Army asking bloggers for morale boost

WASHINGTON: With recruitment in a slump and support for the war in Iraq dwindling, the US Army is hoping to boost morale by blogging.

WASHINGTON: With recruitment in a slump and support for the war in Iraq dwindling, the US Army is hoping to boost morale by blogging.

The Army is working with Ann Arbor, MI-based Hass MS&L to launch a program that will provide "exclusive editorial content" to bloggers.

Several pro-Army bloggers reported on the initiative and posted an e-mail pitch they received from an account executive at the agency.

The e-mail, from AE Charlie Kondek, states that the Army is "only contacting a handful of bloggers at this time" to see whether they would be interested in receiving the material. The bloggers could then decide if they want to use the content.

Hass MS&L referred calls to the Army, which could not be reached by press time.

Although Pentagon officials recently sidestepped questions from the press about blogs, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld commented on new media in a speech last month at Johns Hopkins University.

"This is the war of the 21st century," he said, citing 24-hour news networks, US and Iraqi bloggers, and digital cameras. "We all need to [adjust] - government and the media alike."

The Army is wrapping up its contract with Publicis agencies Leo Burnett and MS&L as it prepares to hand over its recruitment campaign to IPG's McCann Erickson and Weber Shandwick.

Work on the $1.35 billion contract begins in March.

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