Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
The Guardian digs into the latest Twiplomacy study on international organizations.
Matthias Lüfkens, practice leader for Digital EMEA at Burson-Marsteller and the author of the study, says that the most successful organisations are those who put some thought into their Twitter strategy and use the platform for more than just broadcasting their news. “Twitter is about making connections and telling stories,” he says. He gives the example of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), whose Twitter handle deliberately shuns the agency’s acronym and goes with @Refugees instead. “They are telling stories about refugees and they encourage all field officers to tell the stories of the refugees they work with.” [The Guardian]
A new academic paper on how the Olympic opening ceremony affects perception of a country was just released online: Creating a Competitive Identity: Public Diplomacy in the London Olympics and Media Portrayal.
Sports events such as the Olympics are ideal venues for a country to exercise public diplomacy and to promote a competitive identity. Along this line of theorizing, the present study examined how Britain planned and presented the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and how the media in Britain, the United States, and China portrayed the show, specifically focusing on the salience of media coverage, valence of particular attitudes expressed, and differences in themes coverage. A content analysis was conducted on 221 news stories sampled from major media outlets in these countries. Results showed only a few themes with unique Britishness were prominently and positively covered, whereas others without distinctive British characteristics were less mentioned. Implications for public diplomacy are discussed. [Taylor & France Online]
Turkish coffee is now under @unesco protection | http://t.co/Wne0iX95sb And @Turkayfe has a big role in promoting it #culturaldiplomacy
— Gökhan Yücel (@goyucel) December 5, 2013
The Korean press calls out U.S. Vice President Joe Biden taking his granddaughter on his East Asian tour as a public diplomacy effort. (Also, check out the super public diplomacy-savvy housewife in the last paragraph!)
However, taking family members as matter of public diplomacy is still unfamiliar here. Former President Lee Myung-bak drew criticism for taking his daughter and granddaughter on an official visit to India in January 2010, though Cheong Wa Dae said the family covered their expenses for the trip. Back then, opposition parties issued statements, criticizing him for spending taxpayers’ money on his family. However, such an idea seems to be changing of late. Some citizens say that there is nothing wrong for the head of state to be accompanied by his or her family members, if they pay their own expenses. [Korea Times]
Russia is using its RT broadcast network, which spans much of the former Soviet Union, as a soft power tool that props Russia up as being a bogeyman to the West.
Other Russian TV during the Ukrainian crisis has been more restrained: following President Vladimir Putin’s lead, the protests are referred to as “pogroms” fomented by “foreign forces”. The shows are not aimed purely at a domestic audience: Russian TV is watched throughout the former Soviet Union, helping foster a sense of shared identity among “brotherly peoples” and to punish political enemies. Though the Kremlin might be more associated with hard-power threats, trade blackmail and energy coercion as methods of spreading influence, “soft power” is now written into Russia’s official policy, described as “a toolkit for achieving foreign policy objectives building on civil society potential, information, cultural and other methods”. [Financial Times]
Great resource #SoftPower and #UK’S Influence #Publicdiplomacy #Diplomaciapublica #Countrybranding #Nationbranding http://t.co/S8MxE0tcCe
— Rod Mar (@RodMar15) December 5, 2013
The first certificate course by the new online Institute for Peace and Good Governance includes contributions from an international group of ambassadors, diplomats and peace negotiators is aimed at young Middle East leaders.
Slated to launch its first certificate course in March with 500 fully-subsidized Israeli, Palestinian, and Middle Eastern students under the age of 35, “The Institute for Peace and Good Governance” is the brainchild of Israeli diplomat Uri Savir. Savir, who was the chief Israeli negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accords, says that the academy addresses one of the failures of the peace process. Oslo was an “elite political process” that did not involve or influence locals on the ground to support change, he said. “If we had had such a program 30 years ago, thousands of [Israelis and Palestinians] would still be alive.” [Daily Beast]
somebody certainly knows how to communicate with finnish people;) #publicdiplomacy pic.twitter.com/5Ey1uEzrcH
— Maria Uotila (@mariauotila) December 6, 2013
#Monocle #softpower survey is out. http://t.co/T1SidBTtmo Print edition also. Should make interesting reading. pic.twitter.com/Usjt78Vzx5
— Alister Miskimmon (@amiskimmon) December 6, 2013