Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Heart of the Matter

Brief piece over at the Council on Foreign Relations regarding "nation branding," quoting not just founder-of-the-field Simon Anholt but my occasional colleague Joshua Fouts from USC's Center on Public Diplomacy.

The article ends with a quote from Anholt that sums up how policymakers should think about public diplomacy:

Anholt [argues] that nation branding is not the answer unless it is pursued alongside policy changes. “I don’t tell countries how to do marketing,” he says. “I advise them on what sorts of policies they need to undertake in order to earn the reputation they feel they deserve.”

It's that simple. Feel like your nation is the sole heir of Enlightenment rationality? Then act it.

(Thanks as always to John Brown's Public Diplomacy Review for the initial item.)

1 comment:

Benjamin Cook said...


I thought you might enjoy my comments emailed to Mr. Teslik at CFR.


Dear Mr. Teslik,

I enjoyed your article on Branding. While the concept of Public Diplomacy isn't new its importance is. What is more, Government-to-Public communication is no longer the only form of Public Diplomacy. Public-to-Public is now the new and thriving form. Organizations like and have taken the connection between blogs and public diplomacy to a very high level. Rare is it that a journalist and increasingly a State official doesn't consult a region or country's blogroll as a source of serious information. (Recent activities in Burma are a great example.) The next step is for our government to take a step back and be involved indirectly in Public-to-Public diplomacy by taking more of a facilitating role. This policy stance deflects propaganda claims much better than direct Government-to-Public diplomacy. While State Dept. Public Diplomacy Hubs and Rapid Reaction Teams are good and a serious step in a positive direction, these entities are reactionary Government-to-Public communication. Facilitating global Public-to-Public dialogue is proactive rather than reactionary, less likely to appear as propaganda and frankly less expensive because the US government remains at arms-length.

The CFR could be part of this facilitating role as well by directing its analytical attention towards areas of Public-to-Public diplomacy. I look forward to reading more about this issue from the CFR.

Kind Regards,

Benjamin Cook, Director
Organization for Public Diplomacy

Site Meter