Public works should build solid platforms about 8
feet by 8 feet and about as high as the floor of the
reviewing stand. Place the platforms at 45-degree angles
from the center of the stand, far enough back so they are
not too obtrusive and where they will not interfere with
troop movements. At an even bigger event, the platforms
might be made of piping or lumber and be two or three
stories high with at least two camera levels.
Additionally, find out from the stations just what power
they need to operate their equipment and see that public
works gets the requirements.
The radio reporters also will want fixed positions,
preferably a table for each station with two or three
chairs, enough for an announcer, an engineer and
perhaps a director, assistant engineer or second
announcer. These should be far enough apart so one
station will not pick up another announcers voice.
Again, check with the station to make sure of power
requirements. Try to have the television and radio
reporters or photographers come early enough to test
microphone placements in advance of the event.
Newspaper and television photographers will want
freedom to move around. You also will have a Navy still
photographer on the field. You do not want to impede
their movements unnecessarily; also, be aware that too
many photographers can mar what is planned as a
dignified military ceremony.
Depending on the nature of the ceremony, the space
available and the number of media involved, you may
want to set up specific ground rules for mobile
photographers. These rules may include establishing a
pool arrangement where each organization works from
a fixed position and all products are available to all
participants. Pods are not particularly popular with
photographers, who are in a competitive business and
do not want to end up with the same pictures the
competition has. However, pools are better than no
coverage at all, and they are almost always acceptable
in a pinch.
The ground rules for all phases of special event
coverage should be drawn up well in advance.
Photographers who come to cover a major event
expecting complete freedom and ideal facilities will not
be anxious to come to your next show if you impose
restrictions and unwanted pool arrangements on them
without warning. They will be especially upset if they
feel the restrictions were unecessary.
Reporters, of course, pose less of a problem because
they want to see the entire event. They will want advance
copies of speeches, and if none are available in advance,
they will want copies immediately afterward They may
want to interview important personalities (such as
VIPs). Also, count on reporters requesting access to
telephones immediately after the event.
Detail the J03 to work with the television
photographers, whose requirements are greatest, and let
one JOSN stand by to help the radio crews. The other
JOSN will have to miss the show. Someone has to stand
by the office telephone. The PH is out there with
photographic equipment and you and the PAO are
available to solve any problems that come up.
Media should be provided with car passes or
parking stickers in advance, and you should make sure
the gate and traffic control personnel have been
sufficiently briefed so they will recognize and honor
Because this event was planned to permit maximum
and efficient coverage, everything ran smoothly. The
radio reporters got their tapes. The television reporters
got their videotape. The newspaper reporters talked to
SECDEF, then phoned their stories from the public
affairs office. The PAO furnished a few cups of coffee
and provided some last minute background material.
The evening paper and both morning papers carried
pictures and stories. Each wire service moved a couple
of hundred words. The radio stations ran tapes on their
evening news programs. Both television stations aired
good-sized stories and one fed it into a network
newscast. The skipper told the project officer he did a
fine job of coordinating and the word was passed down
IMPORTANCE OF DETAILS
Whatever the event, there is no substitute for
attention to every detail, no matter how insignificant
some details may seem. A visitor to an exhibit or open
house, the guests at a commissioning ceremony or
guests on an orientation cruise should never catch the