PLAYING OFFENSE: Radical Transparency is Competitive Communications at Work

February 18, 2022

In a recent @TwitterLive session of information operations and open-source intelligence gurus we heard Miboro’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Andrew Weisburd, praise the Biden administration for using “radical transparency” to control the Russian-Ukraine narrative. His insight might mark a very big turn, not only in our battle with disinformation but in the low-risk and largely non-competitive practices of the marketers, advertisers, PR agents, and social pundits who dominate the influence industries writ large.

In Playmaker parlance Biden’s quiet but engaging strategy is called Contrast, a pressing play that uses data, facts, acts, commitments and claims to prove a player’s point and, in this case, pull down Putin’s pants. Study this play, its risks, rewards, countermeasures and more here.

Certainly, there’s more to Biden’s handiwork than a classified Full Monty but these The New York Times and CBS pieces suggest he’s onto something; they frame a new game we can play, ethically and proactively. They also pull back the curtain on reputation and trust purveyors who, as I have opined, do little more than protect and defend, never assert or prosecute an organization’s position or point of view. After all, what Putin and all manner of propagandists, foreign and domestic, are teaching us is that it’s more than a contest of positioning and likability; it’s about re-positioning and, yes, de-positioning opponents for competitive advantage.

As I wrote recently in Small Wars Journalresponse is not a strategy. The way forward isn’t just to restate a misstatement or decry a deception. It’s to compete through communications. Our president has figured it out. Have you?

Post by Alan Kelly

For a printable copy of the Taxonomy of Influence Strategies tap here.