Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pentagon Contract For More Positive Spin On Iraq War Available For Bid

Here is an interesting opportunity for public relations professionals:

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.

The request for bids comes at a time when Bush administration officials are publicly criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq.

The proposal, which calls in part for extensive monitoring and analysis of Iraqi, Middle Eastern and American media, is designed to help the coalition forces understand "the communications environment." Its goal is to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities, and execute events . . . to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build support among our strategic audiences in achieving these goals," according to the statement of work that is publicly available through the Web site http://www.fbodaily.com . ...

The proposal calls for monitoring "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional markets media in both Arabic and English." That includes broadcast and cable television outlets, the Pentagon channel, two wire services and three major U.S. newspapers: The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. ...

The media outlets would be monitored for how they present coalition or anti-Iraqi force operations. That part of the proposal could reflect Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's often-stated concern that the media does not cover positive aspects of Iraq. ...

The proposal suggests a team of 12 to 18 people who would provide support for the coalition military command as well as the Iraqi government leadership.

Prospective contractors are also asked to propose four to eight public relations events per month, such as speeches or news conferences, including "preparation of likely questions and suggested answers, themes and messages as well as background, talking points."

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy what an interesting career opportunity! I should get my resume together and send it to the big American PR firms... If only I could speak Arabic!

... Several years ago (when I was young + ignorant) worked in the PR dept of a large Cdn Bank... actually had the job of trying to explain to people why the bank was foreclosing on their farm but forgiving debt to Argentina... It eventually dawned on me that in the maw of capitalism is a significant amount of rot...

Dena

8/31/2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Your Arabic won't be any worse than the people they end up hiring. That's a given.

The Americans (or Canadians) who get hired for this contract will be able to rely for assistance upon the purchased services of Iraqi speakers of Arabic. A couple of dollars an hour will have them lining up for the work.

A nice arrangement. Until the day comes when all the Green Zone employees get the signal and rise up against the occupiers.

I wonder how you say "Tet offensive" in Arabic?

8/31/2006 1:52 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

a couple of dollars an hour? how 'bout just promising that their families wont be subjected to any midnight raids. A buck an hour and some gas should do. Are you a fucking inflationist, buddy?!

Tet offensive, now that's as funny as that smells like a given. In fact that's about all that's missing

8/31/2006 4:17 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Are you a fucking inflationist, buddy?!

Certainly not. I'd hate to make things even worse for them in that beleaguered place. Must have been an inadvertant error, based on an old quote for the Iraqi dinar, or something like that.

I would no more support overpaying the help there than I would support an increase in the U.S. minimum wage.

Re: Tet. I heard somewhere that the officials in the Green Zone are worried about such an eventuality. They make all the Iraqi employees line up every morning to go through security. The insurgents have timed car bombings to hit the lined up collaborators on more than one occasion.

8/31/2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

I know, I heard something similar a few months ago.(Tet, that is) Maybe with a hit on Iran we can create a moveable napalm moat around it...just in time.

8/31/2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Methinks a Tet-type event would be a big turd in the GOP's punchbowl if it occurs between now and the midterms.

8/31/2006 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

It would be a big turd for M. He's a coinvestor in a hair salon we have up 'n running in the green zone.

9/02/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Jack:

That must provide a whole new angle to your study of "bangs".

9/02/2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

It's where the theoretical framework was honed to an exploitable science.

9/02/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

I guess Bremer made it easy to extrapolate a working hypothesis.

9/02/2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

In time he quickly ended up being the primary object de study. Christ almighty how we extrapolated a lot of our best hypotheses outta that sweeping bang of his. It's what gave the designs on Iran away. You can perhaps appreciate how the extent to which we, garbed in our in our frocks, moaned and groaned many a night away at never having had the chance to do Wolfowitz's hair. Having him under our scissors could have accelerated our research program by a year.

9/02/2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

A wise sage once said "You can learn a lot from a person's hairdresser."

Or words to that effect.

9/02/2006 6:40 PM  

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