PA Roadmap 2025 Final

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USMC Public Affairs Roadmap 2025

Date: 7 April 2009

DATE: Feb 23, 2010

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Today our Nation faces complex, diverse, and dynamic threats that will continue to evolve in the coming century. Although military action often will be required to address these challenges, lethal action alone will not suffice and, in some cases, may only complicate our ability to achieve military objectives. The military must take a broader approach to problem solving; it must fully leverage non-lethal capabilities, to include public affairs (PA). As a powerful, non-lethal capability with application across the range of military operations, PA builds understanding, credibility, trust and relationships with domestic and foreign publics publics that are critical to the Marine Corps mission success and the Nations larger strategic objectives. As information technology continues to emerge, transform, and complicate the operating environment, Marines must attain a greater level of sophistication to communicate effectively. To develop an advantage over adversaries in the information domain and thus create operational advantages for the MAGTF, the PA field must transform beyond its perceived role as a technical function that only distributes information. Rather, PA must redefine, re-engineer, and reconstruct itself as a strategic element of executive decision-making and operational design. If not, PA risks its relevancy in the operating environment. This Roadmap describes the future Marine Corps PA capability and its necessary evolution in response to the changing information environment. It describes a professional force, led by leaders with advanced degrees in communication, in which each member listens critically, thinks creatively, and acts decisively in support of Corps goals. It depicts a field that serves as senior advisors to commanders, helping to develop commanders understanding of physical, informational, cognitive, and social dimensions and their impact on the modern battlefield. It defines a community of disciplined planners who analyze the environment, develop a deep understanding of cultural narratives and biases, anticipate the perceptions and unintended consequences of planned actions, remain vigilant in ensuring the organizations deeds match its words, and conduct assessments to gauge progress and inform future planning. It discusses an occupational field with the manpower capacity, proper organization, and required material solutions to conduct all PA core competencies within every MAGTF as well as in the supporting establishment. Ultimately, the Roadmap outlines a vision of future PA capability integrated with other MAGTF capabilities, joint and interagency communities, and multinational allies for the advancement of Marine Corps, DOD, and national interests.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 1.1 2.0 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 5.0 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 7.0 7.1 8.0 INTRODUCTION.............................................. 1 PURPOSE................................................... 1 STRATEGIC GUIDANCE........................................ 1 MISSION................................................... 2 UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES......................................... 2 EXPEDITIONARY PA.......................................... 2 SUPPORTING ESTABLISHMENT PA............................... 2 MARKETING AND PA SUPPORT TO RECRUITING.................... 3 CORE COMPETENCIES......................................... 3 COMMUNICATION COUNSEL..................................... 3 RESEARCH.................................................. 3 STRATEGIC PLANNING........................................ 4 PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT......................................... 4 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND DISSEMINATION..................... 4 ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION................................. 5 ISSUE MANAGEMENT AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION................. 5 MARKETING................................................. 5 TRAINING AND EDUCATION.................................... 5 PERSONNEL................................................. 6 PROCESSES................................................. 7 STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION................................... 7 TRAINING.................................................. 7 EDUCATION................................................. 8 RESEARCH FOR ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT...................... 9 PLANNING.................................................. 9 COLLECTION AND PRODUCTION................................. 9 DISSEMINATION............................................. 9 MATERIEL REQUIREMENTS..................................... 9 COLLECTION AND TRANSMISSION............................... 9 CONCLUSION............................................... 10

4.10 PA FIELD MANAGEMENT....................................... 6

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1.0 INTRODUCTION As we prepare for a future of complex, diverse, and dynamic challenges, history reminds us that lethal action alone likely will not suffice and, in some cases, may only complicate our ability to achieve military objectives. The civilian population has become a central concern in military operations, and factors such as culture, perception, and public opinion are now as important to solving military problems as physical terrain and force ratios. Thus, the Corps must further develop and leverage capabilities in the cognitive realm capabilities like Public Affairs (PA). Complicating matters, however, is a modern information environment no longer confined by a centralized, broadcast model in which governments and institutions control information. Rather, today's environment represents a radical and irreversible shift in how human beings receive information, communicate, and form opinions. Emerging technologies empower the individual, allowing anyone to create content, share information and push microagendas to sympathetic audiences at little cost; readily filter out information that conflicts with their ideologies and biases; and join virtual, global networks based on common needs and interests regardless of geography. These changes give our enemies new advantage in discrediting our actions and building support for their causes. These changes also make it increasingly more difficult for the Marine Corps to be heard, understood, and believed. As a result, the job of the communicator has become exponentially more challenging. Accordingly, PA must evolve. It must build needed capacity and further mature its capability. It must transition from a collection of trained communication practitioners into a field of educated communication professionals who use research and assessment to improve counsel, develop communication strategies, deeply understand publics and cultural narratives, and anticipate unintended consequences of planned actions. It must shift its communication mindset from monologue to dialogue, from targeting audiences to engaging people with real needs and concerns, and from merely informing to building understanding, trust and relationships with key publics. Ultimately, PA must play an integral role in Marine Corps planning and decisionmaking processes. 1.1 PURPOSE This Roadmap describes the future Marine Corps PA capability and its necessary evolution in response to the changing information environment. It outlines a vision of future PA capacity and capabilities integrated with other government agencies for the advancement of Marine Corps, DOD, and national interests. 2.0 STRATEGIC GUIDANCE This Roadmap is guided by the direction and strategic guidance promulgated by Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025. It highlights the Corps six core competencies, all of which PA supports. It charges the Corps to develop the capability and capacity to operate effectively in media-intensive operational environments, describing this need as a critical warfighting requirement. It asserts that, as a result of the changing operational environment, the Corps must continually innovate across the institution and identify capabilities that require improvement. 1

3.0 MISSION Marine Corps PA will communicate and engage in order to build understanding, credibility, trust and mutually beneficial relationships with domestic and foreign publics on whom the Marine Corps success or failure ultimately depends. 3.1 UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES PA brings a complementary yet unique capability to the Marine Corps information arsenal that will provide increased flexibility, responsiveness, and utility if fully leveraged. For example, PA is unique in that it can legally communicate with all audiences foreign, domestic, friendly, neutral, and adversarial. It can rapidly release information products without a lengthy approval process, and can operate across the commanders Area of Operations and areas of Interest and Influence without seeking additional authorities. And it can legally operate from both the United States or overseas, resulting in continuous PA support from any location. 3.2 EXPEDITIONARY PA As a warfighting enabler and soft-power capability, PA will pre-actively1 and pro-actively2 communicate accurate, credible and timely information to shape the global information environment; create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable to achievement of overall goals and objectives; and counter an adversarys ability to promote ideology, legitimize actions, recruit supporters, and intimidate populations. PA will communicate MAGTF capabilities and resolve to enhance support to multinational allies and deter potential adversaries. When adversaries are not deterred, PA activities will help publics form accurate perceptions of operations, increasing support for military objectives. PA will provide Marine Corps, Joint Force, and Combatant Commanders (COCOM) better trained and equipped personnel capable of incorporating communication strategy into operational planning in support of tactical, operationa