AEDC now on Facebook, Twitter

Release Number: 010110

The U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) is often referred to as the Air Force's best kept secret. However, the Public Affairs team is working hard to let the cat out of the bag about the largest and most advanced ground test facility in the world.

After launching the AEDCtesttube YouTube channel in December, AEDC is now on Facebook and Twitter. To follow AEDC on Facebook, log in and search Arnold AFB. AEDC is also found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aedcnews.

"In addition to receiving breaking news, information on base events, photos and videos, followers of AEDC on these sites will have a simple way to communicate with us and us with them," said AEDC Public Affairs Director Joel Fortner. "These sites are not about just getting our message out there, they're really about having a conversation with those who follow us. That's truly the most exciting part."

AEDC has experienced success with social media already, Fortner said.

"Like other Department of Defense units, we have a compelling story to tell the public, and social media is a great way to do so," Fortner said. "It's very apparent many people are interested in communicating with us through social media sites based on how well our YouTube channel is doing as it's steadily approaching 10,000 views."

According to Fortner, another benefit of using social media sites is the ability to communicate quickly and directly with the public and media during an emergency.

"During a crisis or emergency situation, it is imperative we communicate as quickly as possible to alleviate apprehension, minimize speculation and get facts out there," he said. "An organization has to start communicating in that first hour of the emergency or risk losing control of the situation or damaging our reputation. In my view, we can prevent that by using well-established communication tactics like social media sites, and when you couple those with existing relationships with media members, you create a powerful tool to communicate with."