Learning Objective: Recognize the elements of a public
affairs office filing system and the procedures
associated with organizing a newspaper/magazine clip
As a public affairs office manager, you must have
the ability to file correspondence correctly and retrieve
it quickly. The amount of time it takes you to locate a
news clip or a news release from two months ago will
depend on how well your files are organized.
The types and sizes of file cabinets vary to
accommodate the size of the material filed. Since
materials should be filed without folding, the size of the
cabinet is determined b y the size of the individual sheets,
documents or other items to be filed.
Four- or five-drawer, steel, letter-size cabinets are
the Navy standard for correspondence and documents.
The Navy standard correspondence size is 8 1/2 by 11
inches, and file cabinets available through the supply
system are designed to accommodate this size.
Specialized file cabinets are available for larger sized
documents, such as drawings, charts or legal-sized
Standard file folders are used to keep your
correspondence orderly. They are available in two sizes:
letter, 9 by 11 3/4 inches and legal, 9 by 14 3/4 inches.
Each folder has an area for labeling that extends above
any filed material. The area may run the entire length of
the folder, known as the straight cut, or may be cut in
one of three positions-left, center, or right-known as
one-third cut. Straight-cut folders are used, generally,
when the files are thick enough to make sure the labels
of adjacent folders are easily seen. One-third cut folders
space the labels across the drawer so that a label will not
be hidden by the folder in front of it. Figure 1-14 shows
files that are one-third cut tabs.
The method of maintaining tiles is strictly up to the
individual public affairs office manager. A basic file
organization may follow the major divisions within a
public affairs office (shown in figure 1-2) with
individual file drawers (or entire file cabinets, if
available) dedicated to the major office divisions and/or
Figure 1-14.-File folders with one-third cut tabs.
No matter what organizational method you choose,
you should maintain files on the following items:
Incoming and outgoing correspondence
Memoranda (including internal office memo
randa, such as memoranda for the record, and
those distributed outside the office
Messages (incoming, outgoing, NNS, etc.)
Stock video footage
Biographies (CO, XO, C/MC)
Media contact list
Subject files (environmental, PAG, etc.)
News release tile
Maintaining a comprehensive newspaper/magazine
clip file is an important responsibility of a public affairs
manager. This file serves the following purposes:
To support your external release efforts by
retaking articles based on locally generated
To keep the CO and PAO informed on what is
being said about the command in the print media,
which leads to a better understanding of the local
To help the CO better understand the print media.