If it’s not yet a perfect storm, it’s close to one for defense and security companies working to remain competitive in an era of reduced budgets and increased security concerns. Companies will have to communicate the value and the effectiveness of their programs more clearly than ever before. This was the topline outcome from the event our defense practice at Powell Tate cosponsored last week with Cassidy & Associates to discuss the future of global defense and strategies for success for industry leaders in the changing fiscal and security environment.
Moderated by Marjorie Censer, defense contracting reporter for The Washington Post, our expert panel explored global and domestic views on defense policy, military capabilities, politics, and budgetary insight and highlighted the ways that defense spending and changes to contracting requirements impact companies.
We heard from:
- Kurt Volker, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership
- Brigadier General Michael E. Williamson, assistant secretary for acquisition and systems management for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology
- Steven Grundman, principal of Grundman Advisory
- Jay Maroney, Counsel, professional staff for the Senate Committee on Armed Services
- Moshe Schwartz, specialist in defense acquisition policy for the Congressional Research Service
Panelists highlighted three major imperatives in today’s defense acquisitions landscape:
- Leverage opportunities for off-the-shelf commercial systems: the Department of Defense (DoD) wants technologies that quickly and efficiently integrate with existing platforms;
- Emphasize life cycle and savings: DoD and Congress want to know if a program will work, how much it will cost to implement, and what the return on investment will be over the program’s life cycle;
- Protect security and the industrial base: Increased Congressional oversight, tightened purse strings and national security concerns mean that government and industry must consistently communicate to reduce risks.
The panel also affirmed that the U.S. remains the "arsenal of democracy": Allies around the world will continue to look to the U.S. to provide a stockpile of weapons and munitions in times of crisis.
The defense industry’s brand positioning is changing rapidly and companies need to be prepared. As one panelist emphasized, defense companies have spent the last decade closely identifying with the "warfighter." As the domestic and global landscape, and accompanying defense budgets shift, companies must ask themselves "does that still work?" and "what’s the new identity of the defense industry?"
At Powell Tate we continue to work with industry leaders to provide strategies that help answer these questions. Our practice group brings a wealth of defense-related experience, as well as a keen understanding of laws governing military public affairs, and the cultures of individual services, media and industries that interact with the U.S. DoD. Our team is ready to help you take on an ever-changing landscape in defense.
Emil Hill, Greg McCarthy and Crystal Benton also contributed to this article
“Are they even called ‘journalists’ anymore,” lamented a veteran New York Times reporter in a brainstorming meeting at Powell Tate.
“Bloggers,” I quipped in response.
While it is certainly true that traditional beat reporters and journalists are still around, it’s hardly news that journalism itself is changing, drastically. Just as reporters, journalists and the fledgling blogger must respond to the industry’s paradigm shifts, so too must communications professionals.
Flacks and hacks have long since grown accustomed to email superseding the phone for everything from introductions to story pitches. However, recently, a new medium has started to usurp even email when it comes to both story mining and story pitching: Twitter.
I’m not talking about tweeting news stories or following beat reporters to include in the morning’s media monitor. After all, communications pros have been doing that since Twitter’s inception, back in the prelapsarian days of 2007. I’m talking about tweeting a press release directly to a reporter rather than disseminating an email blast, followed by a phone call that predictably goes straight to voicemail.
Yes, everyone and their mother uses Twitter nowadays, but reporters especially so.
“When it comes to grabbing a reporter’s attention, tweeting would probably be more effective than a mass email blast,” affirmed a DC beat reporter.
“I bring my iPad to work purely so that I can have TweetDeck open on it all day,” admitted another reporter at The Hill.
“I would say that Twitter is a big part of my news consumption habits,” confirmed yet another reporter at a similarly popular Beltway pub. “When I was a blogger doing more aggregation, I would constantly see interesting things on Twitter that I would then blatantly aggregate.”
Put simply, pitching via Twitter works because it is what reporters consider their primary resource for everything from content to connections. They need it. Arguably, reporters are even more reliant on Twitter these days than email, and certainly more so than the telephone.
“What would you say if someone said you couldn't use twitter for a week?” I asked Sahil Kapur, a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
“It'd be a nuisance because it's useful for work,” said Kapur. “It's usually my first source of breaking news.”
