OSI Today - A Strat Comm Plan Multiplier

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

When I arrived for duty at Office of Special Investigations headquarters here in July 2015, to tackle the new challenges of being a rookie magazine editor and a website content manager, little did I know I would return to my broadcasting roots.

Fast forward to present day and the emergence of OSI Today, the podcast featuring News and Views from around the Office of Special Investigations. It, along with other media platforms and initiatives, is designed to augment the OSI Commander’s 2020 Strategic Communications Plan.

The plan has five goals: Communicate “The OSI We Need,” Tell the OSI Story, Recognize Our People, Drive Conversations – Internal and External, and Reinforce our Strategic Engagements.

As the content manager and host of OSI Today, it’s my dual-hatted responsibility to ensure the podcast attains those goals. I especially relish the latter because it harkens me back to my formative years as an active duty Air Force broadcaster with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), now known to the U.S. military around the world as the American Forces Network (AFN).

I have to admit, before OSI Today came to fruition, I was a podcasting novice. So, I did some digging to find out a podcast is basically “Internet Radio On-Demand.” And the word podcast is simply a combination of the iPod digital media player and a radio broadcast. The math equation would be: IPod + Broadcast = Podcast.

The advent of OSI Today not only affords me the opportunity to rekindle my early days in front of a microphone, but more importantly, it gives the command newfound leverage in getting its word out via one of the most popular social venues. How popular?

Research statistics published this month (October 2020) from The Infinite Dial, (the longest running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America), show there are more than 1.5 million podcasts with more than 34 million episodes. And, the numbers are climbing daily.  

The launching of OSI Today comes at a time of significant podcast interest.

On Sept. 30, 2014, podcasters from around the country gathered via live streaming, call-ins, question and answer sessions, and roundtable discussions to observe National Podcast Day.

In 2015, the observance was re-branded International Podcast Day, and for good reason. Between 2015 and 2019, podcasters from nearly 70 countries successfully live-streamed hundreds of hours to mark the occasion. Special social events, festivals and meet-ups were organized around the world on or around Sept. 30 just to celebrate the power of podcasts.

It’s no surprise OSI is all in when it comes to capitalizing on this previously untapped resource.

OSI Today can reach out to audiences near and far, to include: the Air Force; Space Force; current and former OSI members; recruits; local, national and international partners; the Intelligence Community and, of course, the public.

As with many fledgling programs, OSI Today has to crawl before it can walk. So, the first couple of episodes I hosted featured two leaders conveniently located down the hall from me at OSI headquarters. The OSI Vice Commander discussed “How good OSI units become GREAT,” followed by the OSI Command Chief talking about “Command-wide resiliency during COVID-19.” Both interviews can be heard at: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1523876635

Those episodes proved this old broadcaster can, in fact, be taught new tricks. Now, with some podcast basics in my public affairs tool box, I’m looking forward to expanding our capabilities guest-wise, content-wise, and marketing-wise.

Future plans include furthering the Commander’s strategic intent to showcase OSI’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts via a series within the podcast, featuring the OSI career journeys of various command members.

We’ll also focus on getting the podcast word out by maximizing our other existing social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, plus our more established public website and Early Bird emails. Our marketing efforts are designed to hone in on when and where you can expect to find our podcast posts, so you can plan your listening accordingly.

If this commentary sounds like a commercial for OSI Today, that’s good, because it is.

As I would have said working in AFRTS, “For the best in-depth news and views from around the Office of Special Investigations, tune in to OSI Today and enjoy!”