Essential framework of public diplomacy
1. The exercise of public diplomacy has been established by a significant group of States as a foreign service responsibility. This form of diplomacy, which aims to get a proper projection of the country’s international image, and, likewise, mutual understanding among nations, has become an essential factor for achieving certain objectives of foreign policy.
2. Public diplomacy is essentially a set of initiatives aimed at influencing public opinion abroad. It breaks somewhat with the traditional framework of diplomatic practice, expanding its boundaries and contributing to the treasury of classical diplomacy.
3. Traditional diplomacy has been constantly subjected to necessary processes of renovation, which has enabled it to have a useful effect worldwide, and its long history demonstrates its effective contribution in the evolution of international society.
4. While it is true that traditional diplomacy generally deals with relations between states, public diplomacy, by proposing the promotion of country’s international image, the projection of its values and efficient dissemination of the State’s views often targets the business sector, civil society and often the general public in other countries.
5. Public diplomacy has had its greatest development in Britain and the US. As the focal point for this effort, the latter country has an Undersecretary for Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Affairs at the Department of State By contrast the UK has established for this purpose a committee whose responsibilities include regularly to draw up new strategies and assessment of existing and effective coordination of the executors of public diplomacy within the Foreign Office.
6. Importantly, regular meetings are held in countries that have implemented the execution of public diplomacy. Clearly, this form of diplomacy must be part of any effective strategy in the international arena. The concept encompasses all those programmes – political, cultural and educational – intended for governments to publicise to promote the foreign policy and national and international image of their countries.
7. With regard to Spain, this nation has launched and developed a strategic action plan that includes the creation abroad of an “Honorary Ambassador” brand, utilising its nationals in sports, and the arts who are known internationally. This promotion of the “country brand” is now a regular action of some States which intend to achieve an appropriate positive image through such international exposure of their national personalities and this is also seen as one of the main planks of their cultural diplomacy.
© by Odeen Ishmael