PD Recommendations

Public Diplomacy has to change in the new media landscape to engage more networked audiences. There is now more reliance on virtual word-of-mouth and on creating new branding approaches. The challenge for all media organizations is to embrace and benefit from new platforms. Public Diplomats need to use new technology to create lots of few-to-few interactions as recommended in the report 10 Rules of New Engagement that was published by Intermedia in 2011 and written by Ali Fischer and Susan Gigli. These types of interactions engage small groups of people from different nations, which is more effective than working with large groups and when added together they created a much larger audience. These types of interactions also help to infiltrate networks and spread loyalty toward a position or cause, another recommendation in the 10 Rules of New Engagement.

Another recommendation for Public Diplomacy practitioners is to engage through sharing, commenting, linking. This is the best way to engage with publics and should be utilized in order to reach more people and help to build a stronger network of people. Another addition to new media is that a more networked audience means that geography no longer predetermines your audience. New media has expanded audience and new PD practices have to appeal to this broader audience.

Public Diplomacy has changed immensely because of the addition of new media but even with the help of these new technologies there are many challenges to the effectiveness of Public Diplomacy. Their needs to be a clearer way of quantifying information so that it can be analyzed in the future and is able to be assessed in the future for effectiveness. There also needs to be more collaboration with organizations that may have varied beliefs about Public Diplomacy. The greatest challenge for Public Diplomacy is understanding different cultures and applying these skills in the long run or for future diplomats. It is vital that PD practitioners have an understanding of the various viewpoints and cultural differences that affect our communication across borders.

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One response

  1. This is a great list of recommendations, Libby. I agree with you on all of these points, but especially with the challenges that you noted. I would say that the importance of “engag[ing] through sharing, commenting, linking” is not only a recommendation, but also a challenge. In the saturated world of New Media, I think it is easy to blast off blog after blog, or tumblr post, or tweet, without really engaging with followers and establishing a dialogue with your audience. Without the dialogue I don’t really see a purpose to this activity at all. Public Diplomacy is about establishing connections with audiences to further your agenda or to change an audience perception of you; if you do not engage with them through discussion and feedback, and merely continuously throw information and posts at them, then this is an ineffective practice.

    I also think your mention of the challenge of quantifying information so as to utilize the data later is a good point. We have discussed this a lot in class, but it is still so unclear as to what to do with the information even if you are able to quantify it in a logical way. For example, what does 1,000 “Likes” on Facebook really mean? Does it mean 1,000 people read the post, agree with the post, think its interesting, think its funny, etc. Figuring this out is a real challenge that needs to be addressed in my opinion.

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