I’m very thankful to Gyorgy Szondi for letting me know about a very interesting paper he recently published, titled “Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Conceptual Similarities and Differences”. Szondi is a senior lecturer in Public Relations and course leader for MA in European Public Relations. Before joining the Leeds Metropolitan University, Gyorgy was teaching in Estonia, where he set up and chaired the Public Relations programme at Concordia International University. Prior to academia, Gyorgy worked for Hill and Knowlton, the international PR consultancy in Budapest, Hungary and in its international headquarters in London. His clients included for-profit as well as governmental organisations.
This interesting paper’s abstract is as follows:
The aim of this study is to explore potential relationships between public diplomacy and nation branding, two emerging fields of studies, which are increasingly being used in the same context. After examining the origins of the two concepts, a review of definitions and conceptualisations provide a point of departure for exploring the relationship between the two areas. Depending on the degree of integration, five conceptual models are outlined, each with potential pitfalls as well as advantages. According to the first approach, public diplomacy and nation branding are unrelated and do not share any common grounds. In other views, however, these concepts are related and it is possible to identify different degrees of integration between public diplomacy and nation branding. In the final version, the concepts are exactly the same, public diplomacy and nation branding are synonyms for the same concept. The final section compares public diplomacy and nation branding by examining the extent to which they can be considered as legitimate professions, focussing on their bodies of knowledge, training and education, professional organisations, and professional norms. Public diplomacy is identified as an interdisciplinary study where the different disciplinary insights should be integrated. Relationship building is suggested as the central paradigm of both public diplomacy and nation branding which can also serve as the central concept upon which the two areas could be further integrated. The study concludes that more integration and cooperation will be needed not only between nation branding and public diplomacy to achieve better synergy, but between practitioners and scholars from both spheres to further enhance the theoretical and practical bases of these challenging but fascinating areas.
You can read through this indepth paper here.
Of course all readers are also welcome to submit their contribution, whether be news, short blog entries or extense papers to Nation-Branding.info, where it could be featured and publicized to a very specialized audience.