Flickr creative common photo by wallyg
The District of Columbia has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. In fact, 2007 data reveals a staggering 35.4 percent of children in Washington, D.C. are overweight or obese.
To help tackle this important issue, the D.C. Council implemented the Healthy Schools Act to promote better nutrition, physical activity and overall wellness for kids across the District. The act achieves this by requiring D.C. schools to offer free, nutritious breakfasts, necessitating that kids get more physical activity during the school day, and even helping start school gardens to give children firsthand experience with healthy and natural foods.
But as we commonly see with legislation, translating policy into action and conveying the benefits of new legislation to the public can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to have a robust communications strategy that clearly outlines the intent and benefits of the Healthy Schools Act.
Part of any strong communications and public awareness campaign are simple, digestible and appealing visuals. For the District, these visuals needed to not only highlight the Healthy Schools Act’s benefits, but also help inform teachers, parents, school administrators and the community about the changes taking place across the District and how each parent and school official could get involved in improving students’ health.
Powell Tate offered to assist the District in these efforts. Our pro bono support to the DC Mayor’s Healthy Youth and Schools Commission provided the city with much-needed communications resources (see below.) And for the first time, the District will have visually-appealing communications mediums to convey the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. These visuals will be turned into posters, used in newsletters and even created into banners that underscore each part of the Act.
This holistic approach – using communications mediums of all sizes, shapes, and forms – will ensure that the benefits of the Healthy Schools Act are known by all stakeholders in the Washington, D.C. community. And at Powell Tate, we’re proud to help educate D.C. residents about health and wellness.
Imgembed photo by Jirka Matousek
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
I’ve always loved that saying. It strikes me as smart, true and useful advice.
Many probably recognize that this bit of wisdom comes from Benjamin Franklin. You may not know that Franklin was thinking about preventing home fires when he coined that maxim. (Franklin was instrumental in organizing Philadelphia’s first fire company in 1736. Is there anything that guy couldn’t do?)
Much of our crisis and issue advocacy work with clients seeks out that ounce of prevention – crafting smart, effective and substantive responses to hard public issues that clients might face in the future, whether occasioned by a crisis, major litigation or some other controversy. At the same time, we help clients analyze and improve their internal processes – making sure they can reach decisions and act with the speed necessary in today’s immediate media culture. We conduct “fire drills” – testing both substance and process in tabletop exercises, crisis simulations, mock press conferences and interviews or even full-blown mock congressional hearings. If your organization has to respond to a crisis, you want to have had a chance to practice with experienced coaches in the room who will tell you how you really did and how you might do better.
While we have been successful helping clients deal with difficult situations without the benefit of advanced planning, today’s media and political environment make Franklin’s words ring true. Find time for contingency planning and then test your coordination and reaction in a realistic mock scenario. Know who will do what, and know who will fill in if the people you are depending on are on vacation, on a plane or on the other side of the world. Like a good fire insurance policy, you hope you will never need it. But you will be very glad you have it if you do.
SEC headquarters, Washington, DC. Flickr creative common photo by scot*eric
Transparency is key for users who communicate via social media channels, according to new guidelines released by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Last week, the SEC updated its disclosure rules for how companies share financial information through social media. The latest guidelines say companies are free to use social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate financial information – as long as they alert investors first.
By sharing the social media strategy with investors, companies can ensure they comply with Regulation Fair Disclosure, which requires businesses to publish material information to all investors at the same time.
Similarly, the FTC recently updated its dot com disclosure rules for how advertisers communicate via social media. For the most part, the rules are the same as they have always been: social media users who promote a product, service or campaign must disclose any financial relationship they - or their employer - have with the brand they are touting.
However, the new rules now require all disclosures to be “clear and conspicuous”; that is, stated in clear and concise language, reasonably close to the advertisement, in every promotional social media post.
For example, an acceptable disclosure might look like:
(Source: Social Media Today)
The takeaway? Social media is a powerful communications vehicle. But like any good communications strategy, it’s best to be clear, honest, and transparent. And when in doubt, check with a legal expert before tweeting, posting, or pinning about anything in which you or your company has a financial stake.
In her column this weekend, the public editor of the New York Times paraphrased the paper's social media guidelines for its staff and freelancers.
Simple and elegant.
