Who is in charge of the RN's PR?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Clown_Puncher, Nov 25, 2009.

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  1. Because I, along with everybody I work with, would like to go on record to say that you are stealing a living. I know OM2's who could do a better job.

    You are making us look like idiots, allowing us to be mauled by the media and failing to learn lessons from the past. All with a strategic review around the corner, well done.

    Please step down from your post so we can give the job to the same people who do PR for the RAF, who never ever miss a trick and can turn anything into a newsworthy story. Today it's all girl Merlin crews, but every single day they come up with something positive and newsworthy.

    Thanks to you, we are now the country's least favourite service, and we're going to pay for your ineptitude big style in the next few years.
  2. What has to be remembered is that the Crabs are masters of manipulation when it comes to PR. Right from their formation they were fighting their 2 big brothers for funds, equipment and even their existence.

    The RN has always plodded along with the attitude of we are the Royal Navy, we rule the waves on behalf of Britannia. We need no introductions, our 300 years of tradition is our PR. In days of Empire that worked. The pooh started to hit the fan when our shiny ships started being sunk by those damned upstart flyboys of the 'lesser' nations. That is when their Lordships should have realised that manipulation of the press was important, not suddenly scrabble around in the last few years trying to not look like 'Colonel Blimp' figures at every set back which occurred and was plastered over Page 1 of the Scum.

    I left in 2004 (finished my RFR commitment yesterday as a matter of fact) and my last draft was as PSI in a RNR unit. I wondered what exactly do the Media Luvvies do? Not a lot I thought until I joined the real world where PR/Sales is vital.

    The problem is the RN then, and I assume now, relies on the RNR Media branch for its handling of situations and general PR. The luvvies are the same as any other branch of the RN or RNR they have good, bad and average people. Being RNR what they do not have is time. PR is full time and needs a healthy budget. It also needs trained people who are available at all hours 24/7, like the old fleet legal advisors.More importantly they should, like the Crabs, be Pro-active. Release stories, make the News media filth feel welcome and loved so that when something adverse happens it is nipped in the bud not let to fester until it is a PR disaster.

    Maybe Fleet should be asking for the loan of a couple of Crab PR types to show them the ropes, I am sure they would be happy to provide consultancy and do the press releases for that as well :) or perish the thought listen to what the damn reservists have to say on what is their civilian field of expertise!
  3. security_geek:

    Thanks for the insider mate. And you're dead right, the RN does need to move on from just having the attitude that being the RN will do. We're the ugly ginger stepson aof the Armed Forces at the moment, it needs gripped pronto before we make tits of ourselves any more.
  4. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    RN PR is run by the RN part of the Media Ops world - they have a combination of press officers, RN Officers and the odd RNR officer.

    The problem isn't that they're not putting out stories, its that the media don't like good news stories and don't want to print them. Plenty get issued, but we can't force the media to carry the stories they don't like.
  5. :oops: But they manage too get plenty, off pictures out about the Blonde PR bird, CDR Sue Eagles :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  6. It wasn't a PR type who allowed the HMS Cornwall incident happen; it was failures at every level.

    The cock who allowed Cornwall's Lynx to fcuk off on a jolly.

    The cock who put an overweight pie-muncher as cox'n of the RIB.

    The cock who allowed Mr. Bean to take an iPod on patrol.

    The cock who omitted adequate ROE's

    The cock who allowed Faye Turney to sell her story to ITN and the Sun

    The cock who allowed the trembling-lipped Arthur Batchelor out in public whining that the bad Iranian man had flicked his ear, confiscated his iPod and called him Mr. Bean.

    The latest incident with RFA Wave Knight was the same; it doesn't matter that it was an RFA. In the public's mind it was the Royal Navy.

    Again - who was the cock who decided to spin the line that they had happened upon the unmanned yacht only to have the truth unfold that they stood by and witnessed the kidnapping of British Citizens [doesn't matter whether that was right or wrong].

    It's not a PR problem; it's a Royal Navy problem.

  7. Well how do the Army and RAF manage to do so then? Almost daily. Where are our daily reports of RN achievement. If a RAF or AAC pilot flies with the RN, it's everywhere. Where are our heroic tales of derring do? We have to win MC's to get the public to notice that we are on the ground.

    Using positive pro-active PR would garner favour from the public and press, at the moment, everyone thinks we're shit, where are the flipside stories, why aren't we driving hard to promote what we do well?

