MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy outreach strategy developers, event planners and resource providers from around the Fleet gathered for the Navy's annual Calendar for America (CFA) planning conference here Nov. 8 to chart the course for Navy outreach in 2012.
"Calendar for America encompasses all of the Navy's outreach efforts, to include Navy Weeks, Fleet Weeks, ship commissioning ceremonies, diversity events, base open houses, Blue Angels air shows and large-scale recruiting events, among others," said CFA host and Director of the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), Cmdr. Kim Marks. "This conference really sets the tone for the Navy's Outreach efforts during the coming year, and 2012 is an important year for Navy outreach with the spectacular War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration being planned."
Conference attendees discussed what American's know about their Navy, as presented by Gallup Corp., and received an overview of the state of the recruiting market in America. The group also discussed best practices, branding, effective use of social media and received briefings on the coming year's Blue Angels and Navy Weeks schedules. A considerable amount of time was spent discussing messaging and ways to help Americans understand the value the Navy brings to the nation's security.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus previously expressed his philosophy that it is imperative that the Navy connect with the country so that Americans know about the Navy, its key missions, and its talented people. "The citizens of our country need to know about their Navy," Mabus said during Mississippi Navy Week, where he served as the Navy's senior host in 2011. "They need to know what we do, the many missions we can perform - from humanitarian assistance to warfighting - that we are a global force for good."
"Our outreach efforts in 2012 must go beyond simply fostering good will and raising awareness," said Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, in a letter to the CFA participants. "We must communicate clearly and effectively educate the American public on our capabilities and relevance to national security - that we are a warfighting force, operating forward, ready to fight and win today and every day."
The conference was attended by more than 150 outreach stakeholders, representing nearly every warfare community and mission area in the Navy.
"Outreach is a Navy-wide effort," said Navy Chief of Information, Rear Adm. Denny Moynihan. "Every single year this continues to get a bit better. We get smarter about where we go and how we communicate with the American people."
The primary goal of the Navy's outreach efforts in 2012 will be to bridge the gap between the Navy's inherent likeability, which is high among the American public according to Gallup data, to a higher level of understanding of what the Navy does.
"Americans must understand the return they receive for their substantial investment in America's Navy," said Greenert. "We must use our outreach programs to build that bridge between 'liking' us and 'understanding' us."
For more information about Calendar for America as well as a list of outreach events visit www.navy.mil/NAVCO.
To learn more about Navy weeks, visit www.navyweek.org, or www.facebook.com/navyweeks.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.