Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 11–17 | Cite as

Public diplomacy: Seven lessons for its future from its past

  • Nicholas J CullEmail author
Invited Article


This article examines the history of public diplomacy and identifies seven lessons from that history. These are: (1) public diplomacy begins with listening; (2) public diplomacy must be connected to policy; (3) public diplomacy is not a performance for domestic consumption; (4) effective public diplomacy requires credibility, but this has implications for the bureaucratic structure around the activity; (5) sometimes the most credible voice in public diplomacy is not one's own; (6) public diplomacy is not ‘always about you’; and (7) public diplomacy is everyone's business. The article considers the relevance of these lessons for ‘the new public diplomacy’, which have emerged over the last decade. Cull concludes that this new public diplomacy era has opened up fresh possibilities, but has not erased the relevance of the history of public diplomacy. On the contrary, the lessons of the past seem even more relevant in an age in which communications play an unprecedented role.


public diplomacy theory new public diplomacy public diplomacy history listening cultural diplomacy e.diplomacy 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USC Annenberg SchoolLos AngelesUSA

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