Public affairs action teams: Serving Team Hurlburt in new way

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joseph Coslett
  • 1st SOW Public Affairs
I think George Bernard Shaw said it best, "The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished." This is a challenge for public affairs and most other organizations.

Another issue is PA being reactive. A wise old man once told me PA stands for Pro Active -- I would have it no other way.

I have seen too many times people trying to communicate after a problem occurred. PA is no stranger to this. With that said, public affairs is pushing forward with an initiative to bring PA and multimedia to your organization's doorstep without waiting for a work order or a visit to our office.

How will you accomplish this, you ask? We will assign a Public Affairs Action Team, consisting of one PA photojournalist and one PA broadcaster, to your group for one month on a rotational basis around Team Hurlburt. During the month, the team will complete educational and promotional items your organization finds important to mission completion and morale of the unit.

Also, PAATs can deploy and cover exercises, training or major events for both internal and external audiences. For example, if Team Hurlburt has an exercise, a PAAT will film, take photos and conduct interviews for multiple products such as motivational audiovisual presentations, historical products and news articles for the media or internal products.

In order to form the PAATs, PA and MM merged March 16 to work for the wing commander as one PA team, allowing us to streamline similar processes. Another driving factor is the Program Budget Decision 720, which will cut PA and MM manning by 33 percent and eliminate all graphic positions. The graphics career field is going away because the Air Force has determined it's not mission essential. Bottom line, like the rest of the Air Force, PA and MM will cut the excess and focus on the essentials.

On a broad scale, what the merger means is the "nice-to-haves" will have to be self help. For example, PA will limit retirement and promotion photography support to E-9 or O-6 and above.

However, we will enact a robust self-help program so the customer can still capture the moment. Additionally, when graphics is gone the support goes with them. PA will create templates for commonly used services and self-help programs to mitigate the change.

To make a long story short, many changes are on the horizon, but PA will continue to research ways to create or implement best practices.

And like communication, for our changes to be successful, we need your feedback -- we can't succeed without it.