Tactical communication is a big part of executive protection. It tells us that technology is here to stay and that it can make us way better at what we do. So, how do we understand tactical communication in the new age of technology?
Let’s find out.
Old Meeting The New
In general, tactical communication is one of the most important aspects of executive protection. We, as the community of this industry, are sometimes afraid of technology and the way it’s changing our everyday. It scares us because we are used to doing everything the old-fashioned way.
There is a plethora of options when it comes to communication, including apps and mobile technology. Sometimes they seem hard for us to learn to use. This is relevant for older agents, for example. These agents don’t fit in with the principals they are guarding because of their previous tactical communication training and mindset.
Their government and military lingo is something that was engraved in their brains during their training, so of course, now it’s hard to break those habits. The principals they guard are usually younger generations, so if they stand outside of the principal’s room at all times. The problem is that immediately when he comes out, they yell “Good morning, sir!”, like back in the military.
This can annoy and even upset the principal since they could be tired or stressed out. This is why tactical communication is so important to learn, but also to improve when the time comes. You have to be aware of your surroundings and not make it hard to be around. That can make or break our success and the way people view us as professionals.
Everybody can fit in the EP world, you just have to be aware of who you are and how you present yourself. So, if you are a big loud guy, you can tailor the communication, so you don’t put as much emphasis on yourself.
Remember, tactical communication is great, but just don’t take it inside.
The Technology Era
As I mentioned before, technology can be a force multiplier and make us learn more and get better at what we do.
When it comes to electronics, we have to know their limitations beforehand. No matter what electronics we use, we shouldn’t talk about sensitive information So, instead of using the principal’s name, give him a code word.
This can remind us that the old way is not forgotten, and we remember an age when we had code names for everything.
A very important thing to note is that if we don’t embrace technology, business is going to run away from us.
If you look at an average American high net-worth CEO, they spend at least 25% of their day on their devices. To build their own brand, they must be online and present on social media. And even if we don’t allow them that, they are going to do it anyway! So, we have to figure out how to coexist around them and guide them in a good way.
If they need to check-in their location on social media, have a conversation with them about checking it right before you leave instead of right when you get there. We have to figure out how they can communicate in a safe way on social media instead of taking a stand that all social media is bad. This opinion is not relevant anymore and it would be like saying we don’t need digital cameras just because we use phones. It’s just not realistic.
A conversation about communication and security with the principal is a good way for EP managers to get their security teams updated or get more manpower. For example, if you know your principal is a soccer fan, and he goes to the stadium every weekend, this gives you a chance to make an appealing case for more agents.
We all know that if the boss goes to a dangerous place, it’s easier to tell him that we need more people. The social media footprint can be used in the same way. If your protectee is on social media a lot, you can use this to get more people in the cyber-security department.
Guidelines For Social Media
Typically, in social media, there is a press social media coordinator that works with the principal on a lot of stuff regarding social media. They are the ones that have to be aware of the dangers of posting something wrong or doing it at the wrong time. They need to give advice on how to avoid mistakes and be secure on social media.
The principals have to learn that if they take a picture of their hotel room now, there could be someone that will use the picture and find out where the picture was taken from. So, if your principals are trying to lay low, it’s important to show them that there can be problems with their posting.
I often say that in five years you won’t be able to find a job if you don’t know your way around social media.
The other important thing to keep in mind, in terms of the dangers of social media, is showcasing your wealth. When you show off your fancy car or expensive jewelry, this can make you the target of an attack or a robbery. You need to explain these behavioral patterns to the principal and make it a lesson.
If they really want to display their wealth, you are going to need a residential team at the house for someone to protect it. For example, if you have a Rembrandt in the back of your Zoom meeting and I know it’s real, I could tell someone about it. Now you are a target for a home invasion.
A lot of EP agents don’t think about this step but in the initial home walkthrough and assessment, you also have to do a Zoom setup plan. You have to think about what you display to the public at all times, and agents have to learn to recognize the dangers of social media so that they can do their job fully.
Don’t set yourself up for a break-in or attack and learn on time.
EP Agents’ Roles Redefined
A new term we established is EPTO, which is an EP technology officer, which has found its way to the industry as a new job for the future. There could be agents trained specifically for this position and replacing the old shooting, driving, and communication awareness training.
They can be in charge of anything tech related, like VPNs, hotel networks when traveling, and the IT part of the security. If you go to the Fortune 500 CEOs and ask what are they most afraid of, they will all say that data breaches are a top 10 concern.
Can you imagine a data breach that comes straight from your boss? This is why we need trained professionals in the new tech era.
So, we have established the importance of tactical communication and technology and now you know how to improve your team and your training options.
Unsure where or how to start? No worries! Check out our course on tactical communication tailored to provide you with the right knowledge and strategies to face the risks and threats of today.
Tactical communication is an essential aspect of executive protection, especially in today’s tech era. It is crucial to understand and embrace new communication technologies and use them to make our jobs easier and more effective.
However, it is equally important to remember that old-school tactics and techniques are still relevant and should not be forgotten. Communication should be tailored to the individual being protected and their surroundings, and we must be aware of our social media footprint and the potential risks associated with it. By following these guidelines, we can ensure that we are providing the best possible protection for our principals while maintaining a professional image.
EP Access is the first online platform dedicated to facilitating and furthering learning in the executive protection industry. Click on the button below and see how our Tactical Communication course will help you advance your career.