"Think first and remember that you represent The Times."
A novel approach, worth emulating.
Several team members from Powell Tate attended the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. They'll be sharing their insights from the festival here on this blog.
Are you spending your time focusing on getting Facebook likes? Or working overtime to optimize your search engine results?
Feel free to stop.
From a social engagement perspective, the theme at South By Southwest was for organizations to focus on making their online presences as useful as possible for their audiences. The rest, said panelist after panelist, will follow.
For example, rather than focus on getting likes, dedicate your time to making your content likeable. Rather than sweating over your SEO efforts, make sure your content is compelling enough for people to engage with it, share it and link to it.
At his keynote address, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal discussed his effort to raise money for a museum honoring inventor Nikola Tesla, an online fundraising project that has brought in over $1.3 million. Was it me, Inman asked rhetorically? Was it the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform? Inman modestly declared that in fact the fundraising was successful because of Nikola Tesla himself and his compelling story.
The lesson? Find and create and compelling content first, worry about how to dress it up and market it second.
Several team members from Powell Tate attended the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. They'll be sharing their insights from the festival here on this blog.
The interactive portion of South By Southwest has wrapped up, which means it’s time for the inevitable discussion of what "next big thing" made a splash in Austin the way Twitter (2007), Foursquare (2009) and GroupMe (2011) did in previous years. (And Highlight in 2012, although it wasn’t heard from again.)
What software application had everyone buzzing this year?
Actually, there wasn’t one.
The lack of a breakthrough, must-have app let attendees focus on the hardware side of things. For example, three innovative products:
- Makerbot 3D printer: It’s a copy-and-paste for real-world objects. This new desktop printer can scan a physical item and then print it in 3-D. (See Mashable writeup.)
- Leap Motion Controller: This device lets users control virtual space in front of your computer. (This video explains more.)
- Google Glass: Google has been talking about this project for awhile (remember this video from a year ago?), but they unveiled more details at SXSW during a demonstration. (See NYT writeup.)
Looking back, 2012 will likely be remembered as the year that SXSW attendees looked up from their phones to see how digital was changing the physical world.
Six-figure contracts, corporate sponsorships and arenas pack with fans is hardly the image most people associate with video games.
But eSports has changed that.
While hardly a household name, electronic sports — or eSports — are quietly dismantling the limitations of traditional entertainment on a global scale. Propelled by advancements in affordable video streaming technology, game titles such as Starcraft II and League of Legends have attracted fans from around the world that tune in to watch their favorite players compete against each other.
This year, for Social Media Week, we hosted and moderated a panel aimed at exploring the technology and influences that lead to the recent rise of eSports. Our panelists included eSports journalist, Rod Breslau of GameSpot and CBS Interactive, Deric Ortiz of One Nation of Gamers, Reed Albers of the Entertainment Software Association (client), and Ben Goldhaber of Twitch.tv.
To our knowledge, this was the first Social Media Week panel about professional gaming, so it was a great opportunity to introduce attendees to a subject most have never heard of.
Here are a few fascinating takeaways that emerged from our panel discussion:
- Twitch.tv receives 25 million unique visitors and 300 million views each month.
- The largest eSports event to date garnered over 1 million concurrent viewers and over 8 million unique viewers total.
- Tournaments are viewed in over 157 countries.
- The average Twitch.tv viewer consumes 90 minutes of content each day.
- Over 8,000 eSports enthusiast gathered in bars across the United States last year to watch tournaments.
Will big brands follow fans?
The numbers don’t lie; there is a huge eSports audience waiting to be engaged.
Companies like Intel and Redbull have recognized this growth and have established deep roots in the eSports community — each company even hold their own branded eSports tournaments. Computer memory giant, Kingston, and electronic accessory manufacturer, Logitech, have also found an engaging niche of customers in the eSports community. These companies have not traditionally had a mainstream outlet to spotlight their products, but eSports has provided these brands a unique opportunity to reach consumers. As eSports gains momentum, more will certainly follow.
Where are the fans?
Aside from live events, video streaming is the primary medium on which eSports fans consume media. Twitch.tv, the most popular streaming platform for eSports games, is primarily responsible to the breakneck growth of professional gaming worldwide. Within their streaming platform, Twitch.tv has thoughtfully integrated a robust advertising platform that enables users to essentially create their own media network. With a deep bench of advertising partners, Twitch.tv is able to drive significant results for brands that utilize their platform and for stream hosts that provide content for their platform. Popular streams can earn up to six figures a year.
