Social Media as Public Diplomacy

Layalina Productions has a new monthly publication, Perspectives, “to explore key concepts in the study and practice of public diplomacy and Arab media.” The May 2009 inaugural article was Iraqi Media: Freedom or Chaos by His Excellency Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Ambassador of Iraq to the U.S. The second author was me with Social Media as Public Diplomacy. Check it out and comment here or there.

Now more than ever, the United States needs effective public diplomacy. America’s national security depends on smart policies supported by effective and agile engagement to foster understanding of our government’s policies, countering misinformation, developing partnerships, and most importantly, encouraging and empowering others to realize that the government’s fight is their fight as well. This is where public diplomacy, engaging directly and indirectly with people around the globe, proves necessary.

While America created the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter, the appreciation of the tactical and strategic values of social media lags far behind our adversaries’ practices.
In this age of mass information and precision-guided media, everyone from political candidates to terrorists must instantly and continuously interact with and influence audiences in order to be relevant and competitive. Ignoring the utility of social media is tantamount to surrendering the high ground in the enduring battle to influence minds around the world. …

Go to Layalina to read the whole article (and to check out their programs, like On the Road in America and Ben & Izzy).