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ABC’s of Media Engagement. LTG William B. Caldwell, IV. Commanding General US Army Combined Arms Center & Fort Leavenworth. “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” - Napoleon -. 2. LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General.

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abc s of media engagement

ABC’s of Media Engagement

LTG William B. Caldwell, IV.

Commanding General

US Army Combined Arms Center & Fort Leavenworth

four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets napoleon

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” - Napoleon -

2

LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General

military cultural assumptions the 4 a s
Military Cultural Assumptions – The 4 “A’s”
  • Annoyance
    • The media is nothing more than an annoyance on the battlefield
  • Avoidance
    • The media is not beneficial to the Army mission or your career… Avoid at all costs
  • Answer the Facts
    • We are taught to answer the facts, not make deductions about the greater implications of those facts
  • Access
    • When we get into combat operations, the tendency is to limit access to the media due to the classified nature of the information

3

LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General

preparing soldiers the 4 be s
Preparing Soldiers - The 4 “Be’s”
  • Be Open/ Honest
    • Don’t spin… Tell it like it is.
    • Lead by Example
    • Encourage subordinates to engage
  • Be Responsive
    • Timeliness and newsworthy-ness are important.
    • Correct errors
    • Respond to the enemy use of media
  • Be Proactive
    • Deliberately plan media engagements
    • Don’t ignore Media on the battlefield
  • Be Relevant
    • Understand the broader context.
    • Newsworthiness is important to the media and the public,

*** Understand not every engagement will go the way you want it to.

4

LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General

four c s for leaders and pao s
Four C’s for Leaders and PAO’s
  • Challenge Assumptions
    • My Experience – Almost no preparation for the job
    • I thought PAO’s were the only ones who engaged the media
    • Information does not play a supporting role, it is the decisive operation in this conflict
  • Choose to engage – if you don’t engage, who will?
    • The media will fill air time with something
    • If you don’t engage, they will not have a complete picture – Mark Twain once said “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
    • Info we provide must be news worthy and timely
    • Think about information in the planning process – not as an afterthought
  • Confront Constraints
    • The bureaucrats will tell you “NO”
    • No is the starting point for negotiations – Don’t take it for an answer.
  • Consider the Consequences – Operations that are synched with a solid information plan win twice
    • Tactically on the battlefield and Strategically in living rooms around the world

5

LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General

slide6
Questions

6

LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General