ISS3 2012

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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RESERVE WIDE Reserve PAs: "Report" for Duty During our First District Reserve all-hands in October 2011 and again in April 2012, there was a reoccurring message from the command, "Check with your supervisors regarding scheduling your annual training (ADT). Chances are you'll be joining us for the events planned for the Bicentennial of the ar of 1ͺ1ʹǤdz As a Public Affairs Specialist, this was a given. Where there's an event signiϐicant enough to set up a oint nformation to deal with local and even national media attentionǡ the Ǯ Standing Duty Reserve PAs are often in the duty rotation upon completing watch stander qualiϐications for their unit. Responding to cases by informing the enter sǯ came out of the wood work. As advancements are made in technology, the way we communicate is under a microscope. It's not just a one-way conversation anymore; people are engaging on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs for the public to see and interact. There is increased pressure to communicate both accurately and efϐicientlyǡ and in a way that truly represents the members of the U.S. Coast Guard and its missions. That is why the Public Affairs rating is one of the most integrated jobs between active duty and its reserve counterparts. If we can't communicate with each other, how are we supposed to successfully interact with constituents—taxpayers, elected ofϐicials and the men and women of the oast uardǫ It is important for reserve PAs to spend their one weekend a month, two weeks a year training to support real world operations such as the icentennial of the for contingency responses like many of us experienced while deployed at Deepwater Horizon. To develop and strategize the message of the Coast Guard, PAs take into account several stipulations like the nature of the event, the public perception and the Coast Guard's role. Effective communication can improve internal and external relations by: Ȉ ncreasing Ȉ oast uard effectiveness through public understanding and support elping to save lives by educating and informing Ȉ mproving moraleǡ recruitingǡ retention and performance by informing and motivating strategies and mediums to reach our targets. Here is what you can expect to ϐind s doing on a typical drill weekendǡǣ Capturing imagery and video With most cases the Coast Guard is involved in, we are one of the ϐirst respondersǤ To harmonize our efforts, PAs use several platforms, eserve Stay informed: lsoǡ due to the nature of our missionsǡ the Coast Guard is out there in conditions that are deemed unsafe. A Public Affairs Specialist is responsible for capturing or collecting any visuals that coincide with ongoing operations. The media may not have the authorization to be on scene, or even the resources. It is our job to help them tell the story and as they sayǡ Ǯa picture is worth a thousand wordsǤǯ Coast Guard's Digital Newsroom: Coast Guard Compass Blog: Coast Guard Visual Imagery: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Flickr: *TTVF t wwwǤϐlickrǤcomȀphotosȀcoast̴guard ᕇ RESERVIST 19 ar of 1ͺ1ʹ and public with news, images and updates validates the Coast Guard as a source for information. Standing duty and communicating with the units involved also enables PAs to develop messaging in a timely manner and to serve as a spokesperson. It is also essential for the duty PA to work with the media to inform. Just as with the established Coast Guard networks -- news releases, tweets, blogs -- the media serves as a valuable tool to communicate with the community and beyond. Monitoring the news Staying on top of news trends and community discussions arms PAs with the information needed to inform appropriate Coast Guard members of the public's perception to develop effective messaging to reach the intended audience. Training The men and women of the Coast Guard are integral to the public's apprehension. Often times, the Marine Science Technician (MST) covered in oil serves as a better spokesperson than the unit PA. Regardless of where they serve, leaders from around the Coast Guard should emphasize the importance of Public Affairs training and encourage members' involvement as appropriate. Public Affairs Specialists are at the forefront of bridging training with real world experiences. They stand Semper Paratus, always ready to report for duty when ever and where ever called. Story by PA3 Ann Marie Gorden, First Coast Guard District

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