The people involved in carrying out public diplomacy around the world

The Hard Case for Soft Power: Four D.C. Roundtables Reflect Challenges and Impact

What is U.S. “soft power” in a digital world? A key facet is the ability to form international friendships, person-to-person and organization-to-organization, in the 21st century. This enhances, in a very human way, “hard power,” the ability to affect militarily the fate of societies and nations around the globe. Here in Washington, soft power advocates…

A Tale of Metrics: Japan’s Wartime News and Propaganda

“Metrics,” “data,” “evaluation,” and “results, not outputs” have proven to be real challenges for Public Diplomacy and strategic communication.  So has demonstrating that a program, activity, or campaign “moves the needle.” Yesteryear Foreign Service Officers at U.S. Information Service posts religiously tallied “placements.” From time to time, USIA’s research office commissioned surveys. At the dawn…

Public Diplomacy: Truth-Power in a Digital Age

It was October 15. 2015. The Broadcasting Board of Governors, recently renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media, heard some sound advice about the power of the five taxpayer-funded multimedia networks it leads. “To state the obvious,” guest speaker Adam Clayton Powell III told the Board, “not everything is true, some things are provably false.…

Map of United States showing route from Seattle to Miami

Can you speak to my class?

Public Diplomacy officers in the Foreign Service meet many educators – from Ministers of Education and Presidents or Vice-Chancellors of major universities, down to deans, principals, professors teaching courses relating to the U.S., and English teachers.  During my career, I had countless telephone calls like this one: Educator:  “Mr. Bishop, it was wonderful meeting you…

Students pose at USA Pavilion

How I Came to Love the Shanghai Expo

This article, first published in 2012, notes that “Although the United States has its own glorious history of hosting world’s fairs…we have had a spotty participation record in recent decades”.  The author, Beatrice Camp, served as Consul General during the Shanghai Expo 2010 and later as Washington coordinator for the Milan Expo in 2015.  After…