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THE CASE FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS As you have seen, Rapid Response was necessary to establish 3PF’s credentials in the short-term. Considering the suffering that has to be alleviated in this country, this capability will be required in the long-term. At the same time, Art Ng’s Global Knowledge Center projects shows that a developmental education program for I.T., health, culture, and other subjects is our medium to long-term thrust. Compassion, education, and tolerance are the raw tools for forging public diplomacy. But to make public diplomacy effective and successful, a comprehensive strategic communication program must support it. It would help to look at the big picture. A June 25 Agence France Press article titled “ US Struggles to Repair Image Around the World” reported: Anti-US sentiment is firmly entrenched around the world, mainly because of President Bush and his policies, to such a degree that even US humanitarian efforts do little to curb it, according the latest Pew Global Attitudes Survey Report. It revealed that negative attitudes about the US are so strong, even among traditional allies such as the French and Canadians, that US aid to tsunami victims or Bush’s encouragement of democracy in the Middle East have done little to blunt them. This is hardly surprising in 2005. The State Department admitted that the effect of not funding public diplomacy has been a generation worldwide unfamiliar with or hostile to Western and American culture. Fortunately, there also has been a shift in the fight against terror. Newsweek’s July 18 issue reported: The important difference between the London bombings and 9/11 has been the response of the world of Islam. For months after 9/11, it was sad and disturbing that Muslims were reluctant to condemn the attacks. This time is different. Major Muslim groups in Britain have unambiguously denounced the bombings. Even fundamentalist organizations have condemned it…These kinds of events will continue but there should be much, much greater condemnation from mainstream Islam. Moderates must adopt a zero-tolerance policy on terrorism, regardless of what they think about Iraq, Palestine, or any other policy issue. But those clamoring for such condemnations should bear in mind that this will not totally solve the problem. In the meantime, something can be done and this is where we come in. Former US Embassy Public Affairs Counselor Ron Post consistently defined strategic communications as a process with a goal. For our purposes, it is to show the target audience – Muslim moderates, Muslim youth, and people in conflict areas – that there is a way to succeed in a democratic society. Essentially, we employ communications and initiatives that give them hope to prevent them from going over to the dark side and become extremists. This involves messages, education, and culture to be effective. Experts would be needed to create themes and messages for the posters, comics, documentaries,

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education and cultural programs that will show the target audience that they have a future in the Philippines. To execute a long-term strategic communications program, 3PF needs the funds, the training, the expertise, and the logistics to be able to produce and distribute the communication products that we intend to develop under your guidance. Once the program is proven successful, it can be replicated in other parts of the country or in other parts of the world. As we work toward that goal, Jacki Lyons suggested that all agencies involved – 3PF, JUSMAG, USAID, Deseret, Knightsbridge, and others – co-brand our efforts. And she is talking from experience because the village approach contributed to the success of JUSMAG’s Humanitarian Assistance and Civic Action projects in Basilan. She has made us aware that children and the youth have a common desire for a more peaceful world. All of us being part of the village, we all can, for example, use the tagline – Working for a more peaceful world – on our collaterals, donations, and equipment in the field. Hopefully, 3PF’s thrust can assist the efforts of the State Department’s Shared Futures program, USAID, JUSMAG, and other partners. We can all harness the diverse talents assembled here and work together in our own ways to make peace a reality in this part of the world.

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