l Personal contact and social activity between the
officer in command, the PAO and his staff, the
key opinion leaders and decision makers of the
The integration of news releases and military-
produced radio and television programs within the
community relations program is also worthy of
consideration. Oftentimes, proper use of these tools can
help to bring knowledge of a military command, its
activities and its personalities to the attention of the local
populations of neighboring communities.
Communicating requires the public affairs staff to
explain and dramatize the chosen course for a
community relations program to all those who may be
affected and whose support is essential.
Once the proposed plan has been drafted, it should
be coordinated within the originating organization and
given a preliminary review by the chief of staff or XO
of the organization. Key staff officers should be made
aware of the proposal and have an opportunity to express
their views. For this reason, the PAO makes certain that
the basic plan is sound from both a public relations point
of view and as completed staff work; otherwise, the plan
that requires expenditure of resources that might be put
to other use by other staff agencies may never get off the
A conference or series of conferences attended by
key staff representatives sometimes helps to develop
understanding and acceptance of a program, identify
problems and omissions and give people in the chain of
command a sense of satisfaction in having helped to
develop the program. The proposal, as modified by staff
contributions, then should be presented to the
commander for approval.
The plan should provide that, once it is officially
adopted, all members of the organization be made aware
of it. Community relations are a team effort in which
many individuals must play a part. Basic information
given should include why the officer in command is
concerned about community relations, what policy has
been adopted, what projects are planned, what
participation is desired and why and how members of
the command can benefit. Some commands have used
a theme, such as Partners in Progress, to convey to all
members of the organization their relationship to the
program and the community.
Individuals and agencies responsible for specific
projects and activities must be informed of their
responsibility. Information also must be sent concerning
deadlines, counseling and assistance for those partici-
pating in the program, the system for review and
evaluation of the projects and program and how
recommendations for changes in objectives, new
projects, and so forth, may be made.
The amount and kinds of information an organi-
zation should disseminate to its publics will vary. In a
community relations program, there should be pro-
visions to inform everyone in the community about the
mission and achievements of the organization, its
personnel needs, career opportunities, notable
individual achievements, significant changes of key
personnel and safety and economy achievements.
If the survey and analysis of the community has
been adequate, the public affairs staff should be aware
of the right channels of communication to accomplish
specific tasks or reach specific publics.
The average naval activity has many chances for
interesting news stories that would contribute to
improved community relations. Here are just a few
possible community relations subjects for timely local
communication with the public:
Changes in mission or program.
Attainment of significant goals.
Decreases or increases in work load.
Introduction of new methods or devices to
increase productivity or effect economy. (Zero
defects is an example.)
Plans to hire more people or need to reduce force.
Important changes in organization.
Appointments to key positions.
Speeches or other public statements by people.
Plans for new facilities or closing of existing
Achievements of military personnel and civilian
Results of incentive awards program.
Special events, such as awards ceremonies,
public visitation, dedications, launchings,
christenings, commissioning, anniversaries,
tours, guest cruises, exhibits, demonstrations,
and so forth.
When you prepare news releases, speeches, special
events, displays or other vehicles to be used to