In celebration of NATO’s 70th anniversary, several SHAPIANS came together in 2018 to plan, record and produce SHAPE’s first-ever podcast series on NATO and SHAPE history called ‘An Enduring Alliance.’ The final episode of the series released on September 6, 2019.
The conclusion titled ‘NATO Today, NATO Tomorrow,’ of the 13-episode series explores the future of the Alliance, the importance of partnerships and the impact of missions around the globe. Since its inception in 1949 NATO has become the world’s most effective and successful Alliance and the series has taken a chronologically historic look at the foundations and events that led to the organisation standing today.
“For someone who is new to the organisation, being part of this series has been an educational experience, not only in what goes in to creating a podcast, but also in teaching us about NATO,” said Mass Communication Specialist Brett Dodge, the series’ producer. “The podcast holds incredible value in learning the history of the organisation and is a priceless asset to keeping that history alive; anyone with an interest in history, political science, international relations or who is simply curious about NATO and SHAPE can benefit from the series.”
In mid-2018, Dr. Stella Adorf, SHAPE’s Chief Historical Advisor, alongside Master Sergeant Alex Burnett, a SHAPE Public Affairs Specialist and Dr. Linda Risso, a history consultant, came together to begin planning and researching for the newly formed idea of a comprehensive NATO/SHAPE podcast.
“This has been a unique and novel experience for our team; we barely had any real experience in the world of podcast making,” said Dr. Adorf. “We are incredibly grateful to the leadership within the Communications Division, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, as well as our various guest speakers for their input and honest accounts from their experiences throughout the history of the Alliance.”
The team has travelled extensively throughout the continent to interview major players in the history of NATO and SHAPE including: former Secretary General Lord George Robertson; former SACEURs General Curtis M. Scaparrotti and General Philip M. Breedlove; current NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Carmen Romero; and SHAPE’s Strategic Communication Director Mark Laity.
”It was wonderful to watch the cross-functional team grow together during the production and our travels, how our ideas and creativity turned into a concrete product,” Dr. Adorf commented on the team experience. “But most exciting was the opportunity to interview current and former officials, collecting their memories, and knowing that we would make these memories available to the public in order to truly understand NATO and its value in a historical perspective.”
Even though the series has concluded, the work for the team is not done yet; there are currently plans to promote the series through academic institutions, military academies, museums and also ambitions to submit the series for national podcast awards.
“At the moment we are working out a communications plan for the future of the series,” said Dodge. “It is important to keep our audience mindful of the history of our organization; awareness of how we got to where we are today is critical to remaining prepared for the future.”