Five Points on Putin and His New York Times PieceSeptember 13, 2013
Five quick points about Putin’s OpEd in the New York Times Yesterday
- Did it work? Well it depends what he was trying to do. If he was trying to curry favour with the US foreign policy elite and political class he failed miserably. On the other hand if it was other parts of American society reaction (if they were paying attention) is probably more positive – after all most Americans don’t favour military intervention. But also what about the rest of the world? I think that this report from Brazil and China sums up widespread reactions – Vlad’s sticking it to the man
- The reaction of some Americans to criticism of their exceptionalism actually underscores Putin’s point.
- A lot of reaction to the Putin piece focused on his hypocrisy. Absolutely: but keep in mind that the subtitle of one of the best books on sovereignty is ‘organized hypocrisy‘. Regardless of the messenger the arguments about the UN and international law that Putin makes play much better in the emerging powers than do arguments about the responsibility to protect.
- Media work matters. In public diplomacy terms working with a country’s mainstream media organizations is the most cost effective way to reach large numbers of people quickly. It’s cheaper and easier than developing your own channels of communication. Lots of social media commentary feeds off the MSM so you get the new media public too.
- Why not privatize your public diplomacy? You can get a marketing agency to do branding and promotion for you and a PR to work with the media. OK there are lots of reasons not to but Putin has got his money’s worth from his contract with Ketchum on this one.