The Changing Nature Of Public Diplomacy Media Essay

In this study I will attempt to respond to several questions. The first: Is Public Diplomacy is the right tool to change world opinion toward Iraq. If the finding

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Perhaps, we all have read this phrase or a similar phrase somewhere at sometime. Similar warnings can be found in the movie credits, covers of music albums and similar other digital works which we can find in the Internet and other digital devices. How many of us have actually paid heed to such warnings? Almost always, nobody does. Everybody uses the Internet as if it is a limitless source of all that we need and want.

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The Internet is one big library. It is made up of numerous computers and devices which are connected together and carry data which can be transmitted to the other computers in the database. It has all the information that everyone virtually needs. Books, music, photos, news and many other kinds of information can be found on the Internet. Some for free and some for a fee. It is one big library without a librarian. And that is where the big problem lies. Nobody actually monitors what information you get from the internet and how you intend to use it. Most of the time, you can save or download any information that you need and do whatever you want to do with it at the click of a button. The Internet not being owned by anyone nor controlled by anyone is thus considered as a public domain. Everybody can have access to digital information which is usually free and available for all.

With the Internet, the privacy of millions is threatened. Is there anything that we can do if a photo we posted online is being reposted by someone unknown in another website? Can we stop another person on the other side of the globe from copying the thoughts that we have posted on the blog? Are there even laws spanning across territories that we can invoke to protect us? Is it even possible to know and pinpoint who the person responsible is? Almost always, the answer to these questions is a big resounding “No.”

This privacy problem is even compounded in areas of Intellectual Property. It refers to those property rights which result from the physical manifestation of original thought (Martin, 2002). Copyright is one of the areas covered by Intellectual Property Laws. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Copyright refers to that system of legal protection an author enjoys in the form of expression of ideas. This covers protection given to authors with regards to his scientific, educational, literary or other works; musical compositions of a composer; painters and other artists with respect to their work of arts; and many others not limited to such enumeration.

Prior to the era of digitalization and the Internet, these copyrighted materials only exist in printed form, usually on paper or on canvas. These works have specific laws which protect their use from infringement. Any unauthorized reproduction, distribution, display or derivatives can be considered infringement, subject to certain rules and standards set in the laws. However, as we have reached the digital age, these works have been made available through the Internet also. Due to this, the problems have arisen, problems which have not been covered by most Copyright laws. What constitutes reproduction or distribution or display in tangible form does not equate to reproduction, distribution or display over the Internet media. Strictly speaking a work cannot be the subject of an infringement unless there is something tangible which shows such. The same no longer holds true with the digitalization and Internet. The Copyright System and Laws are thus unable to effectively respond to the challenges posed by digitalization and the Internet.

The Challenges Posed by Digitalisation and the Internet

We know that schools, businesses, hospitals and various other institutions have date which can be useful to other organizations. Many of these data can be accessible by digital copies and through online. This resulted to the era of databases which can be accessed by almost everyone in the planet. Some argue that this is an invasion of privacy as well as an infringement of copyright rights. Copyright may be vested in a work closely similar or even identical to an earlier, already patented work, provided that the former is truly original (Martin, 2002). The Internet, as helpful and convenient as it is, has been a cause of a major problem when it comes to intellectual property laws. The Internet has paved way for the unauthorized collection, use or sale of copyrighted materials.

It is not only famous authors or artists which are protected by copyright laws. Davis (1997) once suggested the idea that individual users of the Internet also have property rights. Whatever we write or put on the Internet which are from our own personal thoughts or ideas or works are our own private intellectual property and as such we have the right to protect it and should not be copied by just about anyone online.

Copyright puts a limitation on the volume of information or material that a person can reproduce without getting a license to copy first (Gillespie, 2007). A copyright can also be a limitation on artistic choices as artists cannot even make artistic works which are similar to that which has already been copyrighted (Burrell & Coleman, 2005). This may sound as nothing important for Internet users but for people who are the owners of copyrighted works, this is very important. Many people in fact do not understand the idea of Copyright Laws and how it works.

