This year marks 30 years since the Council’s establishment, and one way we are celebrating is to offer a digital version of our most recent volume, Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future. Its online promotion is courtesy of our partner, the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy.
Spanning the World War One era to 2016, the book’s 11 case studies yield several recommendations. Offered at the close of the introductory chapter, they are:
- Listen more systematically to the complex interests of global publics to increase program relevance.
- Expand joint efforts among practitioners and analysts to study and design collaborative programming.
- The close cousins of PD and strategic communication should be evaluated with greater methodological rigor and stakeholder participation.
- To enhance government credibility, continue elevating diversity in programming according to participant age, cultural heritage, gender, faith, physical capacity, access to technology, and socioeconomic background. For example, chapter ten explores the effects and measurement of new and social media on collaboration and relationship-building in the USG’s international educational exchanges.
The original 2016 paperback edition remains available, and we wouldn’t want to discourage its purchase, proceeds from which flow directly into more PD education and advocacy. But for the same reason, free global access to students, analysts, and others is just as valuable to the advancement of diplomatic tradecraft.
Here’s to the next three decades of supporting the study and practice of government-to-people communication, international educational and cultural exchange, and mutual understanding through relationship-building!
Deborah L. (Debbie) Trent is an analyst of international diplomacy and development. Debbie’s research interests and regional expertise concern public-private partnerships involving diasporas and other diverse groups in the United States, Near East, North Africa, South Asia and Eurasia. She is the Public Diplomacy Council’s secretary, after co-chairing the board’s program committee and the 2013 Fall Forum. Read more here.