While we are attached to our smartphones day and night, it’s useful to bear in mind that printed media such as leaflets are still powerful tools in today’s PSYOP arsenal.
Leaflets are still effective in hard to reach areas. Operation Inherent Resolve’s PSYOP team is employing leaflets in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. (see: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/217046/leaflet-use-finds-renewed-purpose-operation-inherent-resolve; which is also the photo source). For information on Operation Inherent Resolve, you can check out their web page at: http://www.inherentresolve.mil/
The 3rd Military Information Support BN, part of the 4th Military Information Support Group soldiers are deployed in support of operations in the Middle East. The article quotes the operations SGM for the Military Information Support Task Force (MISTF) who commented on the use of leaflets in denied areas:
“Creative ways to communicate must be found and used to ensure our message is received in denied territories.” “Recipients on the ground will sometimes take photos of the leaflets and post them on social media thus amplifying our message,” the operations sergeant major added.
Each ‘order’, or set of leaflets is custom tailored for that customer and that situation. Production is closer to the customer as a means of improving delivery time. The Production facility is located in Qatar rather than back at the US HQ at Fort Bragg, NC.
Teams rotate from Fort Bragg into Qatar, but the quality of the product and the spirits remain high. According to the SGM “The team has done amazing work,” he said. “The professionalism of the team led to every job being timely delivered even if it meant working extra hours or during scheduled down time. It was a pleasure working with a dedicated, mission-focused team.”
Of course leaflet deployment requires considerable planning. In addition to content, it’s import to consider how the audience will respond to paper fluttering down from the sky and to factor in the wind and other variables that will impact delivery.
The point is that today’s world is not all iPhones and FaceBook. Influence comes in a variety of flavors. PSYOP/MISO personnel must be conversant in a variety of media so that they can employ the best ones to the job at hand.