Is eSports a fad?
Perhaps. Game titles may shift over time, but fundamentally the proliferation of eSports has forged a new digital distribution model for entertainment that will continue to challenge traditional mediums.
Last week marked the second year Social Media Week came to Washington, DC and our team doubled its efforts this year by hosting four nearly sold-out events.
In the spirit of the debated sports renaissance taking place in DC, our team decided to put together a panel on two topics we’re equally passionate about: sports and emerging digital trends.
We were thrilled to have a knowledgeable (and fun) panel ranging from representatives of the teams we love to root for and the outlets that cover them, including:
- Scott Langerman, SB Nation
- Zachary Leonsis, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
- Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post | DC Sports Bog
- Shripal Shah, The Washington Redskins
- Chick Hernandez, Comcast Sports Net | NBC Sports
Conversation among our panelists focused on how digital platforms have influenced the way teams, media outlets and fans all engage with one another. Whether from personal experience (attending/watching a game) or professional experience (shaping a new strategy), we all know that there is a new standard for sourcing, creating and disseminating content. While the demand and pace with which we provide this content is insatiable, our panelists agreed it’s an exciting opportunity for sports brands and media that requires increased investment of time (it’s a 24/7 cycle) and resources (the people and production it takes to execute a successful digital content strategy) to execute well.
A few key takeaways:
Twitter rules (for now): For the first 45 minutes of the conversation, panelists referenced Twitter as the leading platform they use to engage with their audience, source stories, and gain a pulse for what players, fans and media are talking about. Twitter is increasingly an evaluation metric for brands and PR firms when considering athletes for endorsement deals and brand activations.
Mobile and the second screen: Teams and brands are focusing on the best experience they can deliver – whether you are in-stadium, at home, or attending a different game altogether. The ability to reach a fan across multiple touch-points is a huge opportunity and exciting challenge.
Growing emphasis on content creation: Creating and broadcasting content is no longer a role held solely by traditional media powerhouses. Teams and ownership groups like Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment are making a strong push to maximize their content creation capabilities, and at times relationships between all groups have been strained. As the sports media landscape gets more saturated with content, expect to see exciting innovations and more bumps in the road between traditional content creators and their counterparts.
Running a measurably successful advocacy campaign on social media is hard. Tactics, technologies and platforms are changing rapidly, and many nonprofits and organizations are still chasing that elusive ROI. So how can advocacy organizations stay ahead of the technology curve, break through the noise to engage supporters and – most importantly – activate them when it matters most?
That’s the question panelists tackled at our Agile Advocacy event last week. Hosted by Powell Tate as part of Social Media Week DC, the event featured Deepa Kunapuli, curator for Upworthy; Garth Moore, the ONE Campaign’s US Digital Director, and Lauren Balog Wright from Powell Tate. Kaiya Waddell of Facebook’s Policy and Advocacy department moderated the panel.
A packed house of advocacy professionals attended the event, and conversation focused on three main pillars that support a successful social media advocacy campaign: content creation and curation, community management and paid media. Below are just a few of the lessons learned from our panelists that can help you run a successful social media advocacy campaign (without an Obama-sized budget).
Create a Curiosity Gap With Your Audience: All the panelists talked about creating just enough of a teaser in your content on social platforms to convince a reader to take the next step. Whether you want a supporter to take action or watch a video to learn more, getting them to make that first click is the most important thing your social content can do. At UpWorthy, creating that curiosity gap is baked into their content curation process: curators are required to write 25 draft headlines and share them with a larger team to determine the winner. This process – while sometimes painful – is the secret sauce behind Upworthy’s success in making quality content go viral.
Develop a relationship with your community. The ONE Campaign has hundreds of thousands of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and an ambitious goal of reaching one million supporters on both platforms by the end of this year. How do they keep their base engaged and activate them for major legislative battles? An empowered community manager is behind the computer on a daily basis responding to comments and tweets with enough editorial freedom to develop an authentic voice and capitalize on real-time happenings in the media.
