Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News Bits

News from the world of public diplomacy shows that deep down inside, every nation just wants to be loved:

This Brand is Your Brand
: A Duke, a strongman and a kilt designer walk into a bar. Nope, not a joke. They're all part of Scotland's new nation branding campaign, which uses 14 "real Scots" to sell the nation's virtues to potential visitors. This effort has a definite tourist flavor to it, but political missions could potentially benefit from a similar strategy.

Spit and Image: Want to clean up your image? Use a handkerchief. There's "phlegm a-plenty" in this Chinese city, according to Al Jazeera's report, but authorities are cracking down on excessive expectoration in hopes of shining up their image before the Asian Games.

Love in the Time of Canada: At least one Canadian has been won over by Yankee friendliness at the Winter Games, citing the positive coverage of several U.S. commentators. Brownstein seems surprised that Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert has revised his opinion on the "ice-holes" and "syrup-suckers" to our North, but any devout member of the Colbert Nation knows its leader wants nothing more than for the rest of the world to love the United States as much as he does.

To Russia, with Love: The Heritage Foundation offers several tips for countering Russian anti-Americanism: 1) Use PD (and information and communication technology) to counter Moscow propaganda, 2) audit Russian info ops, 3) keep funding freedom- and democracy-promoting programs.

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