NOTE: This is the first entry about the recommendations I have for making better use of Soldier engagement of new media. Many of the ideas have been floated on this blog before and I appreciate any comments folks left over the past several months as I posted my thoughts. I ask the same again – please leave any comments, opinions, or other better ideas that you have! Thanks.
The Army should encourage Soldiers to blog. Robbins came to this same conclusion when she wrote that “qualified support of Soldier blogs is good policy when coupled with clearly defined boundaries and aggressive Soldier education.” In her research, she found that Soldiers blogs show the Army’s face and communicate messages that the Army cannot communicate through official channels. She also found that most milblogs are “pro-Army, pro-chain of command, and pro-mission” – in other words, they are positive strategic communicators.
There are several reasons why the Army should encourage the engagement of new media by its Soldiers. First, it “fills the gap” between media coverage and public interest. Secondly, it increases the Army’s credibility.
There are a few ways that the Army can best encourage Soldiers to engage new media. First is by creating and maintaining their own blog. Another is through defensive blogging – engaging existing blogs to complete or correct a story or just add their personal insight and experience. A third way is through the creation of unit blogs. Yet another way is to allow Soldiers to post videos to YouTube.
These reasons and ways will be the subject of entries over the next week.