If the US Air Force Can Do It…

December 29, 2008

If the US Air Force Can Do It…


Although I can’t say that I spend enough time on twitter, I do get alerts when “reputation” shows up. And I often find some good leads to information about reputation, online and offline.  The other day I found this interesting reference from

www.webinknow.com on how the Air Force uses social media to manage their reputation. The web site owner David Scott had spoken to the head of emerging technology at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency – Captain David Faggard — in the Pentagon. Thanks to Scott for alerting me to this most interesting social media entrepreneur. Here is what he learned:


“Capt. Faggard and his Air Force Emerging Technology team is responsible for developing strategy, policy and plans for an ever-changing communication landscape for communicators worldwide. What was most interesting is that with Capt. Faggard leading the way, the Air Force employs 330,000 communicators! Their mission is to use current and developing Web 2.0 applications as a way to actively engage conversations between Airmen and the general public. Yes, that’s right, the goal of the program is that every single Airman is an on-line communicator.”


Scott learned of the term, “counter-blogging” which is when “Airmen counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the US government and the air force.” Reputation enforcers would be another useful term for the Air Force to consider.


Capt. Faggard also mentioned that he is concerned “…concerned with how insurgents or potential enemies can use Social Media to their advantage. It’s our role to provide a clear and accurate, completely truthful and transparent picture for any audience.”


Faggard has a blog, Facebook entry, several YouTubes and makes use of twitter as mentioned at the beginning of the post. Definitely different issues than the ones most companies face but definitely more advanced than many companies I know. Scott said the same thing. 


Best of all was the Air Force’s flow chart for dealing with the blogosphere. Just goes to show that a process can be built into everything. Highly recommended for managing reputation online.





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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Ron Shewchuk
    Posted at 07:29h, 30 December Reply

    This is great. Thanks for sharing. This is a hugely powerful case study that will go a long way in taking the fear out of corporations that are reluctant to allow employees to use social media.

  • Elisabeth Rosenson
    Posted at 16:06h, 30 December Reply

    Great post – the chart is very helpful and summarizes what we’ve kept in mind, but not formalized.

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