The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

How does what we know about information and communication technology (ICTs) and persuasion help practitioners makes sense of how to integrate technology into the mission of public diplomacy? We know that ICTs can be:

A) Persuasive by its ability to facilitate or enable other attempts at persuasion.
B) Persuasive as a transmission vehicle (the medium endows some form of credibility or legitimacy).
C) Persuasive as a kind of context for communication - an intermediary - that enables the influence potential of social ties.

Should public diplomacy policy-makers turn to digital diplomacy tools for the future of practice? I ask this question to provoke some reflection among public diplomacy watchers beyond the quick criticism of tweeting ambassadors and social media campaigns. There seems to be some debate over whether or not digital media practices represent the future of US public diplomacy.

Matthew Wallin of the American Security Project posed an interesting question in a recent blog post titled “Engagement: What does it mean for public diplomacy?” This question touched a nerve for me, because there are no ready definitions for the term – despite the fact that it appears across statements articulating the purpose of U.S. public diplomacy.

In 2012, Fergus Hanson released two reports covering the scope of "e-diplomacy" within the U.S. State Department. He provided a broad view of how the State Department had adopted social media and other IT platforms to accomplish the business of diplomacy. Facebook pages for U.S. embassies, tweeting ambassadors, and new forms of knowledge management were among the examples cited to illustrate a larger trend towards the incorporation of information technology into the practice of statecraft.

Craig Hayden on hyphenated diplomacy, globalization and international relations. 

Is it time to revisit the “theory question” in public diplomacy studies? There is much to be said about how the art of actually doing public diplomacy reflects a complex array of skills, experience, and personality. Understanding what goes into the practice of public diplomacy is an essential question for those preparing for a career in the public diplomacy sections of the State Department or other foreign ministries, as well as institutions that aspire to educate individuals for this kind of career.

Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy James Glassman gave a comprehensive overview of his vision for the next phase of United States public diplomacy during his talk in early December at the New America Foundation.

I have to admit I did not expect to be writing what could be deemed a defense of Al-Hurra -- the U.S.-sponsored Arabic language television station beamed across the Arab world. Al-Hurra (which means "the free one" in Arabic) has come under scrutiny over the past few years for its potential impact on U.S. public diplomacy objectives.

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