The World Communications Forum Davos brought together top state, business and civil society leader[s]
Politicians, senior managers and PR experts listened to dozens of leading speakers at the conference. The main aim – to discuss the future role of communications in promoting brands , exchanging of ideas, strengthening civil society and even saving your reputation! With a world now where social media forms opinions within seconds or cyber-attacks or warfare can damage companies' profits and reputation – such as in the Ashley Madison breach recently , communication is key. Russia's unconventional war in Eastern Europe was also touched upon – not just a textbook military invasion but one mixed with propaganda and IT elements.
The Kremlin has attempted to defend and cover its aggression in Ukraine's east through its network of media channels in Europe. But that doesn't been Moscow should be silenced, argues Dmytro Kuleba – Ukraine's Ambassador at Large. He said communication was a matter of national security and that Ukraine needed to give a positive narrative of the country – more than just war.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Ambassador at Large:"We are drifting towards public diplomacy. It's obvious that Russian propaganda is scorch, is an enemy."
It's this enemy that the US-led NATO alliance is attempting to tackle. Surprisingly, they've even have an office in Moscow for a decade to maintain communications with Russia and its people. The organization is in a public diplomacy and political drive, not so long ago launching its own social media and TV service. One NATO official speaking at the conference said the Euro Atlantic body was on the right track.
But it's also trust, timeliness and transparency that are key - ideas often prominent in private sector but an afterthought in state intentions. Senior Vice President and partner at PR firm FleishmanHillard Michael Carney explained the most importiant ways the state authorities can gain the trust of citizens: "One of things most effective governments do is have an….in order to maintain that trust."
We also spoke with Ukraine's Minister of Economy and Trade – he said it's not just communications in business which is important – but proving that the government is carrying out the reforms: "We need to focus on the existing businesses…the fruits of our work."
It's hoped that conferences like this can help Ukrainian government and business promote its interests, so in the future, the country can communicate its way to become one of the world's leading voices
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."