Episode 4-Mick McKeown, Executive Director at DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement

Interview with Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Partnership and Engagement, Executive Director, Campaigns and the Homeland Security Advisory Council Michael (Mick) McKeown

About the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC)

The HSAC is focused on how to improve DHS internally. Unlike longer existing departments, DHS has only had to transition two executive branches and there are many new ideas to improve government. Currently a big trend is identifying ways to improve national security on a local scale by providing resources to state and local governments. DHS has 22 different components - from Coast Guard to Secret Service - which hope to touch on improving resources at the state and local level.

The Campaigns

The Blue Campaign

“You don’t ever have to leave your hometown and you can be a victim of human trafficking.”

DHS is helping state, local, and federal resources engage in the conversation and identify human trafficking as a prosecutable crime. Many smaller law enforcement agencies may not have the resources, knowledge, or bandwidth to identify it as a crime and go after it. McKeown and his staff have the job to raise awareness and get people asking the right questions.

See Something Say Something

This campaign is “moving beyond the backpack, focusing where the kids are in the post 9/11 generation.”

Because fewer people are watching broadcast television, the campaign has to be creative about their advertising. With the threat moving from the bus station to the stadium, the campaign is focusing their messaging on digital ads, social media, and concert venues and other mediums where you might not be used to government advertising. DHS is refocusing the conversation from “what” to “why.” Look for #seesay on social media.

Be Cyber Smart (coming June 2018)

DHS is “making the conversation not just interesting, but relevant.”

This campaign is talking about things that you can do to protect yourself online. In another non-traditional government advertising strategy, this campaign is using a fun character and humor to engage the audience. This campaign is also connecting to the audience in spaces like Spotify and Pandora ads.

“DHS is a really great place to work because everyone is mission focused.” The staff working on these campaigns feel a sense of passion, ownership, and accomplishment to achieve goals in an ever challenging government environment. McKeown “looks for ways to support them and amplify that message.”