Public relations, not propaganda, for US public diplomacy in a post‐9/11 world: Challenges and opportunities

Dean Kruckeberg (Professor of public relations in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA)
Marina Vujnovic (School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

While propaganda was central to U.S. public diplomacy in earlier times, and remains central today, the United States must now practice true public diplomacy, which should rely, not only on political theory and the theories of international relations, but also on theories and models of public relations that are based on two‐way symmetrical communication and community‐building. A propaganda model centers the United States at the hub of the global milieu in its relationships with other nations, i.e., a diplomatic worldview in which the ‘spokes’ of America's communication and relationships radiate outward to satellites of stakeholders; in contrast, the United States is not centered so self‐importantly in a community‐building model. Rather, this model recognizes that America is only one part of a global social system. America's public diplomacy must recognize that the United States' global constituents are ‘publics,’ not ‘markets,’ and that an effective public diplomacy model must be one that is not propaganda or market‐oriented advocacy, but one that is based on two‐way symmetrical communication and community‐building.

Keywords

Citation

Kruckeberg, D. and Vujnovic, M. (2005), "Public relations, not propaganda, for US public diplomacy in a post‐9/11 world: Challenges and opportunities", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 296-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540510621641

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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