BEST PRACTICE CONFERENCE: NATO must advance PR further says Shea

NATO may have learnt the importance of media strategy as a result of the Kosovo conflict, but any change of senior military personnel could yet leave it unprepared in the case of war, said NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea at the PR Week Best Practice conference last week.

NATO may have learnt the importance of media strategy as a result

of the Kosovo conflict, but any change of senior military personnel

could yet leave it unprepared in the case of war, said NATO spokesperson

Jamie Shea at the PR Week Best Practice conference last week.



While Shea recognised the advances made by NATO in terms of improved

reporting structures, media monitoring and rebuttal, he remains

sceptical about the longevity of such advances. He also admitted that

NATO was hampered in the PR battle by the lack of visual material. ’We

have got to fight pictures with pictures, the problem was that I was

using words against pictures. Pictures are believed, words are not,’ he

said. He also said that NATO needs to make better use of radio and new

technologies such as those that enable broadcasters to piggyback onto

enemy channels.



NATO must also do more in terms of managing public expectations of the

realities of war, according to Shea. ’We need to get the message out at

the beginning that there will be casualties and that they may be on our

side, and they will most certainly be on the other side. A media

strategy won’t win you the war, but if it is bad it will lose you the

war.’



Other speakers at the conference included CBI director of international

competitiveness, Andy Scott, who talked about how PR Week’s Best

Practice campaign fits within the CBI’s Fit for the Future campaign and

the Government’s drive towards increasing competitiveness by sharing

best practice.



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