Air Show Goes Social

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Are you a friend of the Air Show? Feel a Tweet coming on from the Wild Blue Yonder? 

Organizers of the 2009 Selfridge Air Show & Open House are using social media tools to help spread the word about the Air Show and, by extension, to take the Air Force message out into the community. For the past couple of weeks, Air Show staff have been adding daily comments on the Air Show fan page on Facebook and have offered a few Tweets on Twitter. During the Air Show itself, a member of the Selfridge Public Affairs team will be Tweeting throughout the day. The Air Show & Open House is Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23. 

Over the past couple of years, military leaders have been adding social media efforts to their communications programs, seeking new ways to reach out and communicate key messages. 

While the Air Show is perhaps the best example of these efforts on a local level, American military leaders around the globe are using the new social media tools, including those at the very top of the command structure: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has his own Facebook page; Joint Chiefs Chairman Navy Adm. Mike Mullen has around 3,500 followers to his Twitter entries; and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command which has responsibility for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a long-time Facebook member -- more than 6,250 fans have signed up for his page. 

"While we will continue to utilize traditional media channels to keep our community informed of base activities, these social media tools give us another avenue to tell our story - and to receive feedback from people," said Capt. Penny Carroll, public affairs officer at Selfridge's 127th Wing. "A key interest for the Air Force is reaching out to the nation's 'millennial generation,' 18-to-25-year-olds, many of whom don't read newspapers, but are an important target audience for us." 

The 127th Wing has also expanded the information offerings on its web site in recent years. The site, www.127wg.ang.af.mil, features news and feature stories, photos of base aircraft and activities, and several video clips featuring Wing activities. 

"The web site has become the best first-stop avenue for information about Selfridge and local activities of the Michigan Air National Guard," Carroll said. 

The Selfridge Air Show Facebook page is at Selfridge ANGB Airshow. The Wing is on Twitter at 127 WING. The Air Show also has its own web site that features information on the various aircraft that will be at the base, restrictions on items that can be brought on the base during the show and related information at www.selfridgeairshow.org. 

The Selfridge Air Show & Open House will be Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 22-23. The gates will open both days at 8 a.m., with the flying starting both days around 10 a.m. Among the highlights of the show will be a aerial demonstration by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. A list of aircraft scheduled to perform appears at www.selfridgeairshow.org. Additional information on the museum is available at www.selfridgeairmuseum.org. The museum can also be reached at (586) 239-5035.