Let’s examine the case of authors and the books they write. With the digitalization and the Internet, books in paper have been transformed into electronic books and can be easily saved in millions of copies in a device even smaller than a matchbox. Electronic books, otherwise called ebooks are books in electronic form which can be read on the computer or any ebook reader device (Schwabach, 2006). These days, people don’t buy books as often as before. Thanks to the Internet. Or perhaps, no thanks to the Internet? Remember way back ten years or more ago, people buy encyclopedias, almanacs and atlases which come in 20 book sets or more. People buy Bible books for children in sets of 10 or more. Often, these are done in set-ups of monthly installments which in this day and age seem illogical. Why would you need 20 books when you can just Google? Why would you need four feet of space for a set of books and magazines when you can just buy a computer and use two feet of space for information which cannot be contained in even a room full of books? We admit, more and more people are reading ebooks, they are cheaper, they do not take space and they can last a lifetime. Many of these ebooks can be copied online for free and are allowed to be disseminated over the Internet for several reasons, such as when they are already available in the public domain or the author chose to publish it free for all (Schwabach, 2006). However, not all authors are like this. There are also many authors who have placed restrictions in the ebooks and thus do not allow any unauthorized or unpaid copies to be made and distributed. There goes the problem with the Copyright Laws.

Another favorite in the Copyright infringement with this boom of the digital and Internet era is the mass reproduction and dissemination of movies. Movies are cinematographic works of art. Usually, the producer has copyright for purposes of exhibition; for all other purposes, the producer, the author of the scenario, the composer, the film director, the author of the work are the creators and thus have the copyright protection. In this day and age, anyone can download movies through the Internet and store them in memory drives. One downloaded movie can be reproduced a million times, recopied in DVDs, transported to different areas of the globe, and watched in millions of homes countless times. This is very common and not everyone knows that this is actually infringement.

Third scenario, have you ever heard of controversies involving speeches made by people and would later be found to be copied verbatim from a speech made on the other side of the globe and which can be found online? We have heard of these a lot. You can use it as a speech in a remote area and when fortune favors you, nobody would ever know that you copied that piece from an article you read online. No one will ever know and everyone who has listened to such speech will think of how brilliant a speaker you are. Little did they know, you not only plagiarized the speech, you have also broken certain laws. Yes, you are in the eyes of the law, a criminal.

In these scenarios, somewhere, someone has the right to relief and damages for such mass reproduction and dissemination of the movies, for the plagiarized speech, for the ebooks which have been copied and passed hundred of times. The one who is responsible for the infringement exposes himself to criminal liability wherein the law prescribes penalties of imprisonment and fines. This can be easy in the past. But in this world of vast connection of wires all over the globe, how easy is it to catch who is responsible? How can authors, musicians and artists ask for damages when they do not know in the first place who is responsible? And, is there really a clear law which defines infringement of Copyright laws over the Internet?

In the past, it has been clearly laid down what constitutes copyright infringement and which doesn’t. In the past, it has been clearly laid down who is entitled to copyright protection. In the past, it has been clearly laid down who owns the copyright. In the past, it has been clearly laid down what constitutes “Fair use.” The Fair Use Doctrine refers to the fair use of copyrighted work for the purpose of criticism, educational purposes, news reports, research and other similar purposes. Fair Use does not constitute infringement. In this instance, fair use in tangible media and fair use over the digital networks and the Internet seem to be the same.

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In the payment for damages, some laws lay down rules on assessment on the basis of the proof given by the author or artist of sales made by the infringer of the infringing work deducted by whatever costs the infringer may be able to prove (Martin, 2002). With the copyright infringement happening on the Internet, sometimes sales do not even take place, there is but a free for all reproduction of copyrighted works. We can see that in addition to losing protection from infringement, the author or artist also loses any chance of getting any amount of damages for compensation.

Are information found online in this age of the Internet and digitalisation owned absolutely by their authors or artists, or is there some form of joint ownership with all the other users of the Internet? Does the fact that a copyrighted photo is found online give the Internet users the absolute right to use it? If that is so, then it goes to say that we have all become owners of whatever information that we can find on the Internet, right? Wrong.

In some instances, there are owners of copyrighted materials such as music and books which allow specific transfers to internet users without any copyright infringement taking place (Rimmer, 2007). For example, the importation of a copy of a work by an Internet user for solely personal purposes shall be permitted without the authorization of the author of, or other owner of copyright in, the work under certain circumstances as laid down by law.

