DoD Leading the Way With Social Media

By Elizabeth Sicuso

Over the winter, Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, spoke to a group of communicators about the necessity of social media from the Department of Defense’s stand point.  Floyd’s points, mainly that your audience is larger than you could imagine and that you can’t avoid social media, finally took hold last week with the release of the DoD’s Official Policy on New/Social Media. The newly released memo states, “The policy, which is effective immediately, states that the default for the DoD non-classified network (the NIPRNET) is for open access so that all of DoD can use new media.”

This is a great step forward not only for social media, but also government communications and transparency, and it raises the question that I asked previously – If the DoD can balance security, information sharing and transparency, then why can’t every company?

While the recent hacking of prominent Twitter accounts (see United Airlines recent snafu here) may result in many companies pulling back on social media in caution, in my opinion, the DoD announcement should show them to not be afraid, but instead cautious, of social media.  If the DoD can balance all the priorities of information sharing, principally, national security, then the private sector has no excuse.

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