CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Georgia, March 13, 2014, By SGT Lisa Kennedy – Georgia State Defense Force soldiers recently attended a Unit Public Affairs Representative (UPAR) school held at the Clay National Guard Center, in Marietta, Georgia. Members of the Georgia Department of Defense Public Affairs Office presented the four-hour course, which was intended to improve GSDF mass communication skills while working with the Georgia DOD as one team. The class focused on basic photography and emphasized the duties and responsibilities of a UPAR.
Instructors SGT Gerardo DeAvila and SFC Gerard Brown (Georgia DOD PAO Operations) presented many scenarios and offered samples of photographs that represented both good and bad story-telling. Providing local newspapers with good photographs can go a long way toward getting your story into print. For example, if the story is about a change of command ceremony, a good head and shoulders photo of the new commander illustrates the story much better than a group photo of the unit’s senior leadership. Action shots are far more appealing than a posed image. The point of the photo is to catch the attention of a reader.
The UPAR course is designed to help unit UPARs tell the Georgia State Defense Force story, reaching out to many Georgia communities and leaders to provide information and foster positive relationships. UPARs can help tell Soldiers’ stories by writing press releases, establishing a rapport with local media, and keeping the public affairs office informed of the unit’s current events. They will also provide stories and photographs to be published on the GSDF website.