Role of social media in enhancing public diplomacy: a case study of the U.S.
The wide spread diffusion of the internet, mobile communication, digital media and a variety of social software tools throughout the world has transformed the communication system into interactive horizontal networks that connect the local and global. New form of social media cater to the flow of messages from many to many. They have provided alternative mediums for citizens communication and participatory pluralism. In my view diplomats are very good at reserving the traditions of their profession . Unfortunately despite changes of huge significance to diplomacy that have taken place in recent years the mechanisms of traditional diplomacy have barely begun to adjust. The cold war has gone out of diplomacy, but in many cases diplomatic behaviour remains loyal to it. This include among other things thinking only in terms of power equilibrium. Methods of diplomacy are still strongly influenced by military thinking. To become an efficient tool of good global governance diplomacy needs first to overcome the stereotypes of ideology and military confrontation. It’s task today is to search not for the balance of power but for the balance of interest. A partial and balancing approach is an answer to the new geopolitical and economic realities. The objectives of this study were to establish the importance of digital media as part of public diplomacy, to determine the extent to which technology can be incorporated into the practice of state craft, to show that social media as a tool of public diplomacy can be used to support foreign policy goals. To explore the paradigmatic shifts caused by social media and finally to identify how cultural diplomacy can be incorporated in public diplomacy. The researcher noted there is a big relation between the theory of Agenda setting and the role of media. Public diplomacy goals of winning the hearts and minds of people need a powerful and well planned agenda in order to reach it’s targets. Therefore, setting the Agenda that suits the target audience who receives the message is one of the pillars the media practitioner should put in place. The researcher did a desktop research where she collected a lot of information from secondary data. The findings were that new media tools have substantially changed diplomacy and therefore diplomatic practitioners should be techno- savvy. The conclusion made was that social media is a vital tool in post –modern diplomacy. The researcher recommended that governments should expand internet connectivity throughout the world. The research also recommends that government should stem the negative use of social media and promote its positive function for protest organizers