Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 308–324 | Cite as

America’s selfie – Three years later

Original Article


Recent years have seen the emergence of relational approaches to public diplomacy and public relations. The adoption of approaches that emphasize the creation of relationships between organizations and stakeholders have also been advocated by nation branding scholars. Thus, relational approaches can serve as a link between all three fields. An additional link is lack of clarity when using the terms “dialogue” and “engagement”. This study attempted to further to investigate the association between nation branding, public diplomacy and public relations by evaluating the manner in which the US State Department branded America on its Facebook channel during January of 2016, and by conceptualizing and measuring the State Department’s use of “dialogic engagement”. A comparison between America’s 2016 Selfie, and that evaluated in 2013, demonstrates that the State Department is narrating a consistent and coherent national brand and is adept at integrating everyday events into that national brand. By so doing, the State Department maintains a consistent voice and matches words for deeds thus facilitating the creation of relationships with Facebook followers. However, results also suggest that the State Department fails to provide any opportunities for dialogic engagement. Thus, it is lack of dialogic engagement that links all three fields.


public diplomacy public relations nation branding digital diplomacy MBRs 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International DevelopmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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