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Concept Brief Strategic Support to Strengthen the Mental Health of Military Families Impacted by OIF/OEF Deployments Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve


Background An estimated 130,000 Troops will return from Iraq after the country’s January 2010 elections. According to the June 2009 final report by the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health1, more than one third, approximately 43,000, will arrive home suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Most will not admit it or seek the necessary help because mental health counseling and treatment seem antithetical to their definition of military strength. That misperception can threaten their lives and others’, as evidenced by highly publicized reports that an increasing number of Troops are committing suicide or are being convicted of violent and even fatal Stateside attacks, including to Be Here, Proud to Serve domesticProud violence. It is urgent that the Armed Forces are fully prepared to address the critical mental health needs of returning OIF/OEF Troops—for their welfare, their families’ and that of the American citizens with whom they will interact. DoD and the VA are moving aggressively to support Troops with programs such as emotional resiliency training, the Army Soldier-Family Action Plan (ASFAP) and others. But availability of services does not always translate into returning Troops or Veterans accessing those services. That’s the gap we fill. 1Department

of Defense Task Force on Mental Health. (2007). An achievable vision: Report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health. Falls Church, VA: Defense Health Board.


GOALS  

De-stigmatize mental health counseling and treatment and identify these services as an integral component of military strength;

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Provide returning Troops with immediate professional guidance and techniques to relieve stress;

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Develop an online database for Troops to readily find resources for mental health support in their local area;

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Develop and execute advertising and public relations plans to publicize the Department of Defense’s and Veterans Administration on-going mental health/ family support initiatives to national civilian and worldwide military audiences through broadcast, print and social media. Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve

“ Poor is the nation that has no Heroes, shameful is the nation does that not honor them”. Unknown


Overview iPatriots LLC proposes to support efforts to promote Troops’ mental resilience with a robust mental wellness marketing program designed to bolster Troops’ and Veterans’ overall strength and de-stigmatize psychological counseling, treatment and to promote the post 9/11 Veterans Assistance Act features and benefits. The Troops’ Mental Resilience marketing communications program is a five-year initiative incorporating a variety of touch-points: Integrate the mental strength marketing program into existing events (American Legion, USO), including Welcome Home celebrations, to encourage counseling, Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve share success stories and position psychological counseling, diagnosis and treatment as routine and necessary healthcare service.

On-Base Events

Community Relations

Host an “after theater” reception with local community Centers Of Influence (COI’s) and mental health providers to heighten awareness of and celebrate resources for Troops’ mental resilience.


Program Components In coordination with the Office of Public Affairs, develop and execute a Marketing Communications Strategy: Media Relations

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Leverage broadcast, print and social media channels to tell the story of the DoD’s and VA’s mental health initiatives and the successes achieved by those who took advantage of them.

Collateral Material

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Create location-specific print materials with local mental health resources and outreach information;

Proud to Serve   Produce a video featuring influential active duty Troops, Video Proud to Be Here, Veterans and celebrities who endorse mental health Production

services. The video will be presented at Welcome Home events, posted online, and included in electronic media kits.

Social Media & Viral Marketing

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Develop an online campaign to initiate, engage, monitor and respond to on-going conversations about the impact of war on Troops’ mental health and drive traffic to the online video that addresses the issue and encourages Troops to seek help.


Target Audiences There are several key constituent groups that must be aware that the DoD and VA are committed to assuring the mental strength of American Troops returning from Theater by dispelling the perception that psychological counseling implies weakness, and by providing additional support systems that Troops need to transition back to civilian life:   OIF/OEF Troops   OIF/OEF Spouses Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve

  OIF/OEF Parents and Other Family Members   Veterans   Influencers   Future Recruits   General Public


Key Messages  

The U.S. military endows a unique brand of strength in its Troops, a strength that is mental, emotional and physical—a strength that the military is capable of finding, forging and fostering.

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The U.S. military provides holistic support to foster the innate strength of its Troops and their Families: mentally, physically and emotionally. Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve

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Psychological counseling is as much a part of routine health maintenance as regular physical and dental exams.


Strategies  

Introduce the DoD’s and VA’s commitment to mental strength by bringing psychologists and other mental health experts to Welcome Home celebrations.

