Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9

The PDPBR is updated, time permitting, throughout the day.

--Via LO on Facebook


On Journalism and Public Diplomacy


The United States Is Losing the Arab Spring - Daniel J. Gallington, usnews.com: "Not only did we not see the Arab Spring coming, we have been transformed into the enemy in many regions—largely because of our support, real or perceived, to the earlier regimes. This is especially evident in Egypt, where we will—ironically perhaps—continue to support the new government with massive foreign aid. How could this have happened? Simple: a huge failure of U.S. 'public diplomacy.' The irony is that we are supposed to be really good at this; after all, we are world leaders in the advertising and public relations business.

How could we fail at it? More irony: If you want to see what world class public diplomacy looks like, just tune in to 'RT,' the Russian-English (and Spanish) language TV channel on our cable TV and listen to their 'take' on the news and their anti–American editorial 'commentaries.' In fact, a good question is: Why aren't we doing this in Russia, as a basic condition to allowing them to broadcast in the United States? ... We need to change our laws and policies. Why should we, world leaders of the 'soft sell' and the home of so many professional 'spin doctors' be prevented from using our best 'public diplomacy' skills to promote democratic and peaceful policies overseas? ... In sum: Preventing ourselves from competing for attention to our policy 'message' in today's world-wide information-centric world is just plain dumb. To the contrary, we should quickly empower agencies of our government to do aggressive public diplomacy and 'information operations' consistent with our foreign and national security goals and policies. Existing oversight mechanisms, appropriately modified and extended for the new tasks, should be sufficient to monitor and manage both content and privacy issues.” Image from article

Global Info. Infrastructure and Public Diplomacy - Travelaine, thegroupfiveic-imcrew.blogspot.com: "Over the past two decades, digital communications between both people and organizations have significantly increased. Manuel Castells terms this the 'network society [in describing] the impact of new information and communications technologies on different levels of interaction in society'. In this new society, citizens 'have become increasingly empowered to participate actively in the public sphere'. The general public on all levels now has control over the public sphere, not solely the traditional mass media outlets. The U.S. Department of State decided

to act on this shift by enacting digital diplomacy, a way of using new technologies to reach out to various non-state actors. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on this in October 2010 with her speech on Innovation and American Leadership. She spoke on how using tools of technology to expand the role of diplomacy worldwide is necessary for this new digital age. The bureaus at the Department of State, including Public Affairs, E-Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy, International Information Programs, etc. all utilize media platforms to engage and empower citizens both abroad and in the U.S. Each regional office and embassy utilizes these as well, using Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, Blogs, and various other platforms to engage. This culture change in the Department of State shows just how important these new platforms are for governance." Image from entry

#wethepeople - John Worne - PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "[I]n the digital age everyone is a potential citizen diplomat. And the idea of government, authority, and diplomacy operating in a ‘protected’, ‘moderated’ or ‘orderly’ space, I think, is long gone. ... [B]eware predictions of ambassadors – cultural or traditional – who drop in wearing virtual jet packs. Face to face contact, getting up close and personal, and making a difference on the ground will still matter. But people meeting people online (and off), helping, sharing and learning together is even more important in the Digital age, because the world is watching – mostly on Facebook and YouTube."

Who lost Maldives - to Uncle Sam? - M K Bhadrakumar, blogs.rediff.com: "By a curious reversal of fortunes, the United States has emerged as the single most influential foreign power in the Maldives. I won’t wager if you can tell who’s the player who used to be number one there in the island paradise and is now languishing in the doghouse. Of course, India. ... In retrospect,it seems that the hysterical media campaign in India supported by our intelligence agency to the effect that an al-Qaeda takeover in Maldives was imminent inadvisably hustled the South Block despite the sound advice being rendered by the Indian High Commissioner in Male. To what extent, the 'public diplomacy' of the American embassy in Delhi also had a hand in the whipping up of hysteria is difficult to tell, but the bylines of the Indians who went viral make one strongly suspect that the US encouraged the campaign in the Indian media."

Public Schedule for October 9, 2012 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 11:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine meets with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller, at the Pentagon. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 3:45 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine meets with CEO of World Learning Adam Weinberg, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 7:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers the keynote address at the FIFPro Annual Congress, at the American History Museum, in Washington, DC. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)"

Via TL on Facebook: With caption: Young Russian journalism student Kirill Filimonov detained by police in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Oct. 9, 2012. For details, see.