Paid is important, but requires great content. Based her work This is Personal, a campaign for The National Women’s Law Center, Lauren Balog stressed that paid media is increasingly the cost of admission if you want to cut through the clutter of the newsfeed and run a large scale campaign. But throwing dollars behind something doesn’t guarantee ROI if you don’t have good quality content. Design should lead content creation – not simply be an after thought. When you have high quality content, paid media is a very effective way to boost your acquisition and engagement levels. With paid media increasingly appearing contextually in-stream, it’s also a great way to build affinity with your fans.
Garth Moore was also quick to note that paid media scales. You don’t need an Obama sized budget to reap benefits from paid support. Even a paid program of a few hundred dollars a month can show a good return on investment if used wisely.
Use the right metrics. A lot of organizations think that by simply having a lot of fans or followers, they will automatically see high engagement numbers across platforms. But that’s not true. In order to have a successful fan base on Facebook, you need to make sure you’re recruiting the right fans to your page, and feeding them the types of actions or content that will compel them to click or share. Fans alone is a vanity metric. If you are acquiring fans for their own sake, and those fans are not taking actions that ladder up to your organizations goals, you should reevaluate whether you are acquiring the right people or creating the kind of content that engages your community.
DC is really popular. Just this year alone, it’s at the top of lists about being the most popular place to move and the best food scene in the country, and hosts a booming real estate market that barely took a plunge when the rest of the country’s economy spiraled out of control. But as the city develops, the local government has not kept pace with the ability to integrate technology and social media solutions to provide better information and communication between city officials and residents.
Panelists from our Digital District Social Media Week session last week implied that city leaders, as well as the private sector, could do a lot more to fill that need. The panel was part of a day-long series of Social Media Week events Powell Tate hosted to address a range of topics and trends, such as the importance of agile advocacy and the evolution of eSports.
The Digital District roundtable discussion brought together a range of perspectives including John Lisle, who managed social media for DDOT and now DC Water; Tiffany Bridge, a local Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and co-founder of We Love DC; local bloggers, like David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington and Tom Cochran from Ghosts of DC; and finally Brandon Jenkins of Fundrise to represent the private sector.
Though the conversation touched on a gamut of issues like concerns about the digital divide, and the need for an overhaul of infrastructure, what became obvious was the fundamental need for both better leadership in local government to embrace the risks as well as the benefits of implementing digital communications strategies, as well as a need for the private sector to think outside of the box to find solutions to local needs.
Creating an environment where the government can feature its strengths by freeing up public data, while also incentivizing the private sector to use that information to create new services, will be an important foundation to lay in order to help the city with this transition.
Ultimately, we hope this is just the beginning of a conversation about how to better support both sides of the equation in order to make DC a truly digital district. Because, even if you can’t make it to the local zoning board meeting, doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what’s going on.
Social Media Week 2013 is underway, bringing together digital minds from around the world (with more than 500 events spanning 10 cities this year) to discuss trends in social media, share best practices, and host meet-and-greets for digital veterans and newcomers alike.
It’s no secret that the way we communicate is becoming more and more reliant on digital channels, and the growth of Social Media Week’s popularity over the past five years is proof. SMW’s founder, Toby Daniels, recently did an interview with Forbes where he discussed how he built this movement from the ground up, starting with – you guessed it – digital channels, including Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. This strategy has worked, as Daniels notes, “our most effective form of promotion is through our community, which in four years has grown to more than 100k professionals worldwide.”
It’s critical for communicators at all levels to take a page from Daniels’ strategy, to understand how we use digital and social channels to tap into communities – from grassroots to advocacy (Obama campaign, anyone?) and consumer marketing (see Oreo’s recent social media win during the unexpected Super Bowl blackout). We’re seeing more and more reliance on social channels than on traditional media to engage audiences and raise awareness. This is particularly important for campaigns focused on CSR and demonstrating impact. When organizations and brands demonstrate that they’re listening to their communities, and engaging in a two-way dialogue on social channels, they build trust, demonstrate transparency, and can more effectively share perspectives with an active, engaged audience.
There’s lots to check out during Social Media Week that build on this theme, with live streams of many of the panels globally. Additionally, the team here at Powell Tate is excited to be participating in a number of panels this week on Thursday, exploring everything from how to best use paid media in advocacy campaigns to the way social media changes the way we experience sporting events. Links with more information and to register are below – hope to see you there!
