Two Public diplomacy reports you probably haven’t read

Two reports I wanted to throw out into the wild for discussion. I’ll discuss in depth later.

Brand Sweden: The road to an updated image of Sweden abroad. I really enjoy speaking with Swedes about their public diplomacy. The Swedes really get the need to have a hub organizing that supports country-wide efforts. The chief of staff (strategy, evaluation, coordination etc.) at the Swedish Institute, a public agency (like the British Council or the Goethe Institute etc.) that is responsible for working with a huge part of Swedish public diplomacy as two titles, one in Swedish for Swedes (“Director of Coordination”) and the other in English for everybody else (“Director of Branding”). 

The Foreign Ministry also understands the importance of perceptions, both local and global. The FM gives media training, with reminders on wallet cards o all member of the Ministry. The cards reminds the reader to Respect the role of the journalist; Be helpful in providing information; Never lie; Take the time to check facts; Assume you are on the record; and Stay calm. The card also provides a Swedish phone number to contact the press service, including a number to call after hours. (I should scan mine and post it up.)

The Public Diplomacy Of Other Countries:Implications For The United States. This 1979 Government Accounting Office report looked at six countries – Britain, France, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the People’s Republic of China, and the Soviet Union – and offered the following conclusions:

  • By comparison with allies and adversaries, the U.S. Government investment in this field is low.
  • The U.S. can improve impact and efficiency of overseas programs by further cultivating cooperation with its allies.
  • While leading allies and adversaries put heavy emphasis on teaching their languages to foreigners, the U. S. has neglected important opportunities in this field for more than a decade.
  • The present ban on the domestic availability of International Communication Agency products should be re-examined.
  • A periodic, public report and analysis of aims, content, and methods of Soviet propaganda in and concerning the United States would give the U.S. press and public new perspective on Soviet purposes.

Comments?

2 Replies to “Two Public diplomacy reports you probably haven’t read”

  1. Hi Matt: the Swedes seem to be really into this stuff. It reminds me of this paper I read a while back from the Swedish Defence College on ‘Perception Warfare’http://www.maxwell.af.mil/info-ops/perception.htm#pwar
    Not sure that I buy it, exactly. It strikes me that between the ‘in praise of attrition’ approach and the ‘create a picture of defeat in your enemy’s mind’ Jedi mind trick approach there is a medium ground in which we conduct operations both kinetic and IO/PD with a view to the potential positive and negative interactions of the two–eg something like the way we conceive of balance firepower and manoeuvre.
    Anyhow, I’d thought this interest in perception at the Swede defence college might have been just one guy; it would seem something of a national characteristic.

  2. The Jedi mind trick is one often employed by trailing candidates in American elections, and I see no difference on the battlefield. Baghdad Bob, anyone?The Swedes do understand perceptions. I think you’ll find this group interesting: the National Board of Psychological Defence (SPF).
    This is a group I’ve been meaning to discuss on this blog for a while (most of this year in fact…may be now is a good time to post on it…). The webpage is out of date as changes were made to SPF earlier this year that more closely link it to disaster response and homeland security.

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