The Australian Defence Force is preparing to boost its social media presence in an attempt to enhance its public image and recruitment numbers.
Presently, almost every Royal Australian Navy vessel has its own Facebook page, however, the Army and Air Force are about to launch pages for each Regiment and Squadron respectively.
The boost in social media usage (including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) is not restricted to military units only, but also to high ranking officials including Secretary of the Department of Defence Dennis Richardson, who recently announced that his senior executive service will undergo the Defence Media Awareness and Skills Course and be expected to re-train every three years.
Documents found on AusTender (government procurement website) indicate that Defence is currently looking for a private sector training company to run its social media courses for all personnel.
The documents also outline the future strategy for Defence social media accounts, stating, "Social media policy contained within the Defence Communication Manual stipulates that content managers must undertake both face-to-face and online social media training.
"There are currently more than 100 Defence social media accounts, including almost all Navy ships having their own Facebook sites to engage the families and friends of the ship's company.
"In the future, every Air Force Squadron and Army Regiment will likely have a social media account as well."
The private company who wins the bid to undertake the training is expected to best prepare Defence personnel to be confident during an interview and stay on message.
"Defence members may be required to interact with the media as subject matter experts or spokespeople who can deliver news or explain Defence's position," the documents said.
"The face-to-face course will cover the Defence environment, pitfalls of social media use, practical measures, the impact of social media, Defence's social media policy and examples of successful and unsuccessful social media use.
Subscribe to the Defence Connect daily newsletter.
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the defence industry.
"The service provider will also be required to provide situational training for both social media users and Defence leaders."
The Australian Army recently established a production unit with the intention of showcasing the skills and professionalism of the Army. The videos will also work as a recruitment tool. An example of their work can be found here.