Social Media and the military, MOD, HM Armed Forces Facebook account (Crown Copyright, 2011)

Military Social Media

SMi Defence Conference Addresses the New Information Battlespace

Everyone is going social these days, whether they want to or not, and that includes the military. Can the social media bandwagen deliver what it promises? Can the military harness social media to achieve what it wants?

For two days from 6-7 December, a panel of international experts will present their analyses and conclusions at the 7th SMi Group conference ‘Social Media and the Defence and Military Sectors’ in London. Building on the success of last year’s event, the conference will focus on the platforms and tools available for a range of functions, from branding and recruitment to frontline operations and intelligence.

Social Media for Military Recruitment

Speakers on day one include Dirk Feldhaus, Head of Marketing for the Bundeswehr, Nathan Herring, Social Media Co-ordinator for US AFRICOM, and Hans Damen, Director of Support for the Royal Netherlands Army. The head of the MOD’s digital strategy, Helen Craven, will be looking at how the MOD uses social media for recruitment and corporate communications, and Pat O’Connor, Deputy Director of the Irish Defence Forces’ public relations, will present a case study of using social video and virtual reality in a recruitment campaign.

Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Propaganda and Social Media

On day two, speakers include Lt Col. Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defence Force, Janice Keenan, Director General of Merketing for the Canadian Department of National Defence, and E-Communicationsand Colin Jacobs, Managing Director of Immediate Future. The Branch Head Concept and Policy of NATO’s Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism, Alexander Brand, will give the counter-terrorism perspective on social media, while Ric Cole, Special Advisor to the Federal Government of Somalia, will look at social media as a counter-propaganda weapon, with a case study on Al-Shabaab.

In addition, SMi is putting on two workshops: ‘Seven Steps to Successful Social for Today’s Reality — Creating and Executing Your Social Plan’; and ‘Using Social Media for Recruitment in the Defence and Military Sector’.

The event will take place from 6-7 December, 2017, at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, see the SMi website for more details.