how to build a car. The letter should be no more than one
page in length, with the first paragraph identifying the
issue and the action recommended. Subsequent
paragraphs should identify and discuss significant
background information and main points supporting the
recommendation. If details are absolutely necessary,
Other points to consider are the following:
Go easy on the modifiers. A CO does not need to
say he is very interested in something. Being
interested is sufficient.
Be sure you are right. Check and double-check
your logic, grammar, facts and figures and
Do not expect your finished draft to fly the first
time. Even the best letter writers are not psychic.
The format of a public affairs directive is basically
the same as all official Navy directives (instructions,
notices, operation orders, etc.).
Figures 1-3 through 1-6 present the standard format
for directives issued in the Navy Directives System.
Public Affairs Plan
The first type of public affairs directive you should
become familiar with is the SOP, or administrative
instruction, which is used to make certain instructions
routine, thus reducing the number, length and
complexity of later directives.
Each command develops appropriate and effective
SOPs based on applicable portions of published
procedures of higher authority, the desires of the officer
in command and the habitual procedures developed
SOPs should be sufficiently complete and detailed
to advise new personnel and new units of routine
practices. The necessary amount of detail depends upon
the state of training, the complexity of the instructions,
the size of the command and other variables.
Staff sections, divisions or departments often find it
expedient to establish their own SOPs for the operation
of their own departments and for the guidance of their
own personnel in routine matters. Some examples
normally found in public affairs offices are those
governing the release of information on accidents,
handling of visitors, operation of a speakers bureau,
mobilization during an emergency and coverage of
parades and ceremonies.
Public affairs plans vary among different com-
mands and may differ according to their purposes. The
format illustrated in Appendix I is not an iron-bound
formula. The paragraph headings, content and sequence
can be changed, some paragraphs omitted or included
in annexes or additional paragraphs added. Plans are
written to accomplish an objective. They should not be
regarded as a form to be filled out, whether applicable
or not. On the other hand, most planning formats have
been standardized through use by many people for many
years. By following these formats intelligently, thoughts
will be organized logically and the document becomes
easier for the experienced reader to understand readily.
The body of any plan is divided into several major
sections or paragraphs which might include the
Responsibilities and tasks
The order of presenting the various paragraphs may
vary from plan to plan.
Public Affairs Annex
A plan for a fleet, force or squadron operation or
exercise is issued in the form of an overall operation
order (OPORD). The document pertains to the entire
organization and operation of its forces. Attached to the
basic plan or OPORD are additional sections called
An annex only deals with one aspect of an operation,
for example, intelligence, communications, public
affairs, and soon. The purpose of annexes is to keep the
body of the plan short, clear and simple.
A public affairs annex is prepared for all training
and contingency plans and appropriate operational