Strategic Communication Plan by ekr11098

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									Strategic Communication Plan




           June 2009


      Marine Forces Reserve
                 “The future success of the Marine Corps depends on two factors: first, an
                efficient performance of all duties to which its officers and men may be assigned;
                second, promptly bringing the efficiency to the attention of the proper officials
                of the Government, and the American people.” 1
                                                      —Major General John A. Lejeune



INTRODUCTION
The Marine Corps, and Marine Forces Reserve, rely upon the support of the Nation for their very
existence. America will invest her resources in our Corps only if she perceives that we are ready,
successful, and affordable.

    •   The Nation must view us as successful, or she will not call on us in times of crisis.
    •   The Nation must perceive us as “always ready,” or she will see us as having no value.
    •   The Nation must believe that Marine Forces Reserve has value to the Nation and wider
        Marine Corps, or she will view us as a luxury she cannot afford.
    •   The Nation must see that we create quality citizens who are better for their service as a
        Marine, or she will not entrust us with her sons and daughters.

Telling Americans who we are and what we do is therefore critical to ensuring we achieve our objectives.

        This is the purpose of the Marine Forces Reserve Strategic Communication: To build
        and retain our Nation’s support and illustrate to the Active Component Marine Corps
        the unique warfighting capabilities of Marine Forces Reserve..



OVERVIEW
Strategic Communication is a process by which we integrate activities across all informational functions
and engage key audiences to achieve effects consistent with Marine Forces Reserve interests, policies,
and objectives. These informational functions extend well beyond the staff agency with principal
communications missions (Public Affairs) to include leaders across the Reserve Component.

This plan constitutes the capstone document from which all Marine Forces Reserve communication
planning and action will be derived. Subordinate communication planning will support the themes and
overall purpose of this plan. These might take the form of regional information campaign plans,
organizational communication plans, or issue-based public information plans. While these plans may
often require “strategic” thinking or employ strategic communication concepts, they do not constitute a
“Strategic Communication Plan.” There is only one Strategic Communication Plan for Marine
Forces Reserve.

The plan has no end date; it continues in effect so long as its objectives remain unchanged. While it is
expected that any alteration to the Marine Forces Reserve strategy would require shifts in communication
themes, the larger purpose of our Strategic Communication Plan is enduring.




                                                       1
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION PLANNING
The Marine Forces Reserve Public Affairs Office is the lead agency responsible for Marine Corps
Reserve Strategic Communication Planning. By consolidating planning activities at the Headquarters
level, MFR PAO is able to continually develop communication objectives and identify effective
approaches to key audiences in order to focus Marine Forces’ Reserve communication efforts. MFR PAO
enhances our ability to be proactive and speak with one voice.



KEY ELEMENTS
Assuring Marine Forces Reserve’s success requires effectively articulating what we stand for, what we do,
who we are and what we aspire to be. These are its key elements:

    •   CORE VALUES – Honor, Courage and Commitment

        The Marine Forces Reserve Strategic Communication Plan is rooted in our Core Values.
        In communications terms, our values are our most important attribute.
        This is what we stand for.

    •   MISSION – Prepare Marines, Win Battles, Create Quality Citizens

        Our Mission is the foundation of our reputation; we are judged on our success in each
        task.
        This is what we do.

    •   PRIORITY #1 – Our Marines and Sailors

        Our top priority is the men and women who embody our warrior ethos and realize the
        cost of protecting our fellow citizens and our way of life.
        This is who we are.

    •   BRAND VISION – Elite Warrior/ Quality Citizen

        The Marine Corps and the individual Marine Reservist should be viewed as the epitome
        of civil military virtue; a group of smart, tough, warriors whose virtues add value to
        communities across the nation. Conversely, these warriors introduce individual skills and
        the values of their respective communities into our warrior culture.
        This is what we aspire to be.




                                                   2
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Securing America’s and the Corps’ investment in Marine Forces Reserve requires that each consider us a
competitive advantage and not a luxury. While articulating our culture is an important part of this, we
need to also demonstrate that the Marine Corps Reserve is unique and valuable to the Nation in a very
practical and tangible sense.