Sports Entertainment & Reporting In The New Media Cycle
The Year of eSports: Social Media and the Rise of Professional Gaming Worldwide
Last night, President Barack Obama delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, a tradition that Americans still relish even in a 24-hour media world. Presidents, too, value this time-honored ritual as an opportunity to speak directly to constituents far and wide. And with the proliferation of social media, the State of the Union is no longer a monologue, but a global dialogue conducted in real time.
According to Twitter data, more than 766,000 tweets referenced the State of the Union and related hashtags between 9:05pm and 10:40pm ET, beginning with the President’s entrance and concluding with Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) response on behalf of the Republican Party.
Social media engagement remained steady throughout the speech, averaging 8,052 tweets per minute, and spiked at more controversial segments, including Obama’s calls for education and tuition reform (12,870 tweets per minute), investment in innovative companies such as Apple (13,956 tweets per minute), and commitment to fostering clean energy solutions (11,871 tweets per minute).
Yet, the President’s conversation with the American people was not all pomp and circumstance. Plenty of social media users took the opportunity to dish out quips about the President and others in the House chamber. As MSNBC points out, the President’s snub of Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) – who has made it a tradition to stand in the center aisle to be greeted by the president at every State of the Union since 1989 – generated numerous wisecracks, including this one from NBC’s Kasie Hunt:
Another favorite – and perhaps most viral –topic for social media users came after the main event, during Rubio’s response. When the parched Florida senator awkwardly lunged for a sip of water while maintaining eye contact with the camera, the Twitter-verse pounced on the gaffe and sent more than 9,200 tweets per minute. Rubio shook off the flub, responding:
Joking aside, the legacy of the State of the Union address endured last night, and the President seized the opportunity to discuss the areas that matter most to the American people: manufacturing, jobs training, education, defense and energy efficiency. While the White House isn’t quite ready to live-stream the President’s address via Google Hangout, social media engagement during last night’s speech clearly demonstrates that the State of the Union has evolved into a full-fledged, worldwide conversation.
This is part of a series examining the legislative outlook in the 113th Congress. In the coming days, our leadership team will share its views on key issues facing our clients across various sectors.
With the March 1 sequester deadline looming, it is no longer a question of 'if' defense spending will be seriously cut; it's a question of the depth of those cuts. If no agreement on budget sequestration is reached before the March 1 deadline, the Department of Defense will see an automatic across-the-board cut of $500 billion over the next 10 years, including roughly $46 billion in 2013 alone. Even if a deal is reached in Congress, most observers agree that the Defense Department will still face cuts of $25 billion or more next year, and similar cuts for the next decade. This best case/worst case speculation has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to say that no matter what course lawmakers chart for the country's defense spending, planners at the Pentagon will need to fundamentally re-think current U.S. military strategy and missions.
Sustaining Existing Programs
While defense contractors will work hard to keep current programs off the budget chopping block, many may also find themselves re-tooling operations and enhancing capabilities to service and maintain existing platforms and systems as they adjust to a Pentagon more intensely focused on doing more with less. Still other companies may be forced to turn to foreign markets such as Israel, India or South Africa for sales of new defense systems.
President Barack Obama's decision early in his first term to rotate 2,500 U.S. Marines through a base in northern Australia was an early sign of what has become known as the "Pacific pivot" – a purposeful shift in foreign policy toward China and East Asia. In Obama's second term he will likely seek to reinforce his message to the Asia-Pacific region that the U.S. intends to remain an engaged power and that the Pentagon and U.S. military assets will play a growing role in such efforts. How exactly the "pivot" will take shape and what it will mean for individual military suppliers and contractors remains to be seen, but those businesses with an eye on East Asia may see new opportunities despite fiscal austerity.
What This Means for Communicators
The long, drawn-out and fierce fight for the U.S. Air Force Tanker contract and the failed effort to secure an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have become the model for modern defense acquisition competitions. Companies that neglect a Washington, DC engagement plan as well as a broader plan to sway the media, defense analysts and the public as part of their contract strategies will suffer the consequences. Targeted public affairs/communications strategies and robust engagement campaigns to help them succeed are essential – whether preserving existing programs, expanding into new markets or winning new contracts.
Executive Vice President
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