Plan Proposal: Australian Defence Force Academy– Public Relations Campaign Introduction: The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) is a tri-service institution providing military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) (http://www. defence. gov. au/adfa/). ADFA has undertaken many public relations strategies to raise awareness of the opportunities it offers to young Australians. These include placing information on HSC study sites such as HSC Online (www. hsc. csu. edu. u), while also offering Australian high schools Education Awards for students with leadership capabilities. More recently ADF received media coverage when it volunteered to help save a whale calf in Pittwater (The Daily Telegraph, August 21, 2008. ) This favourably portrayed the ADF in a more ecologically conscious manner. Public relations undertaken by ADFA however, tend to be focussed towards raising awareness amongst males, shown through the launch of the ADFA Racing Team for the Formula SAE-A championships (www. unsw. edu. au). These strategies fail to elevate awareness amid young females, thus only 10. % of the army division of the ADF is female. This proposal will therefore aim to create a more holistic public relations plan for ADFA by devising strategic approaches and tactics to raise awareness of ADFA opportunities amongst young Australian women. Objective: To raise positive awareness of the Australian Defence Force Academy for the Army Division by 20% amongst HSC year graduating female student by December 2009. Publics: The publics relevant to this PR Campaign are secondary school graduating females. The reasoning is that women only account for 10. 6% of the
Australian army and the current ADFA public relation strategies neglects to correct existing biases against the ADF from young Australian females. This plan also aims to raise awareness amongst parents as we acknowledge the significant role parents play in influencing their child’s tertiary education choices. Communication Models In terms of raising awareness for AFDA, the most logical communication models to employ would be the Public Media model and the Events/Groups model (see Appendix A). The public media, in the form of mass media coverage, would build general awareness and increase visibility of ADFA.
The key advantages of public media are expansive message exposure. This message dissemination is not required to be detailed or personal, merely far reaching enough to increase the basic visibility and awareness of ADFA. The second stage of the PR campaign would be focused upon Events/Groups. In the form of exhibits and mini-conferences held a sufficient time after the initial implementation of the public media coverage, when a basic image and knowledge of ADFA has been roughly established into the minds of the publics.
The main objectives of this stage are the accurate dissemination of the message and the acceptance of the message on the audience’s part, as well as an attitude change within audiences, where they cognitively decide to consider enrolling for ADFA as a result of the PR campaign. Research Plan For this campaign ADFA would conduct a two stage research to achieve both a quantitative and a qualitative understanding of the publics. The first stage will take place before PR campaign, with quantitative research in the form of short surveys distributed widely amongst the relevant publics. The purpose is to use a few simple questions to roughly auge, with statistical results: 1. What portion of the relevant public are aware of ADFA and it’s purpose 2. How many consider it seriously as a choice for tertiary education by putting it on their UAC preference Alongside the quantitative research would be qualitative research, taking form in focus groups with small groups of female secondary seniors and separate groups with their parents. Where the quantitative research gauged awareness, these focus groups will employ open ended questions to acquire descriptive qualitative data which will allow us to gauge the current perceptions held about ADFA.
The second stage of research would be identical to the first stage yet take place at the end of the PR campaign, to measure any discernible changes in attitude and perception amongst the public attained by the campaign. Plan proposal To achieve our objective of raising awareness for ADFA amongst female secondary school graduates, we advocate this general strategy: “Instil an overall positive image for ADFA amongst the relevant publics, establishing ADFA as a part of the evoked set of options for female graduates considering tertiary education. The successful implementation of this strategy would achieve our overarching objective, as we attribute `being within the public’s evoked set’ as meaning they are knowledgeable of ADFA and rate it favourably, thus possessing `positive awareness’. Coherent to the strategy, the key messages we seek to implant within our publics are these: * The Australian Army provides an indiscriminate career path with good prospects for women, void of traditional gender stereotypes. The education and later career provided by AFDA is one of the safest and most profitable options financially. We are considering the following tactics to implement: For the public media model of communication, we wish to draw television and other mediums’ (such as young women’s magazines like Cleo) coverage for our event, “Miss Defence Force Australia”, a beauty pageant for the women of the Australian Defence Force, judged on not only appearances but also other qualities associated with the Australian Defence Force Academy, such as leadership.
The idea is novel enough to draw attention and also indirectly imparts the message of the type of woman you may aspire to be via attending ADFA. The timing of this event should be two months or more before the deadline for year 12 students’ UAC preferences so the ADF may have time to solidify within the minds of the publics as a viable career option for women. For the events/groups model of communication, we wish to firstly set up information stalls in shopping malls throughout the earlier half of the year where we can directly disseminate in-depth detail about ADFA and it’s opportunities for women.
This is to give students and parents a sufficient time period to consider their UAC preferences. And lastly, we wish to establish a camp near the Gold Coast during schoolies in November. We may offer female applicants of ADFA to cover their travel expenses to popular schoolies destination such as the Gold Coast under the condition that they spend the immediate weekend before at a mock boot camp for ADFA, where they may learn more indepth about the qualities ADFA is looking for and the opportunities it may offer. Due to the popularity of choolies and the travel costs usually being a big impediment to economically disadvantaged youths, we believe this tactic would draw a lot of interest to ADFA and the boot-camp. REFERENCES Vollmer, T 2008, “Military operation to keep whale alive,” The Daily Telegraph, 21 August, p. 1, 10-11, viewed 21 August 2008. The Australian Defence Force Academy 2008, Canberra, The Australian Capitol Territory, viewed 15 August 2008, <http://www. defence. gov. au/adfa/>. The Board of Education, NSW HSC Online 2008, NSW, viewed 16 August 2008, <www. hsc. csu. edu. au>.
The University of New South Wales 2008, Sydney, NSW, viewed 17 August 2008, <www. unsw. edu. au>. Appendix A. Communication Models: Communication Models Public Media Events/Groups Events/Groups Form of Implementation Miss Defence Force Australia Information stalls in malls Gold Coast boot camp Direction of Communication One-way Nominally two-way Nominally two-way Reach High Medium-Low Low Cost per Impression Low Medium High Objective Achieved Message exposure Message exposure Accurate dissemination of message Attitude change Attitude change Change in overt behaviour