In the realm of public diplomacy reports, there are too few that should be on your required reading list. “Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level” (820kb PDF) is an exception. Written by Carolijn van Noort, a former intern at the Department of Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture of the Consulate General of the Netherlands, this 53-page report is a terrific analysis of the challenges of public diplomacy in today’s Now Media environment.
Intended to explore the new public diplomacy of the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, and its various Consulates, the “public diplomacy 2.0” activities of the United States are also included .
Carolijn rightly states that “Social media asks for an hybridization of open and closed communication practices.” In this statement, she eloquently captures the dilemmas facing both public diplomacy and online engagement. She continues,
To engage with foreign audiences through social media services, diplomacy has to innovate itself. The social media services ask for openness and transparency, which contradicts traditional closed communication practices in diplomacy.
Carolijn also (rightly) notes that for the US, the modern constraint of the Smith-Mundt Act means “opportunities in the digital space are lost or postponed in the mean time [sic].”
The resulting document is both smart literature review and smart analysis. Do read the report: Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level (820kb PDF)
It is available at MountainRunner with the permission of Floris van Hövell, Head of Department Public Diplomacy, Press and Culture, Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, Washington D.C.