgroup, get that in order to reach prospective recruits, they need to communicate the way they do. Increasingly, that involves the adoption of new media technologies.

It is great that they will increase their use of text messaging and further their participation in the social media sphere — including a an upcoming MySpace page (much like the Marines have done).

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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