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Authors

Nicole Audette

Abstract

This paper breaks down the nongovernmental components of public diplomacy and examines the evolution of new public diplomacy. It discusses the rise of nonstate actors and the importance they play in changing international diplomatic engagements. It explores the rising prominence of both soft power and public relations on the global stage, highlighting the importance of strategic relationships and effective communications. The case study, used to exemplify the power of new public diplomacy, examines how Invisible Children’s KONY2012 campaign used public diplomacy to harness successfully the power of the American people to influence governmental foreign policy. The author shows that Invisible Children practiced public diplomacy in its KONY2012 campaign by utilizing different public relations tactics, including strategic planning, social media, and relationship building. These tactics enabled Invisible Children to engage, activate, and mobilize public opinion around the issue of the war in Central Africa, and this public opinion then generated policy change, both inside the U.S. government and among international institutions. The author concludes that the increasing interconnectedness of the world and the ability to harness the power of the public is enabling new players to be given a seat at the international diplomatic table. This change is both a symbol of the world’s rising global consciousness and the ability for people to decide what matters.

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