Captain Hal Pittman
Company: Captain Hal Pittman, U.S. Navy
Company Division/Group: Feaster and Associates
Company Description: Navy Captain Hal Pittman serves as a Special Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. The Joint Staff supports the Chairman and Vice Chairman, who advise the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. The U.S. military consists of more than a million employees with an annual operating budget of more than $500 billion.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Corporate Communicator
Nomination Title: Communication Innovation in the Global War on Terror
1. Tell the story about what this nominee achieved in the past year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Can a military officer be the most creative American?
Navy Captain Hal Pittman has led the development of numerous innovative Best-in-Class marketing communication efforts designed to tell the military’s story in the Global War on Terror.
This collaborative, intense, unorthodox thinker led creative teams and
processes in three separate, high-visibility assignments between 2005 and
2007, and his leading-edge innovations had huge impact in changing the way the military tells its story.
From 2003 – 2005, Pittman led the 45-person public affairs team overseeing
communication for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. While
serving as CENTCOM PA Director, Pittman planned, facilitated and led the
launch of extraordinarily successful new initiatives in 2004-2005 in the most
challenging environment anywhere:
1) Media Engagement Team (MET) – Created eight-person team that
pitched and facilitated print/broadcast interviews from Iraq, Afghanistan and
the Horn of Africa to international/U.S./specialty media, personalizing America's global war on teror.
? Starting in OCT 2004, this team has facilitated 4900+ interviews,
? Designated Military Best Practice!
2) Coalition Engagement Team – Used five foreign officers to market the
story of Afghanistan and Iraq coalitions overseas through interviews and
3) Dubai Media City Outreach Team – Launched three-person Dubai-based satellite office in JUL 2005; to date, this team has facilitated 1000+ engagements with Arab media.
4) Electronic newsletters – Developed and launched two ‘viral-marketed’
newsletters, growing distribution from zero to 19,000+ within 10 months;
Winner, 2005 Print Communicator Award and IABC Silver Inkwell Award.
5) Blogs – Created a three-person blog-engagement team in 2005, treating
bloggers like mainstream media and providing them content.
? Multiple news stories ran on CENTCOM’s blog engagement
? The Secretary of Defense lauded their efforts in speeches in 2006
? 632 blogs linked to www.CENTCOM.mil since JUL 2005.
? Designated Military Best Practice!
6) Community engagement – Launched a national senior leader speaking
engagement strategy in 2005, reaching dozens of major markets!
7) Message alignment – Pittman’s team produced Senior Leader Talking
Points, which they updated and distributed bi-weekly to synchronize and deconflict
Pittman was recognized as PR News Government PR Person of the Year for 2005 for his work at Central Command, and awarded the military’s Defense Superior Service Medal.
He transferred to U.S. Joint Forces Command and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in late 2005, becoming lead spokesman for military transformation and experimentation in both the U.S. and NATO.
At Joint Forces Command, Pittman went to work creating an electronic
marketing/engagement strategy focused on blogs, RSS feeds, live-blogging, and electronic newsletters – an extension of efforts at CENTCOM, but previously unheard of within the military.
Pittman also helped develop an enterprise-wide communication synchronization process designed to brand the organization and instill message discipline and align communication across multiple divisions and time zones – where no such formal process had existed.
In summer of 2006, after only seven months serving with Joint Forces Command and NATO, Pittman was called to the Pentagon to work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his short assignment at Joint Forces Command, and began his present role as a special assistant at JCS in July 2006, where he works behind the scenes developing strategic approaches to Department of Defense issues.
This dynamic officer helped institute change across a huge bureaucracy through vision, dramatic innovation and creativity. He has absolutely earned the distinction as America’s Best Corporate Communicator.
2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Read what Hal Pittman says about the innovative communication teams he helped
create at Central Command and and the marketing communication 'skunk works'
environment he worked to instill:
Read about Pittman on Appalachian State University's blog (Scroll to JAN 18,
Pittman was selected as PR News Government PR Person of the Year for 2005
(Scroll to Government PR Person of the Year):
Pittman pioneered the launch of blogging engagement at CENTCOM in 2005 with an
extraordinary, cutting-edge effort; Read how the mainstream media describes
CENTCOM's blogger engagement!
Read what bloggers said about CENTCOM's electronic newsletters and 'What
Extremists Are Saying' webpage, both launched in 2004:
In 2006, Pittman led the launch of blogging engagement at U.S. Joint Forces
US Joint Forces Command also instituted 'liveblogging' from military exercises
and experiments in 2006 as a means to tell its story while Pittman served as
Public Affairs Director:
Pittman as spokesman:
Pittman as writer: Read his award-winning All Hands cover story on the
terrorist attack on USS COLE in Aden, Yemen, where he served as on-scene
Pittman as photographer:
3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the nominee:
Navy Captain Hal Pittman has served in numerous communication leadership roles
over a 20+ year military career, including operational assignments in the
Middle East, spokesman for military experimentation, and duty with the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. His teams have received more than 50 industry awards in
public relations and marketing communication, including the PRSA Bronze Anvil,
IABC Gold Quill and NAGC Blue Pencil awards, and Pittman was recognized as PR
News Government PR Person of the Year in 2005.
Pittman holds a BS degree from Appalachian State University and an MA in
Journalism from American University.