I have been quiet here for a while. There are no excuses and no guilt on my part. The world has simply been overwhelming. I envision JBrooksPR as a media consulting company to do good in the world, be entertaining, and further communication education. Innovative thought, timeless style. The world has not made this easy in the last year.
Where have I been? In the last year, I have been preparing for and now executing my role as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Special Operations Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve.
It was just after the last time I posted that I learned officially that I was going to deploy in support of this mission. I had indicators and bits of information before this but in February of 2020, it became official.
I’ve been a National Guard member for over 17 years and so this is not my first deployment. It is my first deployment as a Public Affairs Officer.
I have done many State disaster recovery missions as a Public Affairs Officer. I have worked with the media through hurricanes, blizzards, floods, riots, and at the beginning of 2020 a pandemic.
Around February of 2020 COVID-19 became a reality in all our lives just as I was getting in the mindset for deployment. At the same time, our country was experiencing political turmoil the likes of which I haven’t seen in the previous 40 years.
Given my other roles as a National Guard soldier and a federal employee, I stay out of politics to the greatest extent possible and focus on dual oaths of office. This means I have voluntarily given up much of my free speech.
I had to finish up with my clients and ensure that they were set to continue conducting business, in the hardest business environment of our lives, without my consultation services. I had to shift focus to communication about National Guard COVID response efforts. Then I had to shift focus again to prepare myself, my team, and my family for deployment while a once in a hundred years pandemic raged. Finally, I had to adapt to being deployed and learn how to do this mission.
This created a perfect storm of just needing to be quiet. This is a hard place for a career communicator to be. I’ve not been idle while being quiet. I’ve expanded my realm of study and have become even more interested and educated on the topic of combating misinformation and disinformation. I’ve been involved in the realm of strategic communication in absolutely fascinating ways, and that I cannot talk about until sometime after this mission is over.
Now that I have the hang of, what in my current environment is called the “new normal”, I am intent on working on my project to the extent I can. JBROOKSPR is not gone, in fact, I have great plans for the future of this endeavor. Some of these plans I will put into motion even before I return to JBROOKSPR full-time. Some will just have to be a promise for the future.