New Media and the 180th Fighter Wing
By Tech. Sgt. Beth Holliker, 180th Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2009
May 2009 -- Friend us on Facebook: 180FW-OHANG
Follow us on Twitter: 180thFW
Did you know that the 180th Fighter Wing is now using social media sites to share information to you, the unit members, your friends and families and the community? It's true. The 180th has joined the fast paced world of instant communication by setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter page.
Many of you know that Facebook is a free social media and networking site that allows information and photos to be shared and exchanged among friends. Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows for short text updates and can also include web links and photos.
Our goal for these sites is to share information instantly and more often than once a month. Not only will we be posting information about the 180th, we will also post the latest information from our fellow Airmen both in the Air National Guard and in the Air Force. Recently, we have posted stories, photos and videos of our unit members in action, special offers and benefits for military members and ways that we can help support other deployed Airmen.
These sites are a place for you to get involved and ask questions and share your knowledge. We encourage all of you, your families and friends to log on and follow us for the latest information.
Keep in mind, that anytime you engage in social media, you are representing the 180th, the ANG and the AF. Be careful not to do or say anything that could bring discredit to you, the unit or the AF.
To help ensure that we can be involved in this new social media setting professionally, the Air Force Public Affairs Agency has developed ten tips that we should all be familiar with.
1 DON'T GIVE CLASSIFIED INFO.
Don't divulge classified, FOUO or sensitive materials, photos or video. OPSEC is crucial to our mission, think before you speak or film. If you're not sure, ask someone. Be smart .
2 STAY IN YOUR LANE
If you're an aircraft mechanic, you're well suited to communicate messages about aircraft maintenance. If you're an aircraft mechanic blogging about legal issues, reconsider your blog.
3 DON'T LIE
Credibility is critical, without it, no one cares what you have to say. It is also punishable by the UCMJ to give a false statement.
4 GIVE YOUR OPINION
Yes, tell them what YOU think. Just make sure that you state that it is your opinion and not the opinion of your organization. Also, be sure to identify what is your opinion and what is factual.
5 ALWAYS IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Identification makes your post more credible.
Videos that get widespread attention, or become "viral," feature death-defying stunts or acts that are considered "extreme" in nature. Don't let the desire to get your message out compromise your consideration for safety.
7 BE AWARE OF THE IMAGE YOU PRESENT
If using a visual medium, don't let your message get overshadowed because the viewer's attention is drawn to your improperly worn uniform or something occurring in the background. The image you present will set the tone for your message and often mean the difference of whether or not people listen to your message. Your tactical representation could have strategic and international consequences for the Air Force and the nation.
8 USE COMMON SENSE
This is the bottom line. If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, you probably shouldn't say it on YouTube. Realize that your words and images will go out to thousands and possibly millions of people around the world instantly and once it's out there, it's out there for good. Your unit public affairs shop should always be a source of advice and guidance in this medium. Also, be careful what personal information you divulge, such as address, phone numbers or any information that could aide identity thieves or the enemy.
9 DON'T BE AFRAID TO TAKE CALCULATED RISKS
Military life often deals in ambiguity: In order to make the best decision, it's recommended to take in as many variables as possible in order to make the most accurate decision.
10 THE ENEMY IS ENGAGED
The enemy is engaged in this battle space and you must engage there as well.