Australian Defence Force Academy-- Public Relations Campaign
The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) is a tri-service institution providing military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) (http://www.defence.gov.au/adfa/). ADFA has undertaken many public relations strategies to raise awareness of the opportunities it offers to young Australians. These include placing information on HSC study sites such as HSC Online (www.hsc.csu.edu.au), while also offering Australian high schools Education Awards for students with leadership capabilities. More recently ADF received media coverage when it volunteered to help save a whale calf in Pittwater (The Daily Telegraph, August 21, 2008.) This favourably portrayed the ADF in a more ecologically conscious manner. Public relations undertaken by ADFA however, tend to be focussed towards raising awareness amongst males, shown through the launch of the ADFA Racing Team for the Formula SAE-A championships (www.unsw.edu.au). These strategies fail to elevate awareness amid young females, thus only 10.6% of the army division of the ADF is female. This proposal will therefore aim to create a more holistic public relations plan for ADFA by devising strategic approaches and tactics to raise awareness of ADFA opportunities amongst young Australian women.
To raise positive awareness of the Australian Defence Force Academy for the Army Division by 20% amongst HSC year graduating female student by December 2009.
The publics relevant to this PR Campaign are secondary school graduating females. The reasoning is that women only account for 10.6% of the Australian army and the current ADFA public relation strategies neglects to correct existing biases against the ADF from young Australian females. This plan also aims to raise awareness amongst parents as we acknowledge the significant role parents play in influencing their child's tertiary education choices.
In terms of raising awareness for AFDA, the most logical communication models to employ would be the Public Media model and the Events/Groups model (see Appendix A).
The public media, in the form of mass media coverage, would build general awareness and increase visibility of ADFA. The key advantages of public media are expansive message exposure. This message dissemination is not required to be detailed or personal, merely far reaching enough to increase the basic visibility and awareness of ADFA.
The second stage of the PR campaign would be focused upon Events/Groups. In the form of exhibits and mini-conferences held a sufficient time after the initial implementation of the public media coverage, when a basic image and knowledge of ADFA has been roughly established into the minds of the publics. The main objectives of this stage are the accurate dissemination of the message and the acceptance of the message on the audience's part, as well as an attitude change within audiences, where they cognitively decide to consider enrolling for ADFA as a result of the PR campaign.
For this campaign ADFA would conduct a two stage research to achieve both a quantitative and a qualitative understanding of the publics.
The first stage will take place before PR campaign, with quantitative research in the form of short surveys distributed widely amongst the relevant publics. The purpose is to use a few simple questions to roughly gauge, with statistical results:
What portion of the relevant public are aware of ADFA and it's purpose
How many consider it seriously as a choice for tertiary education by putting it on their UAC preference
Alongside the quantitative research would be qualitative research, taking form in focus groups with small groups of female secondary seniors and separate groups with their parents. Where the quantitative research gauged...