Ministry of Defence in PR offensive to explain Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence's head of news has told PRWeek how his department ramped up its PR activity ahead of last weekend's launch of Operation Moshtarak.

Warning: Operation Moshtarak
Warning: Operation Moshtarak

James Shelley said the MoD was determined to warn the Afghan civilian population of the military action ahead.

He added that military commanders decided a key part of the plan would be to flag up aspects of the operation in advance, as this would also warn the Taliban and give them the chance to surrender.

Communications teams from the MoD, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and Number 10 were involved in putting together a communications plan.

The MoD has embedded five UK national journalists with various military units, in addition to existing media present in Afghanistan.

In the weeks running up to the operation, the MoD briefed the media about the upcoming offensive without going into specific operational detail.

This formed part of a cross-government plan, drawn up by the Afghan communications team, to prepare the media and the public for the operation.

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