Center for Strategic Communication

How Do You Rebrand a Country?

David Zax/Smithsonian Magazine

It was May 2011 and Mizuki Takahashi, an art curator in the Japanese city of Mito, couldn’t believe the irony. A mere two months before, her country had been battered by the “triple disaster” of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. And yet here she was, reading a report from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry promoting a vision for revitalizing the country under the brand “Cool Japan.”

Keepers of the PD Flame: An Appreciation of Embassy Local Staff

Paul Rockower/USC Center on Public Diplomacy

While diplomats cycle in and out of posts every 2-3 years, it is the local FSN staff that remains over the years. It is truly the local staff that maintains the institutional memory for public and cultural diplomacy programming.

War of Tweets: The State Department Takes on Islamists

Helle Dale/Heritage Foundation

Twitter and other social media are the new battle ground in the war of ideas between Islamist radicals and the U.S. State Department. Since July 17, Islamist tweeters and the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team (DOT) have been dueling on Twitter.

Secretary of State John Kerry to Launch Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives

U.S. Department of State

The new office will set Department policy on engagement with faith-based communities and will work in conjunction with bureaus and posts to reach out to those communities to advance the Department’s diplomacy and development objectives.

Seoul, Beijing to Launch Joint Forum on Public Diplomacy Next Month

Yonhap News Agency

South Korea will launch a joint forum with China on raising collaboration in public diplomacy next month, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

China Finding Superpower Path No Cakewalk

Richard Wike/CNN

In recent years, Chinese strategists have emphasized the need for their country to develop “comprehensive” power that includes a variety of dimensions. China scholar David Lampton has described the “three faces of Chinese power” – might (military power), money (economic power), and minds (soft power, or in Lampton’s formulation, “ideational” power). On all three fronts, China is facing serious challenges in the arena of global public opinion.

US Criticises Vietnam Internet Control Law


The law, announced last week and due to come into force in September, says social media should only be used for “[exchanging] personal information”.

On Our Flashpoint Blog…

The BBG Gets Three New Members

Christian Mull

The Senate has recently confirmed three new members to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the U.S. government’s international broadcasting arm.

Looking Back in History: The Public Diplomacy of Free France During WWII

Paul Rockower

I have always been fascinated by the way that countries with issues of diplomatic recognition, and national movements, conduct public diplomacy to communicate their diplomatic legitimacy or to bypass diplomatic difficulties.

Public Diplomacy-You may not know it when you see it

Christian Mull

In thinking about public diplomacy, one usually thinks of radio broadcasts, exchange programs, television ads, newspaper prints, embassy events, internet videos and speaking tours.  While these modes of public diplomacy are perhaps the most common, there are many other types of public diplomacy constantly taking place right under our noses though we may not realize it.