Challenge of Change – 1961 Bell Labs film on communication

Looking into the future from the past is often fascinating. A Bell Labs film from 1961 on the changing communication environment predicts the future information age as it projects its technology into the future. This includes machine to machine communication, online ordering, e-commerce, and cellular phones, is no different. The underlying purpose is preparing the audience […] Read more »

Candidates’ PD Positions Miss the Point

by Steven R. Corman Earlier this week Marc Lynch did a nice post (that had been on my impossibly long to-do list for some time) critiquing the presidential candidates’ positions on post-Bush public diplomacy. As Lynch points out, Clinton avoids the subject except for a vague assertion that we have to restore our moral authority, a position that comes with no attached plan of action. His assessment is that McCain has got a well-developed set […] Read more »

A 21st Century Model for Communication in the Global War of Ideas

by Steven R. Corman, Angela Trethewey, & Bud Goodall In the global war of ideas, the United States finds itself facing a systems problem that cannot be solved by simply delivering the right message. The question is not “how can we construct a more persuasive message?” Rather it is “what kind of reality has this particular system [that we are trying to influence] constructed for itself?” The present strategic communication efforts by the U.S. and […] Read more »

Strategic Ambiguity, Communication, and Public Diplomacy in an Uncertain World: Principles and Practices

by Bud Goodall, Angela Trethewey, & Kelly McDonald There is widespread recognition that the U. S. public diplomacy efforts worldwide have failed. In response to this image crisis, the Pentagon, State Department, and other agencies of the federal government are currently seeking new models for message strategy, coordination, and alignment. There are two major reasons for failures of communication in public diplomacy: (1) reliance on an outdated one-way model of influence, and (2) an inability […] Read more »

Credibility in the Global War on Terrorism

by Steven R. Corman, Aaron Hess, & Z. S. Justus The perceived credibility of the United States government on the global stage has never been lower. This impedes its ability to fight, much less to win, the “war of ideas” that is so much a part of the global war on terrorism. Cultivating improved credibility is a long-term effort, but it stands to benefit from a large body of existing research. The concept of source […] Read more »

The Iranian Letter to President Bush: Analysis and Recommendations

by Bud Goodall, Linell Cady, Steven R. Corman, Kelly McDonald, Mark Woodward, & Carolyn Forbes On May 9, 2006, world media outlets released news of a letter written by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to U.S. President George W. Bush. The letter was the first official communiqué from the Iranian government to the U.S. since the two countries broke diplomatic ties in 1979. The letter was dismissed by U.S. spokespersons as a “rambling” narrative or as […] Read more »

Communication and Media Strategy in the Jihadi War of Ideas

by Steven R. Corman & Jill S. Schiefelbein Recent controversies surrounding U.S. efforts to influence media in Iraq and the Middle East signal increasing interest in a war of ideas that is part of the conflict between the West and the worldwide jihadi movement. Clear thinking about this issue requires an understanding of how the jihadis struggle for hearts and minds. Yet many people are under-informed about the nature and extent of jihadi strategy regarding […] Read more »