Military PR is run with military precision. That is why it fails.

A colleague of mine used to work with military PR. Before this all flared up, I was told, at first hand, that really their PR operations are not staffed by PR people, or indeed by anyone with any solid knowledge of the media. They’re staffed by ex-military.

Many would argue that the best people to send messages out would be those who actually do the job. Yet this debacle is clearly the result of media ineptitude. In a vacuum, a small group of people have made a decision that, while maybe militarily expedient, would elicit the response from virtually any right-thinking person: “What on earth are they playing at?”

The military’s job is to protect the nation, but it also needs to be seen to protect the nation. This precludes monetary incentives.

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