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Improve Strategic Communication

Mike Briggs quoteGoal Leader: Mike Briggs, Chief of Public Affairs

Goal Description: The focus of this goal is to better connect the AFIMSC team with each other and customers. We accomplish this by delivering a deliberate communication narrative. We coordinate and plan with stakeholders on enterprise-targeted messaging and events. Through collaboration and community, we quickly identify and mitigate areas lacking in persistent, consistent and effective communication.

LOE 3 Goal 3 Objectives:

  • G3.A — Conduct communication engagements targeted to AFIMSC team and customers to grow AFIMSC awareness, understanding and advocacy. 
     
    PROGRESS TO DATE: We’ve produced a series of leadership videos since the start of the year to keep the team connected. This is one of the initiatives for calendar year 2021 and we’re on track to meet that. People can view those and all of our other videos on the AFIMSC Facebook page or on the AFIMSC DVIDS site.


    We’ll send our first of what will be recurring quarterly updates to external audiences in July. This eNewsletter is a significant effort to better connect with our customers/stakeholders and provide them with timely information about funding, programs and other Installations and Mission Support operations we conduct.

    Finally, we’re conducting a communication campaign in the 4th quarter of FY21 to market our new LAUNCH virtual support center. The site is CAC-enabled on the SharePoint site and serves as the single front door for all the programs and services AFIMSC conducts. People can take a video tour of the site HERE

  • G3.B — Grow followership on Facebook by 10% in CY21. 


    PROGRESS TO DATE: The AFIMSC Facebook page has seen steady growth since we stood it up six years ago. We’re currently at a little over 8,800 likes and will focus on growing followership in the last half of the calendar year. It would be great to get to 10,000 followers! We’ll look at our Facebook trends and growth over the past three months when we review quarterly data at the end of June.

  • G3.C — Increase active A-Team membership and participation 20% in CY21 to better support AFIMSC strategic communication operations. 
     
    PROGRESS TO DATE: We want to get 10-12 more members on the A-Team – our Advocacy Team for helping communicate significant news and information to and from their AFIMSC organizations. This is part of our connectedness emphasis to keep our geo-separated team informed about our missions, people and achievements. We have some of outlying units that don’t have an A-Team representative, and this effort seeks to close those gaps.

What can you tell us about your objectives?
We established an Advocacy Team, what we call the A-Team, with representatives from across AFIMSC who support branding and strat comm activities. A-Team members serve as ambassadors of the HQ and PA efforts to better connect our team through strat comm, strategy and morale activities. In the area of communicating with external customers, we’re going to support existing communication efforts underway and any new ones in the future by establishing quarterly talking point packages that target timely information we want our customers to know, such as when we’ll make initial funding distribution, changes in Services programs, combined tasking order release, etc. In addition to these timely talking points, we’re creating messaging packets to communicate mission and program information internally and externally. As we sync with the AFMC communication strategy, we’ll align efforts with our higher headquarters to execute command and Air Force communication priorities.

What positive impact has your progress had on Airmen, commanders and/or the mission so far?
Communication has expanded across the AFIMSC enterprise, even during the challenges of COVID-19 these past 15 months, and we have a more informed and connected team. 

What challenges have you encountered along the way and how have you adjusted for them?
While we enjoyed success across AFIMSC in growing our connectedness and staying engaged using virtual platforms, it’s been challenging to highlight our people and teams in that environment and tell their success stories. We look forward to having our teammates back in the workplace so we can engage in person and reconnect with them.

Why is improving strategic communication important to AFIMSC?
We are a young organization – a toddler as Maj. Gen. Wilcox refers to us – and while we’ve established ourselves in a very short time as the most integral I&MS function in the Air Force, we’ve not codified and executed consistent strategic communication like more mature organizations such as MAJCOMs do. This is our process for doing that and being persistent and consistent in our strategic communication planning and execution.

How does your goal support AFMC, Air Force and National Defense Priorities?
Our ability to tell our story internally and externally informs and educates our team, customers and the American public about our role in national defense. We seek to include messages in all our communication that highlight how we’re increasing lethality and readiness, taking care of Airmen and families, and striving for team excellence and innovation. Those topics let everyone know we play a critical role in delivering command, Air Force and national defense priorities.

How are you measuring success? 
We’re establishing surveys, data analytics, focus groups and other tools to help us gather point-in-time feedback so we can see how are efforts are changing awareness and behaviors in our target audiences as we execute information campaigns. Other measures include having our products picked up by Air Force and external websites, growing our social media audience, and using web data to understand where we’re doing well and what we need to improve. 

What are your next steps?
We’ll continue to execute the plan, mature our communication programs, and take on new campaigns to get the word out about AFIMSC’s mission and awesome team! We look forward to the outcomes of a Fall senior leader conference that will likely provide other topics and programs to promote. We’re also expecting new communication strategies from higher headquarters that will keep us plugged in to Chief of Staff Gen. Brown’s “Accelerate Change or Lose” initiatives so we can highlight how AFIMSC supports those priorities.

Is there anything you would like to add? 
I encourage our teammates to stay informed by getting connected to our many communication platforms:
Public website: www.afimsc.af.mil 
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AirForceIMSC 
DVIDS page: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/AFIMSC 

(Current as of June 25, 2021)