Israel and Public Diplomacy

In two months I will be studying in the beachside city of Tel Aviv. I have spent the past few weeks filling out my forms and finalizing my plans. Since I already have Israel on my brain, I feel as though Israel finds its way into all aspects of my life.

When I first heard that Israeli Ido Ahadrodi would be a guest lecturer in my public relations focused Ethics of Advocacy, I was definitely excited but moderately confused. Beyond scratching my head on how my professor was able to convince a consulate to speak in my class, I could not how figure out how Consulate Ahadrodi would connect ethics, public relations and the country of Israel.

Within the first few minutes of class Consulate Ahadrodi entered the room accompanied by his three bodyguards, who secured the door for the entirety of the presentation. The bodyguards, who cued me into how important Ahadrodi is, were a clue that my class was in for a stimulating lecture.

Consulate Ido Ahadrodi, started his presentation by showing a short clip from the John Stewart show, which parodied the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that summed up to the fact that no matter where the Jews and Palestinians are in the world they would argue. He explained that part of his job was to shift the focus away from the conflict and towards Israeli’s many accomplishments. He said that Israel would not gain any support by only focusing on verbally attacking their enemy.

This fragile and unique practice of branding a country is part of the upcoming field of public diplomacy.

According to the Syracuse University Public Diplomacy program, public diplomacy is Public is a new field that has grown out of a need for professionals who can effectively communicate with diverse national and international audiences. Public diplomacy focuses on cross-cultural communication presents. In short, public diplomacy is the interaction of governments trying to positively portray their respective nations.

Fascinatingly enough, there are ways to measure brands. The BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) Consulting group in New York City actually is able to measure the brand impression of both countries and brands.

Brands are measured in four ways:

1. Differentiation, price can be a major differentiation Burger King and McDonalds sell virtually the same product, but there is sometimes a difference in the price point.

2. Knowledge, do people claim to know about the product. The more people crave to learn about a product, the higher the interest.

3. Relevance, how significant the product is to a consumer. Gas is extremely relevant to consumers.

4. Esteem, how respected in a product.

Israel is one of the countries measured by the BAV.

1. According the BAV, Israel has high differentiation, which means Americans see Israel as standing out from its neighboring nations.

2. Americans also claim they have a high knowledge base of Israel, which is negative because since knowledge is high, their desire to continue learning about the nation is low.

3. Israel’s relevance score is also low, non-Jewish Americas do not feel connected to the nation of Israel.

4. Finally, Israel’s esteem was rated low. Americans seemed to group Israel with war and not with the many assets it has to offer.

Either way, the international opinion of Israel varies country by country. The BAV, however, is a fascinating look into public diplomacy and international public relations.

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