When copyrighted materials are sold over the internet, there is no tangible medium. It is thus only the right to use which is being passed to the one who is buying the copyrighted digital works (Schwabach, 2006). Thus, technically speaking, a digital work which is sold online may not be sold by the buyer to another. That right to sell only belongs to the real owner of the digital work. The buyer only has the right to use, he can read or listen to the digital work but he does not have the right to sell it. The same analogy goes true when buying a DVD. If you buy a DVD and you copy the contents of the DVD and then sell the copied DVD, you are guilty of infringement.

These are just some of the hundreds of challenges that are faced by the Copyright System and which have to be dealt with to protect artists, authors and others who have created manifestations of their brilliant ideas. It is therefore important to examine and to address the rights associated with the people who are owners of information or media disseminated over the internet (Gillespie, 2007). We, the billions of Internet users in the planet, are not the owners of every thing that we can find on the Internet. There is nothing to prevent you or me from downloading the latest movies, or posting a video of yourself online singing the latest chart-topping song of a music phenomenon, or posting an exceptionally beautiful painting made by your neighbor and claiming it as your own.

A cornerstone in helping the problem with copyright protection is to inform the general public about rights and duties of owners of copyrighted materials and the Internet users (Wolf, 2003). Being socially responsible for whatever we download and use from the Internet may seem like the best possible option at present. Sad to say, but authors and other owners of copyrighted materials do not seem to have any avenue to defend their Copyright protection.

Novel efforts must be made to explore how Intellectual Property Laws on Copyright can be amended and streamlined for the digitalization and Internet use. No matter how good the country’s Intellectual Property Laws are, these are still not designed for the digital and the Internet era. These laws have proved lacking, giving more freedom to Internet users and stripping Copyright owners of the Copyright protection that laws have given them.


What the Internet and digitalization gives away with one hand, it usually takes away with the other. The Internet and digitalization may have opened a whole lot of doors for everyone, but it also creates a very serious problem with regards to the use and abuse of information. Different jurisdictions all over the world have made the recognition that with the boom of digitalization and the Internet, privacy is almost impossible and the laws on copyright are unable to effectively respond to this. Movies, books, music and similar digital works have been the subject of numerous infringement which does not seem to stop anytime soon.

Many challenges are faced by Copyright Laws because of digitalization and the Internet. Among these problems are the inapplicability of present Intellectual Property Laws, the lack of control in the information dissemination of the Internet, the easy access and download of various digital works over the Internet and the seeming lack in social responsibility and awareness of many Internet users, to name a few. A lot of people are actually unaware that not everything that we find on the Internet can be copied and used to our heart’s content. And even if people knew, they either do not understand or do not care. Besides, what would stop them from infringing copyrighted works? The vast interconnection of wires and computers almost makes it virtually impossible to catch someone who is responsible for downloading and copying several copies of a movie, a song, a book, a photograph or similar works.

In conclusion, until a perfect law against infringement of copyrighted digital materials over the internet is made and implemented, or a perfect socially responsible Internet- and digitally-savvy community of users exists, there is no specific and effective solution to help the owners of Copyrighted materials against these challenges that they face in this age of digitalization and the Internet.


that it will be possible which will lead to the second question which: What the ideal action plan for Iraq Public diplomacy? The third question will be: How can government policy makers apply this strategic tool? Certainly, the initial stages of this process will be complex.

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The objective of this paper to be presented on later stage as policy proposal for the Iraqi government. The study begins by exploring the concept of PD and why Iraq should consider establishing PD in the foreign ministry, and its impact on Iraq foreign policy. It then and introduces the diverse methods of national reputation building. In doing so, this dissertation suggests to consider a way of understanding international relations, which is foundation of national image building through public diplomacy.

Finally, based on the findings of a pilot study and online survey focusing on the national image of Iraq, this study proposes establishing a PD department (PDD) within the foreign ministry and suggestion on how to deploy public with a case study



Although reputation management has historically been restricted to companies or other organisational entities, countries are also increasingly concerned with their reputation relative to other countries and have started to actively measure and manage that reputation.

For an entity to achieve a certain desired reputation outcome, it has to manage as much of its exposure to various target groups. That would mean, for example, steering media coverage by closely supervising what information is made public.

