FROM THE DSO-PA

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary - District Seven Protocol for Release of Information

Objective: To promote the dissemination of written and verbal communications concerning the activity of any element of District 7 to the various media outlets while insuring that all information released or provided to the various civilian, Coast Guard, and Auxiliary media is accurate and does not violate the security of any event(s) or action(s).

Addressees: All Members of District 7, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Components: Information regarding the activities of District 7 will normally involve one of two Departments: Public Affairs (PA), which is responsible for external communications (civilian newspapers, radio and television); and Publications (PB), which is responsible for internal communications (any Auxiliary newsletter or publication).

Responsibilities: The proper release of written or verbal communication with any media is the direct responsibility of the District Commodore who has delegated the staff responsibility to the District Staff Officer for Public Affairs (DSO-PA) and District Staff Officer for Publications (DSO-PB). These two staff members are responsible for insuring that members of their Departments are familiar with this Protocol and its procedures.
Elected personnel at all levels are responsible for insuring that the members under their commands comply with these provisions.

1. Active Duty authorization must be obtained before any verbal or written informational release can be made on any activity or event involving active duty or reserve elements. Active Duty Public Affairs must be consulted if there is any question about security even if the article is about the Auxiliary. There is no exception to this policy.

2. The preparation of written articles by all members is highly encouraged to help the District “tell our story.” These articles bring positive attention to the Auxiliary and aid us in membership and attendance in the Public Education programs.

3. Any article written by a member must be referred to either the Flotilla Staff Officer for Public Affairs (FSO-PA) or the Flotilla Staff Officer for Publications (FSO-PB) for action. That staff member will decide whether this is primarily an internal or an external release and forward to the appropriate staff officer for action

4. All articles involving the Flotilla or the Division should be reviewed by the Commander or Vice Commander for their approval of the accuracy of information and compliance with security concerns. The responsibility may be delegated to the staff officer in the interest of expediting the article however the Commander/ Vice Commander must still be kept informed.

5. Upon completion of division level proofreading, the article will be forwarded to the Assistant District Staff Officer-PA or PB for necessary action. The time involved in this sequence of actions is dependent only on the speed of the communications between parties.

6. For time sensitive items, it is recommended that the SO /ADSO be contacted by phone to alert them to the fact that an article is being sent to them. The use of a attention getting phrase such as URGENT RELEASE in the subject line is also encouraged. If the SO is unavailable, direct contact with the ADSO-PA is authorized however the SO must be informed as soon as possible.

7. It is extremely important that the Commanders and their Chiefs of Staff at all levels within the District be kept informed before anything is published. This is necessary to keep them from being “blind-sided” whether it is positive or negative. To accomplish this, the appropriate level Chief of Staff should be copied on the forwarding email.

8. Any written public information release dealing with unit meetings, public education programs or vessel examination events are excluded from this Protocol.


Top Ten Tips for Media Engagement

 


 Mary Patton, DSO-PA

 

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