08 January, 2006

I'm Being Recruited by the Army?!

[Two big points: 1) The only people being paid in this are the employees of the PR firm that is contacting bloggers. Bloggers are being offered no compensation of any kind for participating! 2) I am not a milblog and I have no idea why I was contacted when I usually get under 100 hits as day. Go read Blackfive or Sensing if you want to see "pro-war" blogs contacted by the PR firm who have actual impact and visibility in the blogosphere.]

Blackfive and Donald Sensing have "gone public" with an offer they've received to participate in a public relations/information program of the U.S. Army.

I also received that offer, much to my surprise. In fact, I couldn't imagine why I would be on the radar screen of such a program, so I figured it was a scam. But I checked with a big milblogger who said that he knew several who had received it and it checked out as legit. Here's the email I received:

Hi, Lioness. I’m writing from a PR firm on behalf of the U.S. Army. We’re contacting a few bloggers to test a new outlet for public information. The Army believes that military blogs are a valuable medium for reaching out to soldiers. To that end, the Army plans to offer you and selected bloggers exclusive editorial content on a few issues you’re likely to be interested in. If you do decide you are interested in receiving this material, whether you choose to write about what we send you is, of course, entirely up to you.

Like I said, we’re only contacting a handful of bloggers at this time. If you are interested, please let me know, and we’ll send you further information as it becomes available. Either way, thanks for your time.
Charlie Kondek
Account Executive
Web Producer
Hass MS&L
This morning I replied to Mr. Kondek and asked for more information about the program. I'm still not sure what to think of it, but at this point I'm following Blackfive and Sensing's lead.

As to explaining how I appeared on their list of prospective bloggers for this program, I'm largely at a loss. I'm not on any milblog list, and I certainly have a "modest" size readership. Perhaps they found Valour-IT and traced it back to here? The milblogger I first consulted about this suggested I should consider it quite the compliment. We'll see, I guess...

I'm certainly interested to learn what other bloggers have received this offer...

Update: Instapundit apparently approves. H/T John Donovan.

Update II: This has apparently developed into quite the tempest in a teapot.