Opinion

Australia is falling behind in Digital Diplomacy

The Internet has transformed nearly every aspect of life, and diplomacy has also faced Schumpeterian creative destruction of its conservative norms, culture, and ideas. Danielle Cave writes that Australia isn’t doing nearly enough:

The rapid acceleration of digital technologies has been rupturing the conservative profession of diplomacy for the better part of a decade. Most countries embraced this disruption years ago, poaching expertise from the private sector and setting up dedicated digital diplomacy teams [to] crowdsource new ideas from the public, take advantage of open data and collaborative mapping tools and translate content into multiple languages. Their diplomats are blogging and podcasting, and by emerging from behind their chanceries to join the public debate, they are reaching and engaging with new audiences …

Only light-hearted information is safe for Brand Australia. Policy or discussion of international issues trickle out rarely, and then only with bland announcements that have little advocacy, minimal context and no attempt at two-way dialogue.

Influence is built in many ways these days, but it is increasingly clear that the era of the one-way megaphone is over. Two-way engagement is key to building sustained branding and influence with your customers and stakeholders, whether in diplomacy or as a private business.

Source: The Interpreter, The Age

Stephen Bounds

Stephen Bounds is an Information and Knowledge Management Specialist with a wide range of experience across the government and private sectors. As founding editor of RealKM and Executive, Information Management at Cordelta, Stephen provides clear strategic thinking along with a hands-on approach to help organisations successfully develop and implement modern information systems.

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