"EVERYTHING YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE DO WRONG WILL EXIST FOREVER AND BE ACCESSIBLE FOREVER AND BE GUFFAWED AT FOREVER UNTIL SMOD BRINGS THIS UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT CALLED HOMO SAPIENS TO A BLISTERING YOTTAJOULE END." -C.A., WRSA)
This, this, a thousand times THIS!^^^
Spew about me or anyone else who twists your underpants, but get the points:
1) EVERY incident is a tactical incident. You don't get a pass by waving your arms afterwards and claiming "peaceful protest". I don't mean tactical as in combat, or "tacticool" mall ninja, I mean as in a tactic to advance (or butt-rape) the message and agenda you're trying to advance. Anybody who doesn't get this (Anyone named Bundy, come on down!) is playing tee-ball at the World Series. The participation trophy is an orange jumpsuit.
2) If somebody isn't your media liaison person, then nobody is.
There will be daily quizzes, and a final exam.
3) If you don't have a better grasp of managing the message than the man on the street, our guys will always look like the doofii on man-on-the-street idiot tests, coming up short on basic questions.
4) And you'd better have someone outside whose entire job is to look at what's coming out, both officially, and from the media, and from your own folks on social media, and getting that word, daily at a minimum, back to your own inside media/message liaison person. Then you can
a) spot the clowns, on all sides
b) tune the message
c) spot the rockstars (yours, the media, the authorities)
d) weed out the handicapped.
In the case of "d", perhaps right back out the front gate, before they become more disasterpiece theatre for you.
(Bonus: This will also get rid of a good number of planted provocateurs.)
5) If you're going to go with "peaceful occupation", leave the guns in the trunk. Or at home. Period.
I loves me some guns, I do. But if you're toting them, or packing them on your hip, or wearing them anywhere visible, the media will shoot an entire interview pointing the camera at the weaponry. Visuals are like that. And then you come off like a rabid Che, instead of a reasonable Jefferson.
6) ALL Carhartts, NO camo should be the rule, unless you want the 21st century equivalent of being treated on-camera and vilified like the Michigan Militia were. A couple of suits and ties wouldn't go amiss either. Even in rural areas, folks aren't shocked nor run screaming in panic that people know how to wear business attire. If you mean business, dress like it.
7) Time your briefings to make it convenient for newspeople to make deadline, but at minimum, have a morning and afternoon briefing.
8) Your media person better understand what information can be given out, and what must NOT be given out. They should also be smart, and able to think on their feet, and not rattled by a herd of cackling newsreaders. Bonus if they look like they came from Central Casting for the part of Mr. Reasonable Rational Everyman. Or Woman. Don't be afraid to make a sharp woman your spokesperson. The media looks bad for picking on her if they try. And people may ignore a guy as a nut, but someone who looks like KoolAid Mom while being as sharp as Condoleeza Rice isn't going to hurt you on camera every chance you get. Think that over carefully, but in any event, pick the best person you can find.
And you want practical tips on a media set up?
Video Camera: Canon Vixia HF R600, HD handicam, about $200 @ BestBuy.
Get a skylight filter to protect the lens for each one.
Spare batteries, extra SD cards, and chargers for every one.
And a quality fluid-head TRIPOD: No shaky-cam. Ever!
Audio: Get any of the Zoom H--whatevers: high fidelity sound recording to sync up with your visuals, or for separate audio podcasts. A couple of hundred bucks, and it's smaller than the video camera.
DO NOT use the audio from the handicams. EVER!
(Keep it for reference, but don't broadcast it unless you have no other choice, and it's flawless audio.)
People who've never done this think it's about the video.
A great video is 60% audio, and 40% visual.
People will watch crap video with great sound to the end; they'll watch great video with shit sound for about 5 seconds. Think about how you feel when you get a crappy phonecall on your cell. Or watch 2M shitastic YouTube videos with wind rumble, dogs barking, and a cacophony of chattering, and see what I mean.
Get a decent wireless lav mike or two for interviews (one on the questioner, one on the interviewee), and a good shotgun mike, and have a dedicated sound person point that mike, listening to the audio it's getting on headphones. You can do it as an all-in-one with some self-training, but you have to be watching AND trying to get clear sound, and most people suck at that amount of on-the-fly multi-tasking. The average TV show looks like it does with the help of 50-75 people, and even a TV news broadcast requires 3-4 on-site, and more at the station. Learn this lesson if you want to do big-league content.
Get windsocks for every live mike.
EVERY live mike.
EVERY LIVE MIKE.
And any good high MP pocket cam - not a cellphone cam - or an actual dedicated DSLR camera.
Spare batteries and chargers and media storage for everything.
Any top-end laptop, coupled with any good non-linear-editing software will work. I prefer Pinnacle Studio Ultimate - whatever the current version is (19 now) - (about $100), because its Daddy is the AVID system used for every movie since forever, but NLEs from Sony and the other names will do as well.
If people are going to do these things, they cannot be seat-of-the-pants affairs anymore.
The media plan has to be as well-thought out as the actual event.
(And face it, Malheur was well-thought out on no levels whatsoever.)
It's also not a bad idea to have an actual, you know, SCRIPT of what message(s) you're trying to disseminate.
What are the key points?
Reinforce them over and over AND OVER AND OVER with visuals, interviews, etc.
Nothing off message. NOTHING off message.
If the authorities lie or misrepresent something, correct it immediately. Both with MSM interviews, and in your own content.
If the media lies or misrepresents something, same-same.
Then go back to hammering the message.
If anybody inside your perimeter violates the media liaison rule, either verbally spank them one time max, or invite them to leave for good. If you can't work within the media plan, you're an ass, not an asset.
And those people will pull their pants down, on camera, and cause you endless grief.
Anybody who's a crook, crazy, or just a PITA will be attracted to your media circus like moths to a flame. Find them, and weed them out ruthlessly.
If you control the narrative, then TPTB don't.
This pisses off the MSM, and TPTB, immensely.
They will try to isolate you.
They will deny you coverage or outlets.
They will blockade you and cut off your power.
They will jam and cut off your comms.
HAVE BACKUP PLANS.
P.A.C.E. isn't just for foot patrols.
Flash drive handoffs to people bringing you humanitarian supplies?
If you can't get video out, what about still photos and sound?
CNN became CNN nearly overnight, because they and their three reporters hunkered down in Baghdad in 1991 when the bombing started had a dedicated hardline pipeline to get audio and video out, when the MSM networks to that point didn't.
If you can get your video, still photos, and audio out despite attempts to cut you off, you win.
If you don't, you let TPTB and the MSM tell your story, and no matter what happens after that, you've lost public attention and opinion.
Then they'll marginalize you and ridicule you until the press goes away.
After that, you're just an easy target.
If you start out marginalized targets, and never considering your media plan, you just abbreviate the entire process.
Learn from this recent endless mistake, and never let this kind of disaster happen again.
The only way they can't stop the signal, is if you make sure THEY CAN'T STOP THE SIGNAL.