        The Marine Corps Reserve fulfills a vital role in our Nation’s Marine Corps by
        augmenting the Active Component amphibious, expeditionary, air-ground combined
        arms task forces, thus enhancing the reach and endurance of the active force. We are
        always ready when called and successful when employed.



THEMES
The Commander Marine Forces Reserve planning guidance describes a way ahead that includes six major
goals for the Marine Corps Reserve. The goals outline our priorities and present a strategic vision for our
Force. These themes provide the structure and consistency necessary to maintain our Nation’s support
and ensure Marine Forces Reserve prosperity.

Within each of the strategic communication themes are key messages that describe Marine Forces
Reserve principle efforts and unique contributions as a force in readiness. It is essential that
communication activities across all lines of operation employ these messages as we “mass fires” to
achieve the desired effects.

    •   Multiply the Total Force

        - Our Reserve units and personnel augment and reinforce the active force in order for our Corps
          to achieve victory in the Long War.

        - We have answered our Nation’s call, and we will remain engaged.

        - The resourcefulness and versatility of our Marines have enabled our success in the full
          range of Marine Air Ground Task Force, (MAGTF), counterinsurgency, Joint and
          Interagency operations.

        - We will continue to develop and optimize our force structure to enhance our capabilities
          as a force multiplier.

    •   Meet authorized Selected Marine Corps Reserve end strength

        -The Active Component Marine Corps relies heavily on augmentation and reinforcement
         from the Reserve Component.

        - Building a force that can support the 1:5 deployment-to-dwell goal relieves the strain on the
          superb Americans who have volunteered to fight the Nation’s battles.

        - An authorized end-strength of 39,600 is highly relevant and will allow the SMCR to enhance
          the reach and endurance of the Active Component Marine Corps.




                                                     3
•   Train to the highest standards and attain the highest measure of unit, individual and
    material readiness

    - To support the Active Component Marines Corps, Marine Forces Reserve must not
      only train for irregular warfare, but also for combined arms maneuver, mountain
      warfare, amphibious operations and jungle warfare.

    - We will meet the demands on our force and instill efficient stewardship of our allocated
      resources.

    - We will plan and prepare with forethought and prudence; what we do today must ensure
      success in the decades to come.

•   Fully integrate the Reserve Component into the Total Force

    - Our efforts for integrating active and reserve unit-level combined-arms training will
      allow the Active Component Marine Corps to continue to provide lethal MAGTFs—fully
      equipped, trained, and ready to engage now and in the future.

    - We will continue to develop and refine our force structure in order to optimize our
      support of the Total Force.

    - We prepare our Marines to think, act and lead as combined arms warriors, planners
      and advisors within the Total Force.

•   Enhance and sustain the quality of life for our Marines and our families

    - We will be aggressive in our support for Marines and Sailors to ensure personal and family
      readiness.

    - Foster a seamless return and reintegration of Marines into their families, and civilian
      communities and occupations, upon completion of their mission.

    - Continue to promote Family and Quality of Life programs that assist Marines and
     Sailors reintegrate into their families, communities and civilian occupations

-   Demonstrate and promote our Core Values and warrior ethos

    - The transformation of becoming a United States Marine is a national treasure that the Marine
      Corps guards carefully—our standards remain high.

    - Reserve Marines develop lasting relationships within small pockets of American society and
      can promote our brand of elite warriors and quality citizens who are bettered as a result of their
      service.

    - Our Nation may continue to have high expectations of her Marines—we will deliver.




                                                 4
Targeting
Today’s information environment provides numerous, but varied, potential key audiences for our
messages, all of which exist as a subset of our overarching audience, the American public. The need
exists to prioritize the key audiences that exist within the American public and identify the most effective
means of communicating our themes and messages.



Key Audiences
Key audiences represent those influential subsets of the American public Marine Forces Reserve must
share its message with in order to be successful.

Marine Forces Reserve Personnel and their families
This group is the Reserve Component’s most influential spokespersons and is entitled to information that
would make them successful in that endeavor.

Prospective Marines
Men and women who choose to join the Marine Corps Reserve help to secure the future of the
organization. Marine Forces Reserve must reach out to those citizens to ensure information about the
organization is available, so that they can make informed decisions about the Marine Corps Reserve.