Iraq’s reputation abroad has dramatically deteriorated. Iraq is the only nation in the Arab world whose new-formed democratic system is constantly being challenged, and constantly been projected as country with no national identity, Iraqi leaders are often compared to Saddam and Iraqi actions against the terrorist and insurgent are often described as politically motivated policies. Conditions in Iraq are often compared with those that existed in Vietnam.

Why national reputation matters?

National reputation is unquestionably an instrument of power. Managing national reputation and nation-states’ relationship with stakeholders overseas has been an integral part of foreign-policy making and public diplomacy, national reputation has a direct impact on international relations of a nation and its national policies, ranging from political, economic to cultural (Gilboa, 2006)

Yet the Iraqi government has failed to prevent the deterioration of Iraq’s image and reputation in the world. The main reason is the lack of awareness and understanding of the critical role PD plays in contemporary international relations. In the information age, national reputation has become a critical asset and ‘soft power’ has become a major instrument of foreign policy [1] . Communication, education and persuasion are the principal techniques of foreign relations, not military force. Even the US, the sole superpower, is slowly learning this hard lesson in the Iraq war. National reputation is what peoples around the world think about a state’s conduct and behaviour. Therefore, a grand strategy in international conflict requires the integration and application of three fundamental components: force, diplomacy and communication. The last component, communication, may even be the decisive factor


My interest in the area rose from an awareness that the level and volume of coverage on Iraq had grown enormously in the past eight years and as such, my awareness of the subject itself had grown too. After a period of widely reading about and studying PD and analysing Public diplomacy strategy in country like South Africa, Colombia, Denmark and Israel and how those countries where able to improve there image abroad, it was my belief that this area need to be explore for the benefit of new Iraq and that a by writing a dissertation I could carry out may contribute little or nothing to the sheer quantity and wealth of studies, debates and articles that already existed on these topics. By contrast, it was my understanding that Iraq reputation and the foreign audience perception on Iraq in the media was a relatively misrepresented and the area of PD has’t been explored and researched by the Iraqi policy makers and as such, it was my belief that if I undertook an examination of the topic I could contribute something on how the national image can be restored.

What is more, my growing interest about PD concept, coupled with a doubt bout how Iraq been presented on the media and abroad led me to question various things about why Iraq reputation and national image has been deteriorated abroad [2] and why the Iraqi government don’t a strategy in restoring the national image.

Is what is being reported fact or conjecture? How accurate is people perception on Iraq?

The fact that Iraq has been for so much time in the news since the regime change has placed Iraq in the centre of the world map, a privilege most third-world countries will never have. After hitting headlines for years, people know very well what Iraq is and where it is, this pre-existing knowledge is a valuable asset, and as such an asset any PD campaign for Iraq should capitalise on.

Are the news and image reported precise and helpful or misleading and distorting? Why does there appear to be more reporting on the effects of war on Iraq than the improvement since the regime change? Why are there so many reports about how hopeless Iraq is becoming and that Iraq can’t survive without the support of the US?


These questions, among some more specific ones which I will detail later, are some of the reasons that I began to be interested in the way how PD can help the Iraqi government in communicating with foreign publics in an attempt to bring the foreign public closer to home and educate them about the New Iraq, its nation’s ideas and ideals, its institutions and culture, as well as its national goals and current policies.

My concern was about the level of information people gain from the news then I studied the news and its role as a system of information. As such, the focus of this study, examining how informative the print press was during my chosen sample and the themes that were of predominant focus of debate.

The questions I would like to address are: How Iraq been reported and represented in the media; what were the media interests on Iraq? In exploring the core themes and topics in the sample I will be able to distinguish what the public perception and therefore what audiences and policy makers will understand of the messages in the press. By dealing with these questions I will be able to conclude why Iraq government should aggrievedly peruse on forming a PD department at the MFA and that strategy of PD that the department can take to deploy the PD policy and how can be benefited prior to hosting the gulf cup in 2013

Literature Study

In this I will be iinvestigating the domain of literature currently available on the fields of Nation image and PD has shown to be rather problematic, with both disciplines being still vastly understudied. While the empirical section of this study deals exclusively with those concepts, there are a few surrounding disciplines which at least fall into the margins of the relevant field and thus should also be discussed

Images of Nations

One school of thought investigates a concept similar to country reputation, namely the images of nations, or countries. Perhaps the most exhaustive study conducted in this field is the book Images of nations and international public relations by Michael Kunczik written in 1990. Here, Kunczik discusses the idea that the world is a “large and complex communication network” (1990:17) in which the mass media cannot be treated in isolation. He points out that although “practically anything can contribute to forming an image of another nation” (Kunczik, 1990:18), there are ways for public relations to remove prejudices between peoples.