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Leverage the influence of sports celebrities to re-enforce the DoD’s and VA’s endorsement of mental health counseling services.

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Engage local civilian community COI’s in the mental health-focused events to demonstrate local community support for Troops’ mental wellness.

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Extend the Troops’ and Families’ engagement after the event through online resources and social media interaction with members of the psychological team that attended the celebration.

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Heighten awareness of all Military Family Support initiatives through public and media relations tactics and social media.

Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve


Partners

Services Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve

Content


Target Audience: Primary: General Market Secondary: Ethnic Markets (African American ,Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Women. Who: Dakar Interactive Sponsorship The Dakar Interactive Factor: Today’s reality consists of multiple media channels, new technologies and people who have short attention span. Dakar Interactive. Steps in with a new branded approach and offers a 360 integrated marketing plan that reinforces any campaign message synergistically using TV, print, radio, online, and events that are unique only to DakarProud Interactive. to Be Here, Proud to Serve Transparency is the new currency for Americans, and our platform sits under the halo effect of public trust held by PBS, “For Love Of Liberty” and educational forums on college campuses. Our trust and loyalty approach has proven to yield results across the decisionmaking funnel and is based on understanding your goals to implement an integrated plan that incorporates and benefits all segments of your organization (Recruitment, Marketing, Communications, and Community Affairs).


Target Audience:  

Positioning to this audience will allow Veterans Affairs to been seen as a valued organization that Americans support, recommend and want to join.

Dakar Interactive point of differentiation is that we communicate with the online universe, not only with the majority of Americans, but also with populations of color— Hispanics and African Americans. Unlike traditional partners, we can offer you a unique, diverse, cross-cultural and cross-generational platform where the audience targets are likely to consider your message. Why: -Diverse Market Approach: Dakar Interactive serves a diverse market one that represents what America looks like today. Dakar Interactive can drive messaging and outreach deeper into various Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve communities and help Veterans Affairs/DoD/etc. connect the brand with constituents, centers of influence and prospects. -Message Driver Using Proven Influencer: Our messaging about diversity, not just of color, but also of age, class and gender. A place of opportunity and advancement as well as providing opportunities to publicize solutions that Veterans Affairs/DoD/VA can provide to issues like education, health and employment opportunities through its media platforms. This will allow Veterans Affairs to be seen as a valued organization that All Americans support, recommend and want to join.  


Established Platforms:  

iPatriots provides a forum for Veterans Affairs/DoD/VA to enlighten CBO’s, which includes some significant COI’s about what DoD/VA is doing to help with the crisis in homelessness on one end, and educational scholarship on the other end of the spectrum. PBS—Victory By Valor proposal attached http://issuu.com/dakarinteractive/docs/vbv_va Victory By Valor series is a phased hybrid timeline featuring entertainment, interviews with newsmakers, politicians, celebrities, and real people. The Victory By Valor Chronicles in partnership with the Veterans Affairs can provide an oral history project that illustrates armed forces contributions to another level of selflessness. Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve

Victory By Valor is an integrated strategy utilizing film, museum and speaker bureaus to deliver therapeutic benefits to target Veterans Vendor Program in strategic markets. This hybrid product will cross promotes events like Stand Down as a traveling road show to connect local VA programs to a national campaign to drive National VA issues such as homelessness, PTS, and TBI to a destination where awareness, engagement, and two-way communication can be experienced by all concerned.


H.E.R.O (Higher Education & Resiliency Operation)  

H.E.R.O is the first phase of an awareness program that will introduce to sports and pop culture consumers about civilian heroes who had a little known second life in the military. This revelation will be delivered via a campaign of short stories (Did-You-Know Vignettes) via public service announcements placed prior and during Super Bowl Weekend, NBA All Star Game Weekend, and screened inside of Dakar Interactive special programs (events) of the Super Bowl Experience (Dallas) and NBA All Star Game (Los Angeles). The use of Hall of fame athletes, and celebrities during events inside of the Super Bowl and NBA All Star Game will allow their influence to touch other influencers in professional intorecognizing men and women who are member of this society, Proud to Be sports Here, Proud Serve and challenge all to find a way to take away the touch points of the program for linkage to their own communities, and preferably a local veterans program. Influencers such as Hall of Famer’s: David Robinson, Roger Staubach will share their stories through interviews, blogs leading up to scheduled events for the Veterans community. Their constituencies will witness an inspirational experience that may provide encouragement for other Vets to spread the word about there newfound attachments to men and women who wore the military uniform.