Active Component Marines
Active component Marines are eager to answer the call to serve our nation during a time of crisis,
however, they may be seeking options or pursuing goals not readily achievable while serving on active
duty. These highly trained professionals are a great benefit to Marine Forces Reserve. Providing these
men and women information about the organizations ensures they have the tools available to make
informed decisions about transitioning into this organization.

Legislature/ Congress
The full support of Congress is required to secure the prosperity of the reserves, especially in building and
maintaining the force. It is imperative that the legislature is fully aware of the capabilities of the Marine
Corps Reserve, and how it is essential to the Marine Corps’ mission.

State and Local Government
State and local governments are directly affected by our Reserve Marines. Units support these
communities, tangibly and intangibly. If kept well-informed as to the activities of local units,
communities can in turn support our broader mission.

Civilian Military Leadership
Our civilian leaders shape the force through budget and manpower oversight, purchasing and national
security policy. It is necessary to ensure these advisors are fully aware of the capabilities and
requirements of our force, to ensure we remain a capable force in readiness.

Employers
Employers play a key role in the success of the Marine Corps Reserve, because they provide Reserve
Marines the flexibility and support needed to carry out the Marine Forces Reserve mission. Education,
information and recognition for employers will ensure best practices and concrete relationships exist
despite a tumultuous environment.



                                                     5
Academia
Academia is an influential body within society. Their knowledge of opportunities for young men and
women in the Marine Corps Reserve directly affects our recruiting capabilities. If our population of
teachers and scholars are provided first-hand knowledge of the myriad of options available to young men
and women in the Marine Corps Reserve, they will be more apt to encourage young people to consider it
as a viable career option.

Other Services
Many Reserve units throughout the U.S. are co-located with other services. The smooth flow of
information will continue to build stronger relationships with our fellow services, and augment our
abilities to function in a joint environment.

Target Areas of Influence
Target Areas of Influence are groups and organizations who exist within society as leaders and providers
of information across America. It is essential that we provide our messages to these target areas, as the
men and women who make up these organizations have earned the trust and confidence of our Key
Audiences.

Local Communities
Well-planned and executed community relations programs assist in creating partnerships with our key
audiences. Marines involved in community relations activities are influential ambassadors, promoting our
ethos and Core Values through selfless service to their community.

Media
        Traditional or Mainstream Media
        Public distributors of news and information that reach large audiences
                Newspaper
                Television
                Radio
                Periodicals/ journals
                Wire Services

        New Media
        Offers individualized information that can be delivered or displayed to innumerable audiences
        simultaneously. Information can be reciprocated by the consumer.
                Websites
                Social Networking Sites
                Blogs
                Aggregators

Third-Party Organizations
Veterans, industry and business leaders, community and religious leaders are all influencers within key
audiences and can assist in sharing our messages.




                                                    6
Ethnically-Based Organizations
Members of these organizations are influential within their communities and can assist in sharing our
messages with audiences Marine Forces Reserve may struggle to contact.




COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES
Communication objectives are our end-state or commander’s intent. These are the goals we plan to
achieve by instituting the strategic communication plan.

Recruiting
Increase the number of new Marines joining Marine Forces Reserve in order to reach our end strength.

Retention
Conserve and enhance our warfighting capabilities by maintaining a core of Marines who possess the
leadership and warrior ethos we promote within our organization.

Revenue
Influence decision makers to procure the funding necessary to maintain our unit, individual and
equipment readiness.

Reputation
Our greatest asset is our individual Marines. They continue to promote our brand vision and affirm our
good standing with the American public through selfless service to Corps and Country.



DELIVERY & ASSESSMENT
Delivery
As the lead agency responsible for Marine Forces Reserve Strategic Communication Planning, the MFR
PAO will coordinate delivery and assessment in accordance with this plan.

The MFR PAO will also use the communication template enclosed in the Strategic Communication Plan
to develop additional support products and planning tools that facilitate further shaping operations in
support of this plan.

Assessment
In order to determine the effectiveness of our messages and the various modes of delivery, MFR PAO
must first establish a baseline that measures the identified key audiences’ perception of Marine Forces
Reserve and the mode in which they prefer to receive information.

