New U.S. Army PR Bypasses MSM

"The U.S. Army has hired Manning Selvage & Lee to do outreach to pro-military bloggers," the managing director of Hass MS&L, the firm's Detroit office that focuses on "new media" and the automotive industry, told O'Dwyer's. "The blogs are viewed as a way to distribute 'good news' about Iraq." At least four bloggers have received an email from Hass MS&L, according to the Washington Post. "The Army believes that military blogs are a valuable medium for reaching out to soldiers," the email explains. "To that end, the Army plans to offer you and selected bloggers exclusive editorial content." Blogger Donald Sensing accepted the offer, saying, "I spent long enough in Army Public Affairs to know when I'm being fed baloney. ... I predict the [Washington] Post and others of the dinosaur media will ... say we are biased, as if they are not. ... I am biased, I freely admit."


PR Week (sub req'd) [ has an interesting addition] to the story of the U.S. Army contract with Hass MS&L:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld commented on new media in a speech last month at Johns Hopkins University.

"This is the war of the 21st century," he said, citing 24-hour news networks, US and Iraqi bloggers, and digital cameras. "We all need to [adjust] - government and the media alike."