Monday, July 16, 2012

Civilian Skills and MISO/PSYOP

Those of us who are part of the PSYOP Community are lucky in many ways. This is especially true in lack luster economies such as we find ourselves in today. Military personnel often excel under pressure every day. Disciplined, generally well organized and used to working in teams we have the kind of traits that employers should covet.

However, the overwhelming majority of employers have no military background. They can’t make the leap from military assignment success to commercial career success. PSYOP and MISO, while as we tend to endlessly debate, are not the same as Marketing or Sales, they are however quite similar.

A Tactical PSYOP Team Chief can relate how his team surveyed the market place – meaning developed an understanding of the community they were going to work with and then assessed how to best communicate their messages. The Team Chief can then relate how he worked with “Corporate” (the Media Development Center) to come up with appropriate products such as posters or how they worked with interpreters to canvass the town and engage in personal selling (face to face communications).

Some of what we do in the Community can even translate into more senior role success. The notion of “Strategic Communications” permeates the corporate world as multi-national organizations seem to maintain a high level of consistency in brand, message and tone, yet strive to insure appropriate localization to maximize profit and sales. 

Of course Defense Contractors are prime prospects for MISO personnel transitioning out of the military. Many of them have already started executing business development plans to compensate for the draw down in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq.

Some have turned to the Homeland Security market while others are exploring their options with new customers inside DOD. A typical requirement for a senior planner and project manager would be “advise, assist, facilitate and support the planning, integrating and orchestration of the organization’s Campaign Plan effects that are fully nested with the Higher HQ Campaign Plan in support of the intent and end state designated by the Commanding General“.

The previous paragraph was taken from an actual job description and is included as a proof point in support of the proposition that we in MISO should consider ourselves lucky to not only have such a dynamic profession, but one that is appreciated outside of the pure military context.

By way of closing, if you are trying to sell something, you need to insure that the prospect likes you and is listening to you. Hence the puppy picture – everyone loves puppies!

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