Race / Ethnic Issues

An Army of Thousands More: How PR Firms and Major Media Help Military Recruiters

Army recruiting poster

Increasing "the ranks of our military" is "one of the first steps we can take together" to "position America to meet every challenge that confronts us," said President Bush in last week's State of the Union address. "Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years."

The 92,000 figure was put forward by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 12 that more troops are needed to boost "combat capability" and "strengthen our military for the long war against terrorism." The Pentagon plans to meet that goal by reenlisting former Marines and increasing the Army's recruitment and retention rates.

Under the plan, the Army would only "slightly increase its recruitment goals -- by 2,000 to 3,000" a year, according to UPI. But in 2005, "the Army failed to meet its annual recruiting goal by the widest margin in two decades," reported the New York Times. To meet its 2006 goal, the Army hired more recruiters, raised the maximum allowable age for recruits, doubled the percentage of recruits who scored low on aptitude tests, issued waivers for some recruits' prior convictions, and significantly increased cash bonuses.

If it was that difficult for the Army to meet past recruiting goals, how will it meet future, larger ones? Some clues are offered in the Army's self-nomination for a prestigious public relations award.

Marketers Seek Multicultural "Magic"

The Association of National Advertisers recently held its Multicultural Marketing Conference, "which drew more than 300 attendees from companies such as McDonald's Corp., Sprint, Home Depot and Lexus." Earvin "Magic" Johnson told the conference that early engagement of communities of color resulted in brand loyalty. If "somebody beat you in, we're going to stick with them," he said.


Media Consolidation Means Less Diversity

Media consolidation comes at the expense of ethnic diversity and serving the interests of women and minorities, according to several academic studies recently released by the Benton Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. A study by Dr. Carolyn Byerly of Howard University examined U.S.


What Media Democracy Looks Like: Testifying in Milwaukee

FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein"Media democracy" is a term that everyone defines a little differently.

Is it quality reporting that not only informs about local, national and international issues, but also facilitates citizen involvement? Is it having the diversity of our communities represented among media owners? Is it giving local programmers access to the airwaves? Is it holding broadcasters to the terms of their freely-granted licenses? Is it ensuring a variety of news and cultural media offerings?

Wal-Mart Front Group Loses Front Man

Andrew Young, the former civil rights leader turned chair of the front group Working Families for Wal-Mart, resigned from the pro-Wal-Mart group, after making remarks he now calls "demagogic" and "racist shorthand." During an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, Young said Wal-Mart should cause small local stores to go ou


Wal-Mart's New Targets

Latinos, African-Americans, baby boomers, high-income and rural shoppers -- Wal-Mart wants you. Those are the key communities identified in a six-page document that outlines Wal-Mart's future marketing plans. The giant retailer is reviewing its marketing strategy, due to slow growth. The document asks advertising agencies to describe how they would handle Wal-Mart's $570 million account.



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