The New PR of States: How Nation Branding Practices Affect the Security Function of Public Diplomacy

Rasmus Kjærgaard Rasmussen, Henrik Merkelsen

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    This paper investigates how the role of public relations practice in public diplomacy is undergoing a transformation as a consequence of the influence from nation branding. A case study of the Danish government's response to the so-called Cartoon Crisis illustrates how the threat from international terrorism to national security initially served as a catalyst for new public diplomacy initiatives. But as the initiatives were implemented within a framework of nation branding the focus on risk reduction became subjected to a marketing logic and a new focus on economic objectives took over. The paper points to a possible future status of public diplomacy under the influence of nation branding: Public diplomacy may maintain a function pertinent to national security but as this function is incapable of managing real risks it will only serve as auto-communication that legitimizes security policy towards a domestic audience. In the public diplomacy efforts towards transnational publics the link to national security will completely disappear whereby the public relations of states is transformed to the marketing of states.
    TidsskriftPublic Relations Review
    Udgave nummer5
    Sider (fra-til)810-818
    StatusUdgivet - 2012


    • Public relations practice
    • Public diplomacy
    • Nation branding
    • New public diplomacy
    • National security
    • Risk management
    • Reputation