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The 2013 Moore, Oklahoma F5 Tornado and Civil Air Patrol: Selling Our Story BY: Capt. Rick Rutledge OKWG CAP Public Affairs Officer Broken Arrow Comp.

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Presentation on theme: "The 2013 Moore, Oklahoma F5 Tornado and Civil Air Patrol: Selling Our Story BY: Capt. Rick Rutledge OKWG CAP Public Affairs Officer Broken Arrow Comp."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2013 Moore, Oklahoma F5 Tornado and Civil Air Patrol: Selling Our Story BY: Capt. Rick Rutledge OKWG CAP Public Affairs Officer Broken Arrow Comp. Sq. – Tulsa Area Deputy Commander Public Affairs Officer Emergency Services Officer

2 ABOUT ME AGE: 30 years old STATUS: Happily Married INTERESTS: Flying, Emergency Management, Media, Media Strategy, Producing, Poker, Weather (Storm Chasing) Joined CAP: 1996 (cadet) Senior Member Since: 2010 Prof. Develop: Level III Specialty: Public Affairs, ES, Cadet Programs Ratings: -PAO – Senior (master pending) - ES – Technician - CP - Senior By day I program two radio stations for the Journal Communications cluster in Tulsa. One is a Top 40 musical format, the other is a “Variety/We Play Anything” format. I’m husband to my beautiful (and understanding of CAP) wife Aurora and father to two boys ages 8 years and 2.5 weeks.

3 DAY ZERO SPC Issues Forecast Discussion regarding potential for severe weather outbreak two full days before everything began. OKWG DOS conducts conference call on Sat 18 May 2013 – OKWG CC, DOS, Chief of Staff, PAO, ES Officer, WG Sq CCs, ICs, LO, State Director Potential command and control facilities identified, Key personnel identified, plan for mass response finalized (put into play) and a call for resource readiness made. Also we discussed movement of CAP aircraft where necessary to keep assets safe. Contacts were made with EMs in every county and municipality across the state which paralleled initial response press releases sent to media contacts across the state. Local squadron PAOs contacted separately from the conference calls/press releases, asked to maintain readiness and to standby for support at mission base or from home.

4 The Storms 19 May 2013: DAY ONE

5 The Storms 20 May 2013: DAY TWO

6 The Response STATS: 50+ Volunteers on the ground within 2 hours of the storm 75+ Volunteers on the ground within 12 hours of the storm By weeks end we were at 100+ from three wings (OK, KS, TX) with more wings on standby 4 Aircraft with 8 different aircrews Largest single tasking we’ve ever been asked to perform for FEMA 13,000 homes to be photographed from end-to-end along the damage track NHQ flew in an additional 8 crash kits just for this exercise PAO Response: Assess major mission areas Make contact with on-site PIO Make contact with CAP IC Keep WG CC in loop on all correspondence Establish contact with NHQ PA for major media requests Begin to release initial press packets and news releases WHATEVER YOU DO: Make sure the ground teams, MSAs, Aircrews, etc. DON’T TALK TO MEDIA!!! Have printed copy of OKWG Crisis Plan on hand – JUST IN CASE

7 Goals

8 How? PRIORITIES:  Press Releases with generalized mission information  Facebook/Twitter/Wing Website Updates WITH contact info READILY available….  Follow-up with EVERY media contact you’ve worked with on any other project  Identify where MEDIA HUB is located (usually at or very near incident command)  Pick who would be BEST on camera from mission command staff – MAY NOT BE YOU.  Make sure ALL briefings include PIO priorities PLUS uniform reminders  Prepare One-Sheets/CAPABILITIES Guides – Get them printed in mass numbers  SELL OUR STORY!!!

9 How? CONSIDERATIONS:  Find an angle – THESE MAY CHANGE  LRGMP – Local Releases Get More Press  EMILY – Early Media Is Like Yeast  When dealing with network media ALWAYS focus on the volunteer angle – Works every time  When is press time? - PRINT: 1400 local (depending on where) - Television: 1 Day for network, 2-3 Hours for local  Give the media a REASON to run the story with EVERY release. Simple updates won’t get attention.  EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE – they need to know who we are FIRST to set anything up….  SELL OUR STORY!!!

10 Process  Beginning of day: - Review press notes - Summarize PIO brief for morning briefing - Search Google/Bing/Yahoo! for news - Return s/phone calls - Get updates and formulate new release  Lunch: - Call media contacts regarding AM release - Get updates from IC - Search Google/Bing/Yahoo! for news - Give mid-morning update to NHQ PA - Update interactive media  By EOBD: - Hit media row (generally two to three hours before first evening newscast) - Wrap up any interviews you may have away from mission site (phone, s, etc.) - Give COB update to NHQ PA

11 Results  Ran in more than 100 newspapers nationwide and 1 in the UK  Appeared in multiple national aviation publications (AOPA, Gen Aviation News, etc.)  AP carried story appears on more than 100 local affiliate websites  Crawl appearance on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC  Appeared on every local affiliate in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton/Wichita Falls, Ada/Sherman Denison, Fayetteville/Springdale and Ft. Smith DMAs  Boeing corporation’s internal web newsletter appearance and video  22 different radio stations (that we know of)  Story still occupies more than 13 pages of results on Google, Yahoo! And BING news  Shared audience of close to 1M with social media sharing  MASSIVE MISSION = MASSIVE AUDIENCE

12 Lessons Learned  No matter what, all the planning in the world will NOT have you show up to the party completely prepared for every scenario.  Your local PAOs are your BFFs – BUT STILL PROOF THEIR WORK  The AP can help you more than you can help yourself.  Don’t be afraid to be a uniform NAZI – Someone will be caught on camera somewhere during the mission and never know  You need 3 people to photograph – 1 photographing the mission execution, 1 photographing the mission base activity and 1 photographing you getting press  MAKE SURE YOUR SQUADRON OR WING HAS INVESTED IN A DSLR FOR PAO/PIO DUTIES ONLY….  Don’t turn down any opportunity to get press – if the Slapout, OK Times calls, give them 2 minutes of your time, you never know who might read that story  The customer COMES FIRST before the public’s need to know  BE. AGGRESSIVE. GET. PRESS.

13 Contact Me CONTACT: Mobile: Facebook: facebook.com/rickoakesrutledge or

14 Please complete the 2013 conference survey online for a chance to win a FREE registration to the 2014 conference in Las Vegas


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