September 18, 2011

Transformation report: how to hide a story

There's probably very little I could say about the Canadian military's Leslie transformation report that wouldn't be either apparently self-serving or potentially self-destructive, but I will say as a long-time PR professional (in a previous life) I was still impressed with the way the CF Public Affairs team has released it in a way that meets its minimal transparency obligations while still minimizing its public impact.

It's clear from the main body of the report (here) that most of the heavy lifting, and all the parts anyone in the Canadian Forces would find controversial, are in the annexes and appendices to the main body, such as Annex M, with Gen. Leslie's schematic diagram for a transformed military. I note that, in addition to still relying on the worst search engine on the web today, the DND website has, I'm sure entirely coincidentally, only posted the main report document so far, annexes-free. The fact that this leaves reporters and DND personnel wrestling only with what is essentially a large quantity of diplomatically phrased generalities and unsubstantiated recommendations is almost guaranteed to minimize any impact the report could have. PR genius, that.

Posted by BruceR at 01:53 PM