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America’s selfie – Three years later

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Ilan Manor.

Appendix

Appendix

Categories, sub-categories and themes identified in thematic analysis

Theme Category Sub-category
America’s moral leadership—leading by example Prevention of human slavery and modern day slavery Anti-slavery task force meetings
Anti-slavery coalition (civil society, governments, private sector survivors)
Comments by national leaders on Anti-Slavery and slavery prevention
The American Story and American values The American Story—promotion of religious tolerance
The American Story—promotion of multi-culturalism
The American Story—US values strengthen US diplomacy
The American Story—US has always been a safe haven for refuges like Syrian refugees
The American Story- US to seek further aid from other countries to help Syrian refugees
Democracy US facilitation of democratic processes
US condemnation of arrest of opposition leaders, journalists
US promotes journalist safety around the world, US aid developing free media around the world
Human rights Human Rights—OS condemns violations around the world
Human Rights—US collaborative efforts with UN to safeguard human rights
Engagement with the world Diplomatic engagement Diplomatic Engagement—comments by State Department officials using the term Engagement
Diplomatic engagement—US facilitates direct engagement between nations, leaders
Diplomatic engagement—success stories (Iran, Cuba, Russia)
Diplomatic Engagement—coordinating response to regional issues (North Korea nuclear testing)
Diplomatic Engagement- US officials meet counterparts around the world
American leadership in the twenty-first century American Leadership—rallying nations behind causes that are good
American Leadership—creating coalitions to tackle global challenges
Adversaries turned Allies—coordination with Iran on tackling Daesh, coordination with Russia on Syrian civil war and Ukraine  
A climate oriented economy Environmentally conscious economic expansion Trade agreements that promote clean economic growth (TTP, US- Philippines)
Coalitions to address climate change  
US aid- infrastructure, Internet connections  
A common War on terror Addressing terror attacks Addressing terror attacks—condemnation of terror
Addressing terror attacks—strengthening allies
Global coalition against Daesh Press briefings
Building capacity of allies (Jordan)
Progress reports (Iraq)
Diplomatic efforts Work at multi-lateral organizations (UN)
Meetings of coalition leaders
Referencing specific coalition members (Arab states)
Additional coalitions Preventing Daesh funding, Syria donor group
Partnerships with civil society, private sector (extremism)

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Manor, I. America’s selfie – Three years later. Place Brand Public Dipl 13, 308–324 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41254-017-0060-z

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Keywords

  • public diplomacy
  • public relations
  • nation branding
  • digital diplomacy
  • MBRs