Options for Influence
Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 29th September, 2008
‘Soft power’ and ‘public diplomacy’ have become buzzwords in both international affairs and domestic politics as countries and political parties hone their image and message. So the appearance of a new short book on the theme, Options for Influence (Counterpoint, £11.95), is timely. As the joint authors, Ali Fisher and Aurélie Brockerhoff note, ‘the aim of public diplomacy is not just changing people’s perceptions, but rather influencing the way people act.’
We see that at its clumsiest sometimes in the hands of the Bush administration in Washington. The European Union and the United Kingdom as an individual country like to think that they are more subtle and more adept at soft power. But anyone in the business — including politicians — could usefully study this book, which proclaims itself to be an introduction to the field of exerting influence through overt international communications. The content specially focuses on the British Council and the BBC World Service, but there are interesting examples discussed of other bodies such as NATO and the Chinese Confucian Institutes.
R.S. Zaharna, Associate Professor of Public Communication at Georgetown University in Washington, has correctly noted that networking has replaced information dominance as the new model of pesuasion in the global communication era. This little study takes on board such changes and wise political parties are doing so as well.
This entry was posted on Monday, 29th September, 2008 at 9:14 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Tagged: Ali Fisher, Aurélie Brockerhoff, BBC World Service, British Council, Confucian Institute, Counterpoint, NATO, Options for influence, public diplomacy, R S Zaharna, soft power. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.