Ronald Reagan’s Ginger Rogers: Ambassador Faith Whittlesey - Timothy W. Coleman, communities.washingtontimes.com: "Before a standing room only crowd at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC on October 5, President Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Faith Whittlesey, offered up some sage advice on lessons learned from a lifetime career in public service, 'Listen carefully, read widely, listen to diverse opinions, and be somewhat humble about yourself and our country.'

Her wisdom and experience as the American Ambassador to Switzerland and her tenure in the Reagan Administration were the featured subject of the event; a book signing with Whittlesey for Dr. Thomas J. Carty’s newly released book 'Backwards in High Heels: Faith Whittlesey, Reagan’s Madam Ambassador in Switzerland and the West Wing.' Dr. Carty explained that the book focused on the Ambassador’s unplanned life, public diplomacy, and the Reagan legacy. The author described Whittlesey as a 'political entrepreneur' who understood that effective public diplomacy was built on strong relationships. Carty lauded Whittlesey for her gift of emotional intelligence and her appreciation for cultural understanding in bridging diplomatic differences between the United States and Switzerland at a critical stage during the Cold War." Whittlesey image from article

Japan to invest in PR campaign on Senkaku dispute - tokyotimes.com: "Japanese officials have called for a 'policy reversal' on the government’s public relations strategies concerning the territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku islands. In other words, Japan intends to step u PR campaigns outlining its claim to the East China Sea islets. This is a radical change compared to the previous strategy, according to which Japan did not need to say too much on the matter since it would have meant to acknowledge that the ownership of the islets can be taken into discussion.

Japan’s foreign minister Koichiro Gemba reiterated that there is no question over Japan’s ownership of the islands, but said that a 'policy reversal' was needed on what the government is communicating on the matter. 'We had refrained from actively asserting our position on the basis that a territorial dispute doesn’t exist,' Gemba said. The ministry has also asked for ¥200 million ($2.5 million) to be reserved in the budget for the next fiscal year to finance its the promotional campaign. It is the first time when the ministry requests for PR funds to deal with the nation’s territorial issues. Consultants may be hired to build an effective campaign. 'The campaign isn’t to win over the international community’s opinion,' said Hajime Kishimori, the principal deputy director of the ministry’s public diplomacy strategy division. 'But we can’t continue to stay mum as China introduces a one-sided argument,' he said." Image from article

Symbiotic Relationship Storytelling in Public Relations - k2globalcomm.blogspot.com: "This morning we came across an important blog post on Writers Write titled Six Reasons To Embrace The Power Of Stories. As a Public Relations firm we have embraced this paradigm of storytelling for our fee-based clients as well as our barter service clients and pro bono friends in the new media. This is not to say however that The Press Release has come and gone but as the relevance of the Old Guard, Mainstream Media fades so too does the value of the traditional press release. Storytelling as pointed out on the Writers Write post becomes that much more important to any successful PR-MKT Campaign.

(See graphic above) Key component to the success of a PR-MKT Storytelling campaign include the symbiotic relationship of compelling content. For our clients we deploy the tactic of Pairings with music, art, literature and culture. This is beneficial for the business, corporation attempting to project a more human touch and has proven to be essential in cross cultural promotions and public diplomacy campaigns." Image from entry

Press and Client Briefing: 2012 Nation Brands Index - heraldonline.com: "What do public diplomacy, trade and tourism promotion, and corporate communication professionals all need to know in global public outreach work? GfK global communication and place branding experts invite you to a rare briefing of the latest Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI) study. ... Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9-10AM: Registration and Breakfast 10-11:30: Press Conference City Club of Washington 555 13th Street NW Washington, DC"


One Year Later: CEC Artslink - Eleanor Whitney with Karina Mangu-Ward: CEC Artslink was founded to promote cultural exchange in order to shed the mantle of misunderstanding left over from the Cold War Era.

Now, 40 years later, they themselves are working to shed the mantle of their previous branding, which focused exclusively on exchange with Post-Soviet countries, to open up the public’s understanding of the organization as one that engages a full range of international artists. Image from 

International Golden Arches - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Foreign Policy has a cool spread on best McDonald's dishes you can't find in American golden arches. I would add the McAloo Tikki (potato burger), the Chinese McDonald's hamburger with egg and the Filipino McFried Chicken with spaghetti.  Also, the Chinese taro pie and the Southeast Asian chili sauce for fries.

Gets back to my gastrodiplomacy dream of opening an international McDonalds that serves only foods that McDonalds serves abroad." Image from

An America eternally 'at war': Military actions have become the tics of an overwrought great power - Tom Engelhardt, latimes.com: Even as military power has proved itself a bust again and again, policymakers have come to rely ever more completely on a military-first response to global problems, operating on some kind of militarized autopilot.