    We do have our shower of clunts, but the other two do a better job of glossing over and using spin to turn a story.

    Had a similar situation happened to the crabs, then I would put my house on the situation being reported along the lines of (RAF presence saves lives of the Chandlers)

    The RAF, no matter what happens can put a positive spin on everything, lost a jet? No worries "Pilot steers doomed jet away from school before ejecting".

    Those that should be helping our personnel (Whether they deserve it or not) aren't protecting them or aiding them.
  8. Out 5 years so yes I am an out of touch old fart! :oops:

    @ Purple Twiglet

    The stories that they release to the press are no doubt the good news, we are doing important stuff. Which as you say the average reporter/editor is not interested in.
    Could they not (and I feel the bile rising as I suggest this) do the same sort of stories that appeal to the media, example;

    RAF Merlin crew, training for deployment, expect to come under fire, trained and prepared in the event of capture = non story. It happens regularly.

    Oh did we mention they are an all female crew? Press falling over themselves to get this 'human interest' story into the papers.

    The drongos that read these stories and lap them up are not going to be bothered by the in-ter-lec-tu-al factual reports. Hence the papers these reports generally appear in. The same drongos are on the whole the general public who have no idea of the armed forces and consider us (serving and ex) a bit odd.

    The Crabs seem to have managed to tap into this arena and produce some cringe-worthy stories which to the great unwashed make them appear human and 'interesting'. When something adverse occurs or appears to be occuring they are then able to deflect that interest into support for the 'human' looking RAF and spin it out either to their advantage or to lessen its negative PR impact.

    We are never going to stop papers like the Daily Wail or the Scum jumping on anything they think they make sales from. We just need to be a bit smarter in how we handle them. It is dancing with the devil and needs to be done carefully, but it does need to be done.

    Just the opinion of an 'old timer' so I shall now wander off, smelling of wee, into the corner and go back to lurking and leaving the RN in the capable hands of those who have replaced me. :wink:
  9. Point taken. The RN appears to have learned its lesson and is trying to rectify the fault.

    Bloody steep learning curve though!
  10. Oh....gotcha.... " It's the old never let the truth ruin a good dit routine".. instead of "Royal Navy causes acute national embarrassment":-

    "Brave and quick-thinking saileyor Arthur Batchelor uses his ear to damage Iranian terrorist's finger, whilst large-boned WREN vows to stay on hunger-strike all day unless dastardly Mooslems release her crew"

    We don't address the root causes of the problem... we address the perception of the problem....very ZaNuLiebour. Sorted.

  11. @ Bergen

    I am trying to tread carefully here as I know I am 'ex'

    There was a RN problem when I left, things were starting to get lax. The Cornwall incident seemed to bring it all into focus and hopefully now those shortcomings are being rectified. Things were going a little bit too 'fluffy' for what is a fighting force and discipline was suffering. The PR damage is going to take a much longer time to rectify.

    That is the track of the thread when started. How the RN seemingly fails to grab the opportunities it always has. Maybe it is too late and in the press and ultimately the public's eyes we are the poor relation who serve no purpose.
    The fact that the great unwashed do not differentiate between a sleek grey messanger of death cutting through the waves and a supply ship is a prime example.

    I wish the PR teams the best of luck in their learning curve and hope they get grat issue of soap/scotchbrite to clean themselves after dealing with the press.
  12. Nice article, but:

    "Despite the odd crisis, the Navy has become a fixture on our TV screens, thanks to a slew of documentaries and reality TV shows."

    Warship made the RM look like whingeing introverted prima-donnas, and the RN like a floating Butlins.

    "Ross Kemp put his arm around me at The Sun Military Awards and said he would really like to go onboard a ship during an anti-piracy patrol,’ recalls Davis-Marks."

    So it took Kemp to approach the RN, not the over way around, how very pro-active.

    "when 15 Navy personnel were seized by the Iranian military in 2007. He does not attempt to sugar-coat the crisis. ‘It was the trickiest situation with which I’ve had to deal, bec­ause I was on leave at the time,’ he says. ‘There’s no denying the Navy took a reputational knock – we were embarrassed by it and there was an aftermath that needed careful handling and downright honesty.’"

    That, was dealt with terribly, those who had been given permission to speak were left to hang themselves.

