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By now, most people have realized the government and the military are trying to be more transparent by engaging in social media and trying to start a dialogue with the general public. To emphasize this, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen ran a campaign on his facebook page (yes, the top military official in the country has a facebook page!) asking individuals to post their questions via youtube (see the above video) Admiral Mullen was compiling all the questions to run a virtual town hall meeting where those questions would be answered. No topic was off limit, from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to specific issues that are affecting military families, etc.
After you take a look at the video, I hope you will be surprised exactly how progressive this campaign is, especially from an entity (military) that would not traditionally be partaking in this type of activity. When in doubt that technology and social media are changing the way we operate, this is a pretty convincing example showing how social media truly does empower the audience. Social media is breaking barriers; the everyday person has access to individuals that were unreachable in the past.
It is impressive that our military is acknowledging the changes taking place in how the public receives messaging and are taking steps to be relevant. From service members to their families, to individuals that care about the military, everyone is invited to express their opinion and pose questions on the Admiral’s facebook page. If twitter is your preferred method of communication, the Joint Chiefs have an account there as well!
This is just one example showing the commitment by the military leadership to start discussions with the public. Looking at facebook and twitter, most bases have accounts on one or both mediums, and some commands or bases are utilizing multiple social networks to tell their story. Social media is changing the way the military is communicating with the public. Will it change the way they communicate amongst each other? How about recruiting?