Odd Definitions and Promising Themes in McHale’s Speech

by Steven R. Corman Yesterday, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale gave her first major speech outlining priorities in her new job.  My reaction to her remarks is mixed.  On the one hand there were some confusing definitions a key missing element.  On the other hand it contained some very promising themes, which on balance leave me optimistic about her tenure. One thing that really puzzled me was […] Read more »

The Story Behind Obama’s Cairo Speech

by Bud Goodall, Angela Trethewey, & Steven R. Corman President Barack Obama’s historic speech in Cairo yeserday represents a welcome break from the former President George W. Bush administration’s approach to strategic communication.  Bush’s rhetorical strategy was to divide the world into opposing forces of Good and Evil, and then demand that Muslims choose sides. By contrast, Obama tried to reframe the challenges facing America and the Muslim world as one of rejecting that division […] Read more »

Same Old Song from GAO on Strategic Communication

by Steven R. Corman Last week, while I was recovering from a long stretch of foreign travel, GAO released its latest report on public diplomacy.  Matt thinks it is “interesting and worth reading,”  while Kim says not so much. My own view is that the report is interesting (in a disturbing way) because it clings to a failed model of strategic communication effectiveness.  Like past GAO reports, it insists that if we only apply that […] Read more »