Thursday, July 19, 2007

GAO Public Diplomacy report

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report yesterday to Senator Richard Lugar on the evolving strategic communications and public diplomacy initiatives at the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. As one might expect of an accountability(formerly accounting) office, emphasis is on measurable results - no touchy-feely stuff. A buzzword is "campaign-style", and one of the recommendations for the State Department is to "Formally endorse and adopt a research-based campaign-style approach to thematic communications." The State Department responds to the report by suggesting that its own “ABCDE” communication process model - a planning tool that can be used to think through the message and the best way to deliver it to a target audience - is essentially the kind of campaign-style approach the GAO is asking for. The ABCDE model is explained/exemplified (not very clearly) in the new PD Strategy document that was posted here last month.