BENEFITS, Monthly Series

H.E.R.O  

H.E.R.O. Is a resiliency programs embedded inside of the campaign and will allow capture the of oral history and testimonials for future development. The content will seed social media sites and activate Veterans to share their stories. The program includes a panel discussion held at top ranked universities featuring notable young leaders in various industries including scholars and celebrities under 40 discussing leadership, the influence of youth pop culture and images in the media.

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H.E.R.O provides a lesson plan for educators to extract information from the proposed interactive timeline that will provide research material for educators as well as to encourage those effected to post their own stories, for Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve example: www.forloveofliberty.net

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The targeted broadcast audience will be activated beyond normal public service announcements by virtue of the sports figures, many who are active in their local communities as ambassadors to provide testimonials and a call to action. Their military service will be merged with their civilian life through “Did You Know Factoids”.


BENEFITS, Monthly Series

H.E.R.O  

A who’s who list of celebrities will be used to tell their stories on camera and in forums, where the stories can be strategically repurposed. A destination for these vignettes could target programming such as ESPN, and the Armed Forces Network.

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On-air features can include educational discussions with industry leaders, politicians, and celebrities. (On-air print AD insert) licensed content and provide the driver for on-air conversations about the Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve H.E.R.O. programs features and benefits, and be adaptable for repurposing in other delivery platforms, and with strategic programs on PBS. Attached PBS benefits.


BRANDED CONTENT BENEFITS:  

H.E.R.O. Project will feature a “Beyond A Job” program that directly supports the VA’s career initiatives, including promoting the education benefits available to veterans through the Post 9/11 Veterans Assistance Act. As well as a tour adapted to each segment of the VA community. This program offers a educational discussion where listeners will be motivated to develop career acumen. In partnership with the VA, Department of Education, Department of Labor and the Army Pays Program, https://www.armypays.com/, a simple online build-out will support the on-air conversations by linking additional content to the H.E.R.O. Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve Education” interactive website. H.E.R.O. would tour as a mobile experience, paired with key celebrities center of influence and their stronghold in a particular geography. H.E.R.O. delivers a panel discussion held at top ranked universities featuring notable young leaders in various industries including scholars and celebrities under 40 discussing leadership, the influence of youth pop culture and images in the media.


BRANDED CONTENT BENEFITS: iPatriots partners have been invited to universities such as: USC, UCLA, and others to offer unique conversations presented by: provides an onsite experience of military contributions that demonstrate the value of military service. Opportunities can be created online with a historical timeline with key Americans who served in military as well as proving takeaway knowledge cards, which can be given to visitors. VBV creates strong touch points on a one-to-one basis so that the VA’s CBO’s can have a positive experience with the Veterans Affairs Department. Identifying and partnering with stakeholders in segmented markets would allow custom programming and inclusion, aggregated efforts, and data to generate and share best practices. Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve


CREDIBILITY & PROVEN SUCCESS  

Founded in 1992 Dakar Interactive is dedicated to supporting human rights and related empowerment issues, has led the way in addressing social inequities through awareness education coupled with political and community access. Dakar Interactive created iPatriots, and H.E.R.O. as modular properties that possess a global perspective and understanding of the issues that impact both genders, youth, the elderly, and racial and ethnic communities. As a result, we have developed an aggregator profile with some of the leading credible resources speaking to Americans today.

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Dakar Interactive is the holding company for the following media properties, Proud to Be Here, Proud to Serve VBV, iPatriots, and Portraits In Black. It offers educational events and develops youth leadership through the Dakar Foundation. Dakar Interactive has strategic partnerships with foundations, corporations, politicians, and historic institutions, and is respected by conservatives and liberals for its empowerment work


VA Resiliency Program