Evaluating "Israel Under Fire"
By some measures, Israel struggles with an image problem: the 2006 Anholt Nation Brands Index ranked the country last of the 35 countries surveyed, while the BBC’s 2012-2013 survey on global influence placed it in 4th from last place. For this reason, the country has launched a public diplomacy campaign to “‘explain’ its military actions in an attempt to rebuff its image as an aggressor.”
Authors Moran Yarchi, Tal Samuel-Azran, and Lidor Bar-David examined the effectiveness of this strategy by looking at audience engagement with the “Israel Under Fire” civic diplomacy campaign. Their article, “Facebook Users’ Engagement with Israel’s Public Diplomacy Messages during the 2012 and 2014 Military Operations in Gaza,” concludes that “countries such as Israel, which suffer from a Goliath image problem, may benefit more from messages that encourage online audiences to engage in perspective taking and to think about the conflict vicariously than from messages that refer directly to the positions of the conflicting sides.”
The full article is available here.
Photo by BruceEmmerling I CC 0