NEW YORK—Some of the leading private sector public relations organizations in the United States are joining with the the U.S. State Department in creating a plan for increasing private sector involvement in the nation’s public diplomacy efforts.
A new report, providing an action plan that builds on January’s Private Sector Summit on Public Diplomacy, has been released by the PR Coalition, a partnership of 18 organizations representing public relations, investor relations, public affairs and related communications disciplines. The report focuses on three broad ways in which companies can help the State Department with outreach and with combating the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world: developing business practices that reflect public diplomacy; promoting understanding of American society, culture and values; and building relationships based on trust and respect.
“The goal of the Summit was to raise awareness of how the private sector—particularly business leaders—can help improve America’s image around the world and in doing so create an environment of cooperation, respect and understanding among nations,” says James Murphy, PR Coalition chair and chief marketing and communications officer at Accenture.
That goal was endorsed by senior leadership of the State Department, and in a preface to the report, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says: “The solutions to the challenges of the 21st century are not going to be met by government alone. They come from all sectors of American society working together, and that means a close and vital partnership between government and the private sector.”
Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes says that by forming a partnership with the PR Coalition, the State Department is tapping into a new resource to help identify specific actions for reaching out to the rest of the world.