The readings this week really touched on my favorite topics in International Communication: Public Diplomacy and Soft Power. When I interned at the State Department this past winter, I worked in their Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) which is at the heart of soft power communication initiatives at the State Department. So yes, going into the readings this week I was beaming.

Andreas Sandre’s pieces on Public Diplomacy were particularly of interest to me. In both articles Sandre makes the case for the importance of soft power working in tandem with hard power and the pertinence of giving more presence to soft power in the information age.

At one point Sandre points out that social media is “cheapening” public diplomacy. What does Sandre mean by this? I glean that Sandre is equating public diplomacy with a fine art that takes time and extensive knowledge to facilitate. In this regard, is it the speed, accessibility, and transparency of public diplomacy what is “cheapening” soft power? I would like to discuss this in class because it really intrigued and confused me.

In terms of more and more people having their hand in soft power efforts, is this  what Sandre argues is degrading the process?  Is it the lack of credibility that has accompanied the boom of social media voices chiming in to the news world?

What would add value and credibility back to the process?


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