NATO recognizes PR weaknesses

LONDON: NATO may have learned the importance of media strategy as a result of the Kosovo conflict, but any change of senior military staff could leave the organization unprepared in the case of war.

LONDON: NATO may have learned the importance of media strategy as a result of the Kosovo conflict, but any change of senior military staff could leave the organization unprepared in the case of war.

LONDON: NATO may have learned the importance of media strategy as a

result of the Kosovo conflict, but any change of senior military staff

could leave the organization unprepared in the case of war.



This was one of the strategies imparted by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea

at the PRWeek UK ’Best Practice’ conference held last week. While Shea

recognized the advances made by NATO in terms of improved reporting

structures and media monitoring and rebuttal, he remains skeptical about

the longevity of such tactics. He also admitted that NATO was hampered

in the PR battle by the lack of visual material.



’We have to fight pictures with pictures,’ he said. ’The problem was

that I was using words against pictures. Pictures are believed, words

are not.’



Shea added that NATO needs to make better use of new technologies - such

as those that enable broadcasters to piggyback onto enemy channels - as

well as do more in terms of managing public expectations.



’We need to get the message out that there will be casualties and that

they may be on our side, and they will most certainly be on the other

side,’ he explained. ’A media strategy won’t win you the war, but if it

is bad it will lose you the war.’



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