Saturday, March 5, 2016

What is Public Diplomacy

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[–]slugsgohereagainFSO (Consular) 7 points  
They have two major areas of emphasis: press and media relations, and oversight of cultural exchange programs. For the press side they need to be agile communicators, manage a large set of contacts with reporters and news personalities, and be able to read between the lines of press reporting to be able to report to the front office and Washington on how the U.S. and the Embassy are perceived in the host country.
They maintain the Embassy's social media accounts, and coordinate outreach conducted by other sections to ensure everyone stays on message and out of trouble. In case of crisis they help draft talking points for how Main State will report on the emergency. They're also often tapped to serve as speechwriters for the Ambassador, for everything from a toast at a representational dinner to the keynote address in front of thousands of attendees.
For the cultural side, they need to be able to write grants, manage budgets, interview applicants for various exchange programs, and detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. They manage and assist American Reading Rooms and other remote facilities where we stage programs and information. They often have to convene interview boards of fellow officers, academics, and other members of the community to interview for various fellowships.
At a small embassy, PD officers have to do all of the above. In larger embassies, PD shops tend to specialize, with junior officers focused on specific portfolios and senior officers overseeing the whole operation. While serving back in DC they can work for their own bureau, or serve as media and outreach consultants for other bureaus. CA (the bureau of Consular Affairs), for example, has a whole outreach team made up mostly of PD-coned officers who create outreach products for the worldwide audience, and consult with individual posts for tailored products.
[–]bwood07 -1 points  
It's basically the comms/PR wing of the Foreign Service

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