program chair and others. Former members of your
service are good contacts. Also include a brief statement
of each organizations goals, programs, meeting time
5. Housing. List available housing, to include
housing regulations, housing units, apartments, cost and
6. Other facilities. Describe other community
facilities and services, such as utilities, transportation,
schools, hospitals, churches, doctors and dentists, fire
and police protection.
7. Communications media. List all communica-
tions media in the area, with names of military editors
or those with a specific interest in your command. It also
should include deadlines and any peculiar style or policy
requirements of the media.
A sample outline for making a community survey is
shown in figure 5-1.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION.
There are several places in which to gather information
for your community survey file. These include the
1. Chamber of commerce. The local chamber of
commerce may normally furnish invaluable information
for such a survey and practical guidance and assistance
in setting up a community relations program. The
primary functions of the chamber of commerce are to
promote the growth and foster the prosperity of the
community. The chamber is also an excellent source of
brochures, maps, fact sheets and other material needed
for a community relations program.
2. Unofficial base directory. The unofficial base
directory is another source of information. Advertisers
in the directory have a message they are trying to give
the personnel of your command. Often there is much
good information contained in those messages.
3. Local library. The local library is also a good
source of information. There is usually a section devoted
to local information, and librarians are usually willing
to give you a hand in finding what you need.
4. Installation master plan. The installation
master plan or comprehensive plan includes an
environmental assessment of the existing mission and
facilities. Assessments generally include community
environmental settings, such as historical, cultural,
climatological and socioeconomic factors.
5. Local media. Following local news is
essential. Equally helpful is researching back issues of
newspapers and magazines to gain historical
perspective. Reporters and editors are also willing
sources of information.
6. City public affairs office. The city PAO is the
command PAOs local counterpart and will usually help
in familiarizing military public affairs personnel with
ANALYSIS. After you have collected all essential
information about the community, then and only then is
it practical to make an analysis of the community. At first
the community survey may seem to be just a set of facts,
but through analysis, these facts come to life and fit
together like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece fits into the
whole to make a complete picture.
In analyzing these facts, your public affairs staff will
develop more and more insight into the needs, mutual
interests and opportunities for favorable community
A thorough community analysis is the backbone of
a sound community relations program. It is a continuing
effort, but once assembled the community survey file
provides a continuing ready source of information for
speeches, news stories, special projects, exhibits,
special events and special projects.
The community relations planner should gather
facts about the voluntary organizations in the
community, including their continuing goals, leaders,
membership, current projects and areas of mutual
interest. These facts will help determine a basis for a
tie-in arrangement and cooperative projects with these
organizations. The importance of group membership on
individual attitudes and behavior should be weighed
carefully in planning efforts to reach key publics
through their voluntary organizations.
Local organizations are a major outlet for the
speakers bureau (see Chapter 6 of this manual). Most
groups meet at least monthly, some as often as every
week. Most offer opportunities for speakers and some
for showing of motion pictures or other kinds of visual
Customs, Traditions and Cultures
The communities of naval installations vary
significantly in local customs, traditions and culture.
You must be aware of local differences before you plan
any activity involving the community. Sometimes this
variance causes the failure of a military community