In the old days one could win over an empire by marrying, today you can win over peoples by a leading article. But according to Kunczik, is because the mass media is continuously feeding people “images of nations” (1990:20).

Another observation he makes (1990:21) is the large amount of money that is fed into international image cultivation. This, according to Kunczik, shows how important governments rate the kind of an image their country, government or policies project abroad.

One of the first times the term national public relations was used explicitly was in 1978 when

Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, commented that

“´from the point of view of national public relations the Israeli policy of settling the occupied territories won in wars with the Arabs had done more damage than anything else” (Koschowitz 1984 as cited in Kunczik 1990:21).

For purposes of this literature study, it is important also to point out the observation Kunczik makes about the then-current state of research in the area of image cultivation by states. According to him, the book published in 1965, International behaviour. A social-psychological analysis by Kelman still ranked the definitive study in that field when Kunczik wrote his work in 1990. After pointing out very few other publications dealing with Image cultivation of nations, Kunczik concludes that

“Fundamentally…the literature situation on the subject area addressed here is poor [because] public relations activities tend to be especially successful the less they are recognisable as such. Very often, therefore, scientifically ‘non-serious’ sources have to be resorted to such as newspaper reports, personal statements etc.” (Kunczik, 1990:24).

Since this publication, Kunczik has done a number of studies following up on his idea of images of nations, focussing often on the international image of crisis countries. In his most recent study, Images of Nations and Transnational Public Relations of Governments with Special reference to the Kosovo, presented at a symposium in 2004, Kunczik points out in the introduction that the mass media’s reality is not factual reality and very often does not correspond to real happenings.

“Mass media constructs a separate reality. That criteria used to construct this reality are the so called ‘news values’. But for the recipients, who have no primary access to most things reported on, this constructed world becomes ‘factual reality’.”

Even in this, Kunczik’s latest study, he points out “the relationship between news media and images of nations is not well researched”.

One study that could be particular relevant to the topic of this study was “Is the Media Being Fair in Iraq?” by The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [i]

In this study it was found that the Iraq image was still suffering under “coups and earthquakes style of coverage”, and that “histographic cultural perceptions continued to affect the trend of international news coverage of Iraq by the foreign press (which include Arabic Media).

This study is not only served to provide raw data that to could help to understand how Iraq been portrayed abroad in both Arab and western world. But also to assess the degree to which typical tones of stories might reflect the political agendas of publisher, owners, editors and news anchors and other key media figures.

While the above-mentioned study and those laying the ground-work of images of nations appear to provide a foundation to a dissertation on Will PD fix Iraq reputation can, it is of crucial importance to highlight that the theory to be followed is that of country reputation, not images of a country. While the two concepts of reputation and image are often confused as having the same meaning, they are in fact two distinguishable terms whose differences should be realised.

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Image versus Reputation

Reputation, as opposed to image, is seen as a strategic concept developed around long-term impressions of an organisation built around a number of corporate images and actions (Fombrun & Shanley, 1990). Already then, the idea crystallised that there was a difference between the two concepts: while images were regarded as having a stationary nature, reputations were seen as dynamic.

In their recent book Reputation in Artificial Societies: Social Beliefs for Social Order, Conte and Paolucci develop the core of their reputation theory upon this difference between image and reputation. The authors point out that “reputation cannot be seen as a static attribute, rigidly codified as footprints of social hierarchy”. Reputation rather consists of dynamic properties because reputation attribution is a mental process that takes place within communication processes. According to the authors, “image” is conceived as a set of evaluative beliefs about a given target and “reputation” as the process and effect of transmission of the image. Image is seen as an evaluative belief and is said to be a static system, while reputation is a “meta belief” that carries no reference to the acceptance of established beliefs (Conte & Paolucci, 2002).

