Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Assn.
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Updates ... click on headline for story

Pinup BGen Ed Thomas Succeeds Cook as SAFPA
The Air Force has a new director of public affairs. Brig. Gen. Edward Thomas Jr. moved into the job June 13th from his position as head of the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education at Air University, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama. He was promoted to Brig. Gen. on May 12.

Thomas takes over for Brig. Gen. Kathleen Cook, who will become director of services for the Air Force deputy chief of staff in the Office of Manpower, Personnel and Services at the Pentagon. She will work for Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, who oversees plans and policies covering all life cycles of military and civilian personnel management. Cook served as director of public affairs for about two years.

Thomas has previously held a number of high-level public affairs positions. He served as the special assistant for public affairs to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 2013 and 2015. He was director of public affairs for U.S. European Command and for Pacific Air Forces a few years before that.

Cook has had two Pentagon and four command assignments, including commander of the 90th Mission Support Group at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

Pinup PRSA Awards 2016 Best of Silver Anvil to USAF PA
NEW YORK, June 10, 2016 - After U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone and his two friends thwarted a terrorist attack while on a train in Europe, the United States Air Force Public Affairs Directorate rapidly and effectively executed a crisis communication program. Last evening the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) presented the Air Force with its Best of Silver Anvil for its impeccable communication strategy and execution while in the global spotlight.

The campaign was selected as the best of the campaigns designated as finalists for the prestigious Silver Anvil Award. The awards were presented June 9th at the PRSA 2016 Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony at the AXA Equitable Building in New York, where Brigadier General Kathleen A. Cook, Director of Air Force Public Affairs, accepted the award.

"When Airman 1st Class Stone and his friends Alek Skarlato and Anthony Sadler heroically led the charge to not only overtake a heavily armed terrorist, but also provide life-saving first aid to wounded passengers, people around the globe rightfully wanted to thank, recognize and commend them for their brave actions," said James J. Roop, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of PRSA's Honors and Awards Committee. "The Air Force, through a strategic crisis communications campaign, capitalized on the opportunity to strengthen the Air Force's image with the public while simultaneously helping Stone balance his new fame with his personal recovery."

According to the Air Force's winning entry, following the incident the Air Force Public Affairs vetted more than 50 requests for Stone's first national interview. Through swift and comprehensive research, Public Affairs granted interviews to The New York Times for print and The Jimmy Kimmel Show on broadcast television. It was of utmost importance to the Air Force that all accounts were accurate and precise. To aid in Airman 1st Class Stone's recovery, the group arranged for Stone's family to accompany him in Europe.

From the outset of the campaign, Air Force Public Affairs focused on the following objectives:
    Taking care of Airman 1st Class Stone mentally and physically; Highlighting the exceptional training and core values of Airmen; Shaping media coverage to focus on the heroic actions of an American Airman; and Inspiring young people to consider Air Force service.
After the initial interviews, within six weeks of returning to the United States Stone participated in interviews with 31 television, print and internet outlets.

Feedback on Stone and the subsequent media appearances was overwhelmingly positive. According to a sentiment analysis conducted by Air Force Public Affairs, 92 percent of individuals following Stone's story via social media expressed a positive sentiment, contributing to a worldwide positive impression of the United States Air Force.

Overall analytics revealed publication of more than 18,000 articles in the United States and more than 6,600 articles published in more than 75 countries worldwide. Throughout the remainder of 2015 and into 2016, Public Affairs continued to vet countless civic and media engagements on Stone's behalf, culminating with his invitation and attendance of the President Barack Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address. Air Force Public Affairs continues to use the vast array of media and civic contacts garnered from the Stone incident to maximize reach and exposure of other high-level Air Force stories.

About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to "advance the profession and the professional," PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 110 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.

Pinup Centurion Fund Aids Endowment
A few years ago the AFPAAA Board of Directors challenged a committee made up of C B Kelly and our late friends Charlie Powers and John Gulick to develop a way to promote more awareness of and add to the coffers of AFPAAA's Endowment Fund.

Thus, the Centurions were born.

To become a Centurion members simply donate $100 to the AFPAAA Endowment Fund. In return, at the next annual meeting, one Centurion donor's name will be drawn and he or she will receive a full refund of their annual meeting registration fee. (The refund can be applied to the current or next annual meeting.)

It is hoped that the public drawing and attendent publicity will attract further contributions. If even half of each meeting's attendees join the Centurions, the program would earn about $5000 per annual meeting, a substantial addition to the foundation.

For Annual Meeting reservation and registration details go to Annual Meeting

To make a Centurion donation: Send your check for $100.00 (payable to Endowment Fund) to: AFPAAA Centurions, Attn: Treasurer, P.O. Box 447, Locust Grove, VA 22508-0447. Be sure to clearly mark your check "Centurion"

Pinup Online Newsletter Delivery Saves $'s
You can help reduce AFPAAA's printing and mailing costs by "subscribing" to On-line Delivery of the association's quarterly newsletter.

Here's how it works. The same day a Newsletter is sent to the printer, you will receive a brief "Publication Alert" e-mail that contains a link from which you can immediately download the new Newsletter as a PDF file.  Most computers have the Adobe PDF Reader software installed. If you do not, we provide a link for a FREE download. It's that simple!

You can sign up for On-line Delivery at the Member Update page.

Remember, when you subscribe, you will not get the newsletter via "snail mail" but, you will help AFPAAA save money, and you'll get the newsletter weeks earlier too!

Pinup Annual Meeting Site Selection - How to suggest a site
At the 2002 annual meeting, the membership approved a policy that - effective in 2005 - annual AFPAAA conference sites will be suggested and awarded on a bid basis. Any member interested in hosting an annual conference should download the Annual Conference Application Instructions and complete the Annual Conference Application form.

Instructions and an Application can be downloaded as PDF files HERE.

Any questions or concerns about the process should be sent to:
Annual Meeting Committee



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