Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
While international organizations still have a lot to learn from pop stars with millions upon millions of social media followers, they are learning the tricks of the digital engagement trade.
Burston Marsteller took 223 Twitter accounts from 101 international organizations, including 51 personal accounts of their leaders, and put together a data set that cross-referenced follower, retweets, and @replies statistics for all of the accounts. They ranked the organizations and leaders, sometimes coming up with perhaps unexpected conclusions. The study found that UNICEF, the children’s rights organization, CERN, the nuclear research agency, and the World Wildlife Fund are the most effective — by the report’s measure, the most re-tweeted — organizations on Twitter. With photo tweets of adorable pandas and links to livecams, the WWF seems to have unintentionally figured out what drives traffic online (see: BuzzFeed). They’ve also expertly used hashtags to promote their campaigns (#elephants, #KillTheTrade). CERN engages with its followers through an #askCERN hashtag, and UNICEF tweets in five languages. UNICEF is the most followed institution with over 2 million followers. The top-ranking international organization leader is Arab League head Nabil Elaraby, who tweets in Arabic. IMF chief Christine Lagarde and NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen rank second and third, respectively. [Foreign Policy]
Want to normalize relations with Iran? Keep up the plethora of communication that has emerged since President Rouhani took office.
Yet improved communication may end up promoting further changes in the norms dimension, effectively opening the way to an agreement on the nuclear file. And contrary to what Iran’s critics argue, changing the tone of a conversation shaped by such profound enmity is no small feat. It is true that a change in the presidency does not amount to an overnight transformation of a whole country. But if you see communication as an integral part of politics, these changes are important enough to merit an appropriate response. [Carnegie Europe]
Sweden officially decides to become IKEA #publicdiplomacy http://t.co/jATNVBXpUA #maakuva #viestintä pic.twitter.com/Z2F0dehUDI
— AEK (@influxTR) November 21, 2013
While culture and its effect on international relations is receiving much more attention these days in academic literature, is a thorough understanding of the public diplomacy practitioner’s relationship with traditional media being lost in the process?
Another package from Amazon; another fascinating dissection of the place of culture in the foreign relations of country y. Don’t get me wrong I like reading about cultural relations and cultural diplomacy as much as the next person but I’m thinking that we need to think more about the importance of working with foreign media organizations. Newswork remains fundamental to the practice of public diplomacy but I think that it gets neglected in both the academic and policy literature. Part of this is the perception that the question of news supply has become much less important because of the internet but news is shaped by the routines of journalists and news consumers and the online version of newspaper may well be looking in the same places for news as its print version did years ago. [Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence]
Can #Mexico leverage butterfly #diplomacy via film? Are some things too soft to be considered #softpower? http://t.co/j3iHOfc7ka
— Nastasha Everheart (@everheartna) November 20, 2013
If you are looking for a handy intro to the African film industry, here is a quick breakdown of a few countries that are up-and-coming.
The African cinema industry acknowledges undeniably the need to develop its own way of making films, support their local initiatives, and invest in cinematic cultures such as films festivals. Although the African film industry does not currently attract the same levels of popularity claimed by the well-developed European and American industries, it has shown significant growth and progress in the beginning of the 21st century, a fact reflected in part by the creation of a Journal of African Cinema and African TV channels. [Cultural Diplomacy in Africa]
@StateDept Sends U.S. #Soccer Legends to #Burma as Sports Envoys - http://t.co/X23ZUVsuqv #publicdiplomacy #sportsdiplomacy #ECA
— PD_Dan (@PD_Dan) November 20, 2013
Paradiplomacy and sister city initiatives are important and often overlooked vehicles of citizen-to-citizen engagement.
Many of these person-to-person programs are funded and coordinated by the U.S. State Department; however, non-governmental organizations also contribute to citizen diplomacy efforts. Dependent mostly on volunteers, citizen diplomacy organizations host international visitors in specialized cultural and professional programs in U.S. cities from Toledo to Tempe. Lifelong friendships, business, and educational partnerships are forged through the work of Sister Cities International via hundreds of local chapters. Professionals from myriad countries and industries around the world are hosted by internationally-minded Americans through the work of the National Council for International Visitors. Often overlooked are the hundreds of Fulbright Scholars in residence on campuses across America every academic year. [The CPD Blog]
#Seapower #SoftPower : Under Extreme Criticism, #China Decides to Send Hospital Ship to #Philippines http://t.co/J8mUQ7lriM
— Sea Power Centre (@SeaPowerCentre) November 21, 2013
According to Xinhua, China’s “new” economic diplomacy is win-win. Why didn’t the rest of the world think of that?
China is pushing ahead with win-win economic diplomacy that aims to boost domestic prosperity as well as share opportunities with the rest of the world. A report approved by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China late last year has underlined win-win cooperation as a key characteristic of Chinese diplomacy for the next five years. “We should raise awareness about human beings sharing a community of common destiny,” the report said. “A country should accommodate the legitimate concerns of others when pursuing its own interests; and should promote common development of all countries when advancing its own development.” [Xinhua]
Memories of Kennedy and #PublicDiplomacy for youth and students: http://t.co/yt4BInP8s4
— Brian Carlson (@carlsonbe) November 21, 2013
The U.S. State Department has issued a blanket warning to all Americans visiting North Korea—which is experiencing a bit of a (relative) tourism boom these days—but why?
A rising number of Americans visits North Korea every year on heavily orchestrated, state-monitored tours, a source of hard currency for the government there. The vast majority travel without incident. But, as NKNews.org editor Chad O’Carroll explained earlier today, the potentially lucrative business has attracted new tourist companies, some of which have little experience with North Korea’s complex and highly sensitive restrictions. A source in the North Korean tourism industry suggested to O’Carroll, “Tourists traveling with some of the newest companies could be more likely to unwillingly fall afoul of North Korean laws.” [Washington Post via PDiN]
New post: #UNESCO and the US: Politics and Culture at the Water’s Edge http://t.co/em34ld7Y0n #ipdgc #publicdiplomacy
— IPDGC (@IPDGC) November 20, 2013
Fashion diplomacy has not received as much attention as some of the other buzzy cultural diplomacy terms these days, but it is as significant a communication and understanding vehicle as the others.
Appearance is powerful and fashion cannot be ignored in international relations and public diplomacy, as it is a tool of communication. Fashion is a cultural and economic force that can be used to transform a society. Furthermore, the economic empowerment of women is crucial for the success of local and global economies. Studies show that when women are empowered, society as a whole benefits. [The CPD Blog]
Know a budding global arts mgr? We’re hiring a #culturaldiplomacy intern for @dancemotionusa @BAM_Brooklyn: http://t.co/b59zEpmdob #artsjobs
— Sophie Shackleton (@sophiesafiatou) November 19, 2013