Public Relation

The public relations practice also sees vast differences between Image and Reputation two misunderstood siblings that need better management (PR influences, 2003). While image on the one hand is built, costs money, is fast and opportunistic, reputation is earned, is an asset, is careful and industrious. In the words of Brown in A Sound Reputation,

“Reputation…is a dynamic, not static, quality; it changes as individual opinions change. And there are two drivers of opinion change – direct experience and indirect experience (2005:1).”

Brown also points out that the most common form of indirect experience is media coverage, which is an important finding for this study (2003:1). In a paper titled Reputation and the Corporate Brand (Argenti & Druckenmiller, 2004:369), image is defined as “a reflection of an organisation’s identity and its corporate brand,” or more specifically, the organisation as seen from one stakeholder group’s point of view.

Depending on which stakeholder is involved, an organisation can have many different images. Reputation, on the other hand, is defined in that study as “the collective representation of multiple constituencies’ [stakeholder group’s] images of a company, built up over time and based on a company’s identity programmes, its performance and how constituencies have perceived its behaviour.” In short, images are seen as multiple, stationary reflections of an organisation’s identity and its corporate brands while reputation is the dynamic, collective representation of the various images of a corporation as perceived by different stakeholders. While an image is a fixed set of beliefs about a corporation, reputation changes as individual opinions change.

Considering the large body of literature that highlights the differences between image and reputation, it is indeed questionable if the studies that fall under images of nations are in fact relevant to a study on Iraq reputation. While image, as the above definitions point out, is indeed a part of reputation, it is not reputation per se.

` Most literature dealing explicitly with the concepts of country reputation measurement and management today, are derived from the school of corporate reputation measurement and management, however, I will be only discussing the country reputation which relevant to this study should next be discussed.

Country Reputation

Country Reputation Management

Already in 1999, Olins compiled a pamphlet titled Trading Identities: Why Countries and Companies are becoming more alike. Here, Olins puts forward the idea:

“As countries develop their national brands to compete for investment, trade and tourism, mega-merged global companies are using nation-building techniques to achieve internal cohesion across cultures and are becoming ever more involved in providing public services like education and health” (1999:1).

Pharoah writes in Building and Managing Reputation for Countries that

“Countries are increasingly realising that reputation matters – and if reputation matters, then reputation needs to be managed.”

According to Pharoah, the governments of today are

“Increasingly becoming the brand managers of their country” (Pharoah, 2004:1).

These findings lead to the idea that instruments used to manage and measure companies could be argued to apply to countries as well.

Country Reputation Measurement

Applying reputation measurement theories to countries was adopted on through a research survey which was conducted by The Media Tenor on behalf of the South African government, with the results being published in 2000. The study’s mission [ii] was “to establish a framework for South Africa to effectively manage its Public diplomacy” and its vision to “To further strengthen confidence in South Africa’s ability to host a successful FIFA 2010 World Cup”

In cooperation with International marketing council (IMC), [iii] developed a tool according to which South Africa reputation was measured and the findings used to devise a framework for the active management of South Africa’s reputation and perception prior to the world cup 2010.

The tool applied was an adapted version of Media Tenor used to measure the media coverage for ogranisations and countries. The method is composed of opinion leading media, along this method, a Analysis of all texts in opinion leading media then questionnaire was designed, using Media Tenor reputation, measuring foreign public perceptions of South Africa and its competitive set, the same questionnaire was used to determine the perception of South Africa residents. That allowed the researchers to identify the similarity between internal and external perceptions of the country, or, between identity and reputation. This allowed the team to make recommendations about South Africa future reputation management efforts. The results of the study assisted the IMC team with their communication plan on how “to further strengthen confidence in South Africa’s ability to host a successful FIFA 2010 World Cup. This approach and the instrument developed could be used for the reputation measurement of any country

They did however, highlight that in order to validate this, further research and more comparable studies would be needed.

According to the authors, that tool allows governments to gain insights into which aspects in the perception of the general public drive the overall reputation of their country and how can we improved, what are the tools that can implemented, one of the method that south Africa launched was their Brand South Africa program, which also was part of the PD strategy towards improving the foreign public perception. The core of the Brand South Africa is a three-step framework whereby the first step incorporates a diagnosis of the current state of the country’s reputation, the second designing a future state thereof and thirdly managing the PD strategy.


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