strategic communication

A couple of public diplomacy colleagues have asked me what we should think of the Pentagon memo issued earlier this month, the one that seems to say Strategic Communication is out. Over. Finished... Does this mean the end of MIST teams at embassies? No more military websites targeting foreign audiences? Is it the end of a fat foreign media analysis landing on your desk every morning? No more social and cultural adaptation training for troops deploying? Probably not.

George Little, the Pentagon spokesperson, appeared to make an important announcement last week, saying "strategic communication" had been banned from the Pentagon's lexicon. Sounded like a good thing; strategic communication was a brainchild of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in full flower of his moment when the Pentagon could not only "do it all," it should "do it all."

Special Operations Command, based in Tampa, directs the military's elite commando units — the Navy's SEALs and Army's Delta Force — in counterterrorism missions...Key to its propaganda efforts is a collection of websites known as the Trans Regional Web Initiative aimed at foreign audiences. USA TODAY first reported on its existence in 2008, and it appears to have expanded.

Since at least the late 2000s, I have been observing – sometimes organizing, and sometimes participating in – diverse forums featuring different combinations of politicos, policy decision-makers, academics, and applied practitioners, which have broached the relationship between “culture” and “security,” sometimes in overlapping but often in notably different ways.

The Strategic Summit will explore how new communications strategies are advancing commercial, cultural and nation branding for China. With engaging keynote speakers, case studies and interactive discussions, the Strategic Summit will build on a format used at the popular and highly-rated National Summit on Strategic Communications organized annually in Washington DC.

Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, here is the latest update on resources that may be of general interest for teachers, students, and practitioners of public diplomacy and related courses and activities. Suggestions for future updates are welcome.

Today, the American Security Project released its report on the strategic necessity for strong American public diplomacy. The New Public Diplomacy Imperative examines many of the issues in contemporary public diplomacy, and recommends best practices for policy makers and public diplomacy practitioners.