Undersecretary and Changes in the US
The public image of the US is marred due to the perceived anti-Muslim actions taken by the government post-9/11. The image-building strategy taken by the previous US government international relations advisors was faulty in its approach to international or public diplomacy. International public relations are defined as the organized effort of the government body to establish a “mutually beneficial relationship with the public of the other nation”.
The first approach taken by the US publicists was the press-based approach, wherein they tried to attain a purely traditional publicity stunt through advertisements. The second is the information dissemination process, wherein the incubators take the process of disseminating information. Both the processes are one-way processes, which fails to identify the people’s attitudes towards a particular issue and develop a message accordingly. Therefore, a two-way approach is necessary to understand the reason behind the people’s attitude, especially if it is negative. Media has been actively used as a mode of information dissemination, and it should continue to be so. However, it can also be used to give out the right message.
The main problem with the US international public relation with the Muslim world is the disconnect between the message of the public relations office and that of the government actions. Public relations officers must act more ethically and maintain a close connection with the government so that no action that may prove the message already given out wrong, as it reduces the country’s credibility. The solution to this problem is not pressing releases or lobbying with US-friendly nations, rather it is giving out the right message and acting accordingly.
The public today is active, and they seek information actively. The active public seeks information from not only media but also from other sources like interest groups like banks, NGOs, international organizations, etc. in case of the hegemonic power of the government influencing public image, it is important to observe human rights and be democratic (Gruning 160). Therefore, the main strategy of the US government should aim at positive information dissemination that considers the socio-regional sentiment and acting accordingly.