Monday, June 28, 2010

My take on McChrystal

OK, I've heard all sides and here's my take.

Relationships with the press are a two-way street.

1- When you allow an embed, there are ground rules. I realize that we don't know what those were with this guy from Rolling Stone but I've been a PA long enough to know that the embeds are required to follow ground rules. If you break those, there is no more access. All media people know this because they want future access.

2- Military people know, or should know, never trust the press. I don't care how cozy things become, you are always on the record. Period. You should never, ever, forget this one little rule and it appears that this is what happened.

3- This will have consequences for us on the ground and I know because it already has. I've been fending off mid-level officers and my senior guy all week. Begging them to remember that embeds are OK (we've been doing it for years); that relationships with the press are necessary (how else will you reach the people?)

The military-media relationship has always been strained but when a snot-nose like Michael Hastings has the audacity to say all over national television that the relationship is an illusion, he obviously doesn't seriously understand his position. On the other hand, for the military folks to honestly assume that it is OK to say the things they did in front of him was just plain stupid and arrogant.

Gen McChrystal didn't put up a fight because that is not what senior-ranking officers do in the Army. They take the fall for the bad things and let the junior ranking folks take the accolades for the good things. It's called leadership.

Will this have an effect? Yes. And we'll see it soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The A-Team

Yahoo! users gave ""The A-Team" an A.

I personally would give it a B.

The show was a family fav when I was a kid so of course I wouldn't miss it. It was fantastic...lots of action, great characters, funny lines, good set-up for a sequel. The four main characters could have walked out of the 1980s roles. Murdock was just as silly as he was back then. Hannibal was as god-like. Face and Barracus -- the same cool dudes kickin doors, communicating with mere nods of the head.

BUT, the thing that nagged at me through the entire movie was Jessica Biel's character.

Who is this Army captain that rarely wears a uniform and bosses around 4-star generals? Her character was never developed and her role was never clearly defined in the movie. Maybe it's because I know that a captain would never wield that kind of power...perhaps a CID captain. (That's Criminal Investigative Division)
But even so, no captain I know, not even CID, would ever speak to a 4-star that way. And no 4-star I've ever met would take it past the first word.

So my question to Hollywood is this: please tell me who this person is that is giving orders to colonels and generals? If you could define her authority for me, I think your movie would go from a B to an A, hands down!

Beyond that annoying little splinter, the movie rocked!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Social Media Out the Wazzoo

Linked In

That's a lot of social media. Do you need to belong to them all? Personally, I don't think so.

When you thin yourself out, then nothing is good quality.

I say focus on making your website or your blog great. If your thing is photos like my pal Scott, fill up the Flickr.

Find your niche, then use one or two social media sites to your advantage to market it.

Remember the adage, less is more.