27 SOW social media: join the conversation

(Courtesy illustration)

(Courtesy illustration)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- www.facebook.com/27thSpecialOperationsWingThis feature is first in a series of social media related stories.

Like. Tweet. Follow. Check-in. For those who have not been following social media over the past several years, these calls to action might sound foreign, or downright strange. Fear not, because these terms are simply the products of modern changes in interpersonal communication that have altered the way people interact with each other and with their environment.

These tectonic shifts have impacted all facets of information sharing, to include communication among the 27th Special Operations Wing leadership, Airmen, families, spouses and local community members. The advances have flattened the communication hierarchy, turning every Airman with access to the internet into a global communicator and public representative of the U.S. Air Force.

Leading the charge locally, 27 SOW Public Affairs has implemented various changes to the way they communicate the wing commander's and other base leadership's official messages in an effort to generate meaningful dialogue and address issues quickly.

For example, Public Affairs recently retired its Commanders Access Channel (Suddenlink Channel 12) and disbanded the Commanders Action Line, both labor-intensive and archaic communication tools, instead directing the majority of dialogue to the official 27 SOW Facebook and Twitter accounts. These outlets provide an instant communication capability that the 27 SOW can leverage to address concerns, provide updates on base activities and disseminate information quickly during crisis situations.

While the 27 SOW's social media tools are currently used to notify base personnel of upcoming closures, weather advisories, changes in operations, and events; Facebook and Twitter also provide Airmen, their families and local community members with a direct channel to base leaders.

Airmen are encouraged to communicate with leadership via the official Facebook page but are cautioned to exercise the same professionalism, courtesy and integrity on social media as they would in face-to-face communication in a public forum.

The transition to social media is intended to bridge the gap among commissioned officers and enlisted members, civilians, contractors, retirees and dependants. Ultimately, utilizing Facebook and Twitter as communication tools will augment traditional channels, resulting in more accurate information distributed to a larger audience.

Help achieve maximum exposure with minimal delay by joining the conversation with Cannon on Facebook, via Twitter and through its website at www.cannon.af.mil.

Part two of the series will address Air Force social media policies, how to properly use social media to convey messages and pitfalls to avoid when using social media.