    "Then, of course, there is the issue that will not go away. ‘Iraq and Afghanistan have taken up quite a bit of time,’ he admits. ‘There’s been quite a lot of effort in trying to explain to a discerning audience why we’ve done what we’ve done."

    Where? I can count on one hand the random civvies who are aware we are even there. Quite a lot of effort is not the same as maximum effort.

    "Davis-Marks is not one to rest on his laurels – not when, as he says, ‘there is widespread media ignorance about the Navy’. While his performance so far has been largely successful, there is still plenty of work to be done before he can truly proclaim ‘mission accomplished’."

    Define succesful, we are now at the bottom of the pile whilst the other two services lap up public acclaim and support.

    But that is the point isn't it? Spin is spin, we cannot be left doing nothing to preserve our reputation whilst the RAF and Army pull away, especially with defence cuts on the horizon.
  13. The first part of the statement I cannot comment on. I am out of the loop and don't know if the root cause has been addressed or even identified properly yet.
    The second part however is an important one. Control perception of the problem or be seen as a total waste of defence funds. The Navy cannot do what they are paid for, defence review on the way, tell me again why we need carriers in the desert?

    Joe public is basically not interested and has the attention span of a goldfish. The Government know this and will play the electorate for all they are worth if they think they can milk a few votes. The Crabs and, to a lesser extent, Pongo's play the PR game. They have the advantage that they are on the news almost nightly doing what the public perceives as their job. The RN only seems to appear when it is caught not doing its job, or what it is perceived to be its job.
    The Government also welcome the near constant bickering by the defence chiefs over who should be getting the most of the diminishing defence budget. Divide and Conquer, another ZanuLiebour trademark.

    If thats the way HMG,the Crabs and Pongo's want to play it then don't you think we need people who can compete in that arena on an equal footing?
  14. The PR side won't work until the root problems are addressed [You can put lipstick on a pig; but it's still a pig]. I really hope that you are right and that the reforms are 'in-process' but I think that it will be too little too late, particularly with an anti-RN bias evident amongst a wide spectrum of the press. Budget cuts are on the way and the RN is dangerously exposed.

    I used to see the sorry state of HMS Raleigh personnel ambling around Torpoint a few years ago looking like undisciplined scruffs [I'm not talking trainees here] and my perception as an ex-Booty was - I hope these sad-fcuks never have to go to war. Goodness knows what the average civvy thought.

  15. @ Bergen

    Our posts appear to have crossed in the ether.

    I agree with your point that if the root causes of the issues have not been dealt with then good PR is like piddling into the wind. What we have to do though is be able to manage the good PR and control the bad PR.

    I apologise for the misquote but an admiral once said 'it takes 300 years to build a tradition'. Lose the PR war and those 300 years are a hammer used by the press to crush you with. The reputation rebuilding has to start again from scratch.
  16. It's a great Royal Naval quote; especially in context:-

    During the Second World War the British Army’s operations in Greece ran into near disaster and to save the army, its immediate evacuation by sea became imperative. During this phase of the war, the Atlantic was dominated by the German U boats and the naval commanders assembled for the evacuation of the army stranded in Greece, strongly protested against undertaking this task due to the fear of losing a large number of ships. Admiral Cunningham, Admiral of the Atlantic Fleet told the assembled commanders that, “it takes 300 years to build a tradition and only three years to build a ship. The Royal Navy, as a tradition has never abandoned the army and therefore, it will evacuate the army, irrespective of the losses in ships.â€

  17. On the same sort of lines, a few weeks ago the "Stamford Mercury" reported on a "technician" who had competed in an endurance competition. On reading through the article (near the end) it turned out to be a RN AET. If this was a Crab the headline would have been "Local RAF Airman Best in World". This info would have been provided via the CRO at Wittering (Retired Sqn Ldr) Not a crab dig (for a change) but a typical example of how I see on a dailiy basis the RN not pushing forward. The two crab bases within JFH have SNO's who have no intention of promoting the RN in the wider community.

    Speaking to an ex Matelot selling poppys, he never even knew the Navy were at Cott /Witt.

    The anniversary of the death of Guy Gibsons dog will get more coverage than Fly Navy 100!!!

    The clelebration of Trafalgar in 2005 (At Wittering) was a last minute effort to put a bit of bunting by the main gate.
  18. Spot on. Wittering and Cottesmore have no interest in pushing RN interests, despite NSW doing MASSES of community and charity work. And how often were NSW in Afghanistan reported as the RAF?

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