Wednesday, October 03, 2012

An Army Spokesperson's Packing List




 The job of a military Spokesperson is a tough one. You are expected to be 'on-the-go' all the time, with ready answers to almost all questions from the media. Pag magkamali ng sinasabi, lagot kami kasi nadadamay ang buong organisasyon.

 The most challenging media engagement is TV interview, especially if it is live guesting which is comparable to delivering an oral examination before millions of people around the world.

Aside from preparing all the data that you need to share to the public, it is your burden to ensure that you project an image of confidence and sincerity. Who will trust someone who is consistent in 'uhhhhh', 'ahhhhhh', 'hmmm' while looking at the ceiling for answers? Sir, pwedeng magkamot ng ulo pag di alam ano sasabihin?

Once the TV interview is already aired, that is the point of no return. Therefore, there is no room for errors. Di na mababawi ang sinabi. Kalimitan, mas nababantayan at napupuna ang mali-maling sinasabi at nakakalimutan ang mga tamang birada.


There are times that you are being 'ambushed' by TV reporters in order to give situational updates and give reactions to pressing issues like the Al-Barka incident, alleged human rights violations and alleged crimes involving soldiers. In this photo, I was 'ambushed' to give my thoughts about the 'non-support' by the PSC on the campaign of the Dragon Boat athletes who competed in the 10th IDBF World Championships. Sir, demoralized daw kayo? Galit daw kayo sa PSC? (Nakaka-stress ang ganitong katanungan lalo na kung hindi prepared.)

Tumakbo lang ako sa fun run ng Manila Broadcasting Corporation, napasabak na ako as live guest sa programa ni Mr Bing Formento, isa sa mga bantayog ng malayang pamamahayag sa DZRH. Mas madaling sumagot sa ganitong interview kasi mas madali ang mga katanungan gaya ng, "Napagod ba kayo sa layo ng tinakbo?" at "Bakit sinusuportahan ninyo ang ganitong advocacy na malinisan ang Manila Bay?"

When I received the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award recently, I was asked to share my thoughts about public service. Mas madaling sagutin di ba? Hindi gaano nakaka-stress.  (Photo by Carlo Carpio Claudio)
To adequately prepare myself for TV interviews, I always  carry with me the following 'mission essential requirements':

   a. Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus tablet containing all the media lines document and list of contact persons for 'call a friend' procedures before a media interview. Andito ang aking mga kodigo at mga babasahing impormasyon na pinapadala sa akin through email. Pwede ring mag-research dito sa aming sariling websites o kaya sa mga internet publications kagaya ng mga provisions ng International Humanitarian Law, Geneva Conventions at marami pang iba.




   b.  Calling cards that I usually give to important contact persons from various agencies and media outfits. Textmates, email mates at marami pang friends ang dapat makakausap at maging katuwang sa paglalahad ng mga impormasyon o kaya sa pagsagawa ng magagandang aktibidad para makatulong sa mamamayan.


   c.  Two sets of cellphones from both giant telco networks. This is to ensure that I am reachable anytime of the day, as long as there are cell sites.

   d. And, last but not the least: Face powder set and oil clear sheet! Thank you Mr Richard Brundage for reminding us. Sabi ni Mr Brundage, isang batikang PR man na nagturo sa amin kamakailan, dapat baon ito lagi kasi dapat hindi nangingintab ang mukha mo sa TV. Pag pawisan ka raw na sumasagot ay parang nerbiyos ang dating. Vanity ba ito or PR tool? Basta, baon-baon ko ito ngayon. Me another career ata ako sa negosyo ni Vicky B pag mag-retire na ako. :-)



My Army job is challenging but fun!


2 comments:

  1. Nice one, Sir! Hats off to the servicemen (like my father). ;)

    ReplyDelete