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CENTCOM Launches Weekly Electronic Newsletter

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2004 – At 10 a.m. today, U.S. Central Command launched its new electronic newsletter. Within minutes, the product had about 100 subscribers.

"The concept was easy an easy one to create," said CENTCOM public affairs officer Maj. Kevin O'Neill, who is responsible for Web development and the new electronic newsletter.

About a month in the planning, the newsletter looks similar to the CENTCOM Web page. It features five story teasers, each with a photo and a link that takes readers to the full story.

The content of the stories is not generally heavy news updates. Instead, the stories lean more toward accomplishments from the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq. Should readers want to read more stories from the CENTCOM area, they just click on the banner at the top of the newsletter. It will open the CENTCOM home page, where such stories are archived.

Subscribers will get the newsletter e-mailed to them once a week, most likely on Fridays, O'Neill said. He said subscribing is relatively easy. An initial copy of the newsletter containing a subscription link was sent out to all CENTCOM personnel, O'Neill said. There is also a subscription link on the CENTCOM home page.

After readers indicate they want to subscribe, CENTCOM will generate an e-mail asking for confirmation that the individuals, indeed, want to receive the newsletter. If it sounds redundant, it's all out of concern for the reader, O'Neill said, to make sure that no one gets something they don't want.

The newsletter content also is available to anyone as public-use information. O'Neill said the hope and expectation was that CENTCOM personnel would share the stories and the link with others.

Answers to questions and concerns are only as far away as a mouse click. The CENTCOM Web site has a "contact us" link to the public affairs office.

Eventually, as the CENTCOM Web redesign progresses, there will be changes to the newsletter as well, so that all communications efforts have a similar look and feel, O'Neill said. "It will evolve," he said.

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