session (be sure to return all telephone calls) or (2)
assign one of your staff members to answer the
telephones and greet visitors. The latter method is
preferable, and if chosen, make sure someone from the
staff takes comprehensive notes to pass along to this
Contrary to popular belief, professional training
sessions do not have to be mundane affairs accentuated
with yawns and sighs. There are no set rules or
guidelines for the ways in which you administer the
program. Some recommendations include using NRTC
questions, a thought/teaching point of the day, the Public
Affairs Communicator, handouts, guest speakers and
encouraging outside participation.
Copy a block of questions from the JO 3 & 2,
JO 1 & C and PA Regs nonresident training courses
(NRTCs) and direct your staff to complete them in a
specified amount of time. Do not allow them to use the
training manuals or PA Regs to research the questions.
When time is called, review the questions with your
staff, assign scores and chart individual progress on a
bulletin board or a score sheet. In larger staffs, you can
pair off staff members and compete in teams. Any
variation of this theme will work. Regardless of the road
you take, the benefits remain the same, as described
Hundreds of questions exist from which to
Very little preparation time is needed.
Office competition keeps everybody sharp.
The staff remains geared up for the Navywide
It is fun!
Thought/Teaching Point of the Day
Supplementing weekly training is the thought or
teaching point of the day. This is best delivered during
morning quarters or at some similar point in the workday
when the staff is together.
It can go something like this: . . . And the ships
library will be secured today and tomorrow because of
painting. That is all I havehere is your professional
teaching point of the day: The Navy internal audience
is broken down into five primary divisions:
Active-duty Navy personnel, family members of
active-duty Navy personnel, Naval Reserve personnel
and families, Navy civilian employees and Navy
retirees and families. . . .
Public Affairs Communicator
Each issue of the Public Affairs Communicator
contains a multitude of professional development
articles perfectly suited for training. Distribute copies of
one or two articles to your staff per training session and
hold a discussion on them.
Use any handouts available from the Defense
Information School (DINFOS) (check to make sure you
have the most current copies), PA Regs, instructions,
notices, and so forth, as training tools. The yellow
guidance pages in PA Regs are excellent sources.
Localize the materials and conduct training in an open
If you cannot get out to that radio station for training,
maybe a representative of the news department can visit
your office to talk for an hour about its operations.
Otherwise, you can contact journalists and PAOs from
nearby commands and request they give a talk on a
specific training topic. Guest speakers are out
there-however, it is up to you to find them.
Do not subscribe to the theory that your training
program is limited to your staff. When you are lining up
guest speakers for training, try to establish a system that
allows staff members from other public affairs offices
to attend your sessions, and vice versa. The more
participation you have (in one or several directions), the
better your training program will be. Your making a
simple telephone call or having a conversation over
lunch with a colleague is usually all that is required to
make the necessary arrangements.
In this day and age of doing more with less, you have
to be sure the members of your staff are interchangeable.
That is where cross-training comes in.