Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Tuesday, November 22nd 2011
The date will always stick in my mind for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, who made perhaps the strongest impact on America's image of any president in the 20th Century. Council Member Leonard Baldyga has found on the Web the U.S. Information Agency's film Years of Lightening/Day of Drums, which the Congress excepted from the Smith-Mundt Act provisions for viewing in the United States. Always worth a look, and especially on this day.
Saturday, November 12th 2011
When I worked at Voice of America (VOA), one of our nation’s best known brands in public diplomacy, I often explained to people who asked about our mission that our job wasn't to get foreign audiences to like us ("us" meaning Americans). It was, rather, to help them understand us. Of course, we always believed in our hearts that when they understood us better, they would like us. But that wasn't the main objective.
I was reminded of that mission at “The Last Three Feet” forum, which was co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council, the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at George Washington University, and the Walter Roberts Endowment. As the speakers described their own approaches to public diplomacy, two things seemed clear to me. First: There are many creative ways to practice this art. And second: The best of them usually require bringing people together in real time, whether it's through the kind of hands-on diplomacy that involves PD officers mingling with the local population (let’s call it “pinstripes on the ground”) or exchange programs. Human interaction offers the best chance for not only understanding, but also, if you’re lucky, even affection.
Which raises this question: Can the "last three feet" be bridged solely by social media?
Friday, November 4th 2011
If confirmed she will be the first member of the Public Diplomacy Council to be named to this position!
Tara Sonenshine nominated as State's new public diplomacy head
Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, November 4, 2011 - 6:24 PM
Thursday, November 3rd 2011
The eight Foreign Service Officer panelists, Figure Skating Champion and Public Diplomacy Envoy Michelle Kwan and Ambassador Thomas Shannon (keynoter) projected a recurrent theme at today's "The Last Three Feet" forum: America's public diplomacy must begin with the priorities and interests of its audience.
It was not always so. During the Cold War, public diplomacy officers (myself included) spoke of targeting audiences, projecting the policy (sometimes referred to as "freight') and getting out the message.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. Actually, several things:
Friday, October 28th 2011
Check out the schedule for our Forum, The Last Three Feet, coming up next Thursday November 3. Topics I failed to mention in the previous post include: