What are the group's thoughts on the distinction between public diplomacy and strategic communication? Thanks.

John Schmitt schmittzu@earthlink.net

  • I would say that strategic communication is a tool of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy refers to a broad range of concrete programs. Strategic communication can play a role within those programs. Exchange programs, for example, are normally associated with strategic communication, but they are integral to public diplomacy. - AA

“PD means little to these critics except to serve as a convenient catch-all for activities that don’t fit traditional, government-to-government diplomacy and happen to be thrown together in the R bureau at the State Department. In other words, form determines function. Tourism promotion, for example (see www.publicdiplomacywatch.com) should be every much part and parcel of public diplomacy as academic exchanges, but by being in a separate agency, it is usually left out of the PD debate. Why not switch that to State's R bureau(i.e. the Public Diplomacy department)? The preferred labels of this school for the activities now consigned to the R bureau are public affairs and cultural diplomacy; the preferred course is to follow the pre-1978 model of separation between the short-term (Public Affairs) and long-term cultural activities, which would alleviate politicized pressure on the latter. This is also the model followed successfully by other developed countries.- Anonymous

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