This Strategic Communication Plan will act as a framework to develop Public Affairs Campaigns, linking
the communication priorities of Marine Forces Reserve to specific functions and events within the
Reserve Component. Campaign plans will identify specific communication initiatives, objectives and
measurable outcomes. MFR PA will be responsible for reporting the progress of these campaigns.




                                                    7
IMPLEMENTATION & EXECUTION
MFR PAO is responsible for implementing this plan as well as any subsequent Public Affairs Campaigns.
However, the execution of this plan is a responsibility shared by every leader within Marine Forces
Reserve. Each and every member of our Force, Marine, sailor, civilian Marine or family member, has a
stake in the success of this plan and the continued success of Marine Forces Reserve.




                                                  8
                                          Fig.1 – Strategic Communication One-Sheet

                                                        Core Values
                                            Honor - Courage - Commitment
         The Marine Forces Reserve Strategic Communication Plan is rooted in our Core Values. In communications
                                    terms, our values are our most important attribute.
                                                This is what we stand for.
                                                        Our Mission
                             Prepare Marines, Win Battles, Create Quality Citizens
                  Our Mission is the foundation of our reputation; we are judged on our success in each task.
                                                     This is what we do.

                                                        Our Priority
         Our top priority is the men and women who embody our warrior ethos and realize the cost of protecting our
                                            fellow citizens and our way of life.
                                                   This is who we are.
                                                       Brand Vision
                                           Elite Warrior/ Quality Citizen
       The Marine Corps and the individual Marine Reservist should be viewed as the epitome of civil military virtue;
       a group of smart, tough, warriors whose virtues add value to communities across the nation. Conversely, these
         warriors introduce individual skills and the values of their respective communities into our warrior culture.
                                                This is what we aspire to be.

                                          Our Competitive Advantage
The Marine Corps Reserve fulfills a vital role in our Nation’s Corps by augmenting the Active Component amphibious,
expeditionary, air-ground combined arms task forces, thus enhancing the reach and endurance of the active force. We
                            are always ready when called and successful when employed.

                               Marine Corps Strategic Communication Themes
Multiply the       Meet authorized     Train to the         Fully integrate the    Enhance and            Demonstrate
Total Force:       Selected Marine     highest standards    Reserve Component      sustain the quality    and promote our
augment and        Corps Reserve       and attain the       into the total Force   of life for our        Core Values
reinforce the      end strength to     highest measure      to allow the Active    Marines and our        warrior ethos
active force in    achieve a 1:5       of unit,             Component to           Families
order for our      deployment-to-      individual and       provide lethal
Corps to           dwell goal.         material             MAGTFs
achieve victory                        readiness
in the Long
War.

                                               Communication Objectives
Recruiting: Increase the         Retention: Maintain a core       Revenue: Procure the           Reputation: Marines
number of Marines joining        of Marines who possess           funding necessary to           continue to promote our
Marine Forces Reserve            leadership and our ethos         maintain the Force             brand vision and good
                                                                                                 standing with the American
                                                                                                 public




                                                              9
                       Fig.2 – Strategic Communication Campaign Planning Template

                           Title of Strategic Communication Campaign


Communication Objective:                       Overarching goal of the communication campaign.


Communication Strategy: Overarching purpose of the communication
campaign, i.e. how the 4 Rs will be achieved through this campaign

Communication Messages:                         Messages and themes we must communicate in
       Order
order to reach our communication objective

Ordered left to right
       1. Marine Corps Strategic Communication Plan, 2007
according to priority


Target Audiences:           Audiences identified in MFR Strat. Comm. Plan we must provide
our messages and themes to achieve the objective
Ordered from left to
right according to
priority

Tactical Initiatives:             TTPs and target spheres of influence used to reach identified
target audiences
1.
List all tactics used to   1.
reach the audiences        2.
listed in correlating      3.
column




Measures:           Define specific goals and measurable outcomes

1. Volumetric -
deliverables
2. Attitudinal –
measuring
perceptions via
engagement,
commitment,
satisfaction and
feedback
3. Behavioral –
willingness to act,
responses, behaviors
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                                           Notes

1. Marine Corps Strategic Communication Plan, 2007

2. Marine Forces Reserve Strategic Plan, 2007-2012

3. LtGen J. Bergman House Armed Services Committee Congressional Testimony,
 030309




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