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The New Public Diplomacy Imperative

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The New Public Diplomacy Imperative


Since the end of Cold War, the United States has exercised neither coherent nor strategically minded communication with overseas populations.

The New Public Diplomacy Imperative takes a look at the strategic necessity for strong American public diplomacy. Policy analyst Matthew Wallin examines many of the issues in contemporary public diplomacy, and recommends best practices for policy makers and public diplomacy practitioners.

This white paper provides case studies, insight and guidance to strengthen the effectiveness of American messaging overseas.

In brief, ASP concludes the following about American public diplomacy:

  • Public Diplomacy is a vital element of national security which requires strategic long-term planning.
  • Listening to foreign publics allows the U.S. to craft policy and messaging that better achieves strategic objectives.
  • Communicators must be credible to the target audience.
  • Messaging loses credibility if actions are not taken to provide support. Failure to support communication with policy results in an erosion of trust.
  • Appropriate metrics must be developed to measure program effectiveness.
  • In order to maximize the effectiveness of public diplomacy, the U.S. must first and foremost strengthen the quality of its narrative and strategic messaging.
  • Digital communication does not substitute other effective mediums. A variety of mediums must often be used to achieve desired results.

The NPDI includes strategic case studies analyzing the following topics:

  • President Obama’s 2009 Cairo Speech
  • Branding the Global War on Terror
  • The Shared Values Initiative
  • Alhurra TV
  • The Karen Hughes Listening Tour
  • Disaster Relief in Indonesia and Pakistan
  • The Obama Presidency
  • The Tor Project

10 Best Practices for policy makers and public diplomacy practitioners:

  • Understand the Policy Objective
  • Establish a Communications Goal
  • Identify the Target Audience
  • Listen
  • Establish a Narrative
  • Be Truthful
  • Follow Through on Policy Commitments
  • Use Force Multipliers
  • Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
  • Select the Appropriate Medium(s)

You can download the full white paper here, or read it below:

The New Public Diplomacy Imperative by The American Security Project


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