In Search of Answers From Mr. Romney - Editorial, New York Times: Romney's hope seems to be that big propaganda, said loudly and often, will drown out Mr. Obama’s respectable record in world affairs, make Americans believe Mr. Romney would be the better leader and cover up the fact that there is mostly just hot air behind his pronouncements.

Romney’s stated policies in Monday’s speech, just as they have been in the past, are either pretty much like Mr. Obama’s or, when there are hints of differences, would pull the United States in wrong and even dangerous directions. His analysis of the roots of various international crises is either na├»ve or deliberately misleading. Image from

Romney channels Obama on foreign policy - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post:
Romney’s highly touted Major Policy Speech on foreign affairs Monday offered few specifics. But even in its generalities, Romney’s tour d’horizon sounded very much like a speech Obama might have given recounting his overseas initiatives over the past four years. Romney seems to believe that speaking in a more belligerent tone somehow changes everything

A scrubbing on foreign policy - Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Romney hasn’t been shifting all his views to the center in recent days. While his domestic policies are moderating, his foreign policy is moving to more of a neocon hard line. The only consistency is inconsistency.

Talking tough — without specifics — on the Middle East - Editorial Board, Washington Post: In all, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Mr. Romney, like Mr. Obama, is avoiding the embrace of a more robust Mideast policy out of fear of offending voters weary of international conflict or of dividing his own advisers.

Does Romney truly understand the Middle East revolution? - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Romney’s Middle East speech was a serious discussion of big problems. And he’s certainly right that there’s a dangerous sense of drift in the region, as the “fog of revolution” obscures where these momentous events are heading.

But the notion that this is somehow America’s fault, and can remedied by a restoration of the old, hard-line policies, is wrong and potentially dangerous for U.S. interests. Image from

Romney’s tough-guy talk - Richard Cohen, Washington Post: Syria is a mess anyway you look at it. But Romney, for all his tough-guy talk, has provided no solution — not even a plan.

Rocker shocks Russians with run for mayor - Marc Bennetts - Washington Times: A Russian shock rocker running for mayor of a sizable Moscow suburb sums up the nation’s anti-Putin movement with four words: “They are utterly uninteresting.” The same certainly can’t be said of Sergei Troitsky, better known as “Spider” of the thrash metal band Korroziya Metalla (Corrosion of Metal), who is promising to employ half-naked female city administration staffers

and create a zoo of mechanical animals if he becomes mayor of Khimki, a city of about 200,000 just north of Moscow. Mr. Troitsky  ridiculed what he dubs the “naivety” of the Obama administration over its alleged attempt to stir up revolution in Russia. “It’s a classic scam. They say to the White House, ‘Come on, give us some cash, and we’ll create an Orange Revolution and everything will be so great,’” he said in reference to the pro-democracy revolts that rocked former Soviet republics in the past decade. “And they get the cash and put on these stupid performances, which the Americans just lap up." The shock rocker acknowledges that he is on first-name terms with Kremlin staff. Troitsky image from article

Putin Planned Propaganda Against Pussy Riot? - Brian Leak, prefixmag.com: Despite their support from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russian feminist punk rock outfit Pussy Riotdon't seem to have President Vladimir Putin on their side.  Three Pussy Riot members have been jailed since being sentenced to two years in prison

this past August for their "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after performing a "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral. The group is set to appeal the charges this coming Wednesday.  Yesterday, Vladimir Putin was reported saying that the three women "got what they asked for" and that "It was right that they were arrested, and the court's decision was right." One of the women's lawyers, Nikolai Polozov, said that the President's remarks were "a planned propaganda campaign aimed at getting the court to form a negative opinion," and were also "pressure on the court." Image from entry

Muslim Brotherhood’s War Propaganda Targets Israel - frontpagemag.com: Egyptian president Morsi is sticking with the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda of undermining the Camp David Accords while promoting an imaginary world where Egypt got the Sinai by defeating Israel in 1973, instead of by signing a peace treaty. Propaganda like this paves the way for war and Islamization. And few people are paying attention.

Nazi Propaganda Makes a Comeback on Twitter - Jeffrey Goldberg, bloomberg.com


"For the first time, Pew also reported that the number of Americans identifying themselves as Protestant dipped below half, at 48 percent."

--Michelle Boorstein, "One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation, study says," Washington Post

"[M]ath and reading scores for 17-year-olds have remained virtually unchanged since 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress. ... [T]he teacher force has grown by almost 50% over the past four decades."

--Jay P. Greene, a professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